Spelling Acquisition across Languages

Training School on Spelling Acquisition across Languages

Call for Trainees

We are pleased to invite you to a European COST training school on spelling acquisition across languages to be held in Esch-Belval, Luxembourg from 4 to 6 April 2019.

The ELN (European Literacy Network) training school aims at providing researchers with specialized training in spelling acquisition in relation to linguistic structures across languages. Trainers are experts in linguistics and psycholinguistics. The training school will focus on the representation of writing systems in relation to linguistic information and their acquisition. Cross language comparisons will provide a deeper understanding of writing systems beyond phoneme-grapheme-relations as well as their acquisition. Trainees will be provided with practical experience in developing and using advanced tools and techniques for describing spelling and spelling acquisition in relation to the encoded grammatical information.


Constanze Weth & Sonja Ugen (University of Luxembourg)


Natalia Bilici recently defended her PhD thesis at the University of Luxembourg. In her PhD thesis she specialized on the acquisition of grammatical spelling in French and German in multilingual Pupils.

São Luís Castro is Full Professor at the University of Porto, Faculty of Psychology and Education, where she directs the Speech Lab and the Neurocognition and Language Research Group of the Center for Psychology. She was recipient, with Ana Sucena, of the Cegoc 2006 Award for the development of ALEPE, a battery of tests for the assessment of reading skills in Portuguese.

Michel Fayol is emeritus professor of the University of Clermond-Auvergne, France. He is an expert of Cognitive Psychology and Development and mainly in the field of cognitive learning sciences in numeracy and literacy.

Prof. em. Reinold Funke has been teaching in the fields of didactics of German language in L1 education at the Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg, Germany. His research focuses on the teaching and learning of grammar (with a focus on syntactic spelling), reading comprehension, and empirical evaluation surveys in the field of German studies.

Naymé Salas is a post-doctoral researcher at the School of Educational Sciences, Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain). She investigates writing development adopting a cross-linguistic viewpoint and is interested in understanding the interplay between contextual and cognitive-linguistic factors. Among other issues, her research has looked at the role of spelling in writing development in its early and intermediate stages.

Sonja Ugen is a research scientist affiliated to the Luxembourg Centre for Educational Testing of the University of Luxembourg. Her research focuses on literacy and numerical cognition in a multilingual context. She is especially interested in the complex interplay between teaching and home languages and the influence on performance. Her research perspectives include small-scale experimental as well as large-scale data studies.

Constanze Weth is an Associate Professor at University of Luxembourg and Head of the Institute for Research on Multilingualism. Her research focuses on spelling systems and spelling acquisition in multilingual contexts. Her research methods include linguistic analyses of writing systems, psycholinguistics, but also sociolinguistics.


Thursday, April 4, 2019

09:00-9:30: Welcome and general introduction
09:30-11:00: Learning to compose texts: From studying components to understanding on-Time management (Michel Fayol)
11:00-12:00: Focus on trainees’ research and discussion in the light of spelling acquisition
12:00-13:30: Lunch
13:30-15:00: Developing instruments for assessing spelling from a multiple-representations viewpoint (Nayme Salas)
15:00-16:00: Focus on trainees’ research and discussion in the light of assessing spelling
16:00-16:30: Coffee break
16:30-18:00: Morphosyntactic spelling in German and French as second (written) languages in the Luxembourgish context (Natalia Bilici, Sonja Ugen & Constanze Weth)
18:00-19:00: Focus on trainees’ research and discussion in the light of morphosyntactic markers and its acquisition and assessment
19:30: Dinner

Friday, April 5, 2019

09:00-09:30: Morning coffee
09:30-11:00: Spelling acquisition in Portuguese: Studies with children and adults (São Luis Castro)
11:00-12:00: Focus on trainees’ research and discussion in the light of spelling acquisition in Portuguese and in contrast to the written language focused within the workshop
12:00-13:30: Lunch
13:30-15:00: Syntactic markers in spelling across orthographies (Reinold Funke)
15:00-16:00: Focus on trainees’ research and discussion in the light of syntactic markers in writing systems
16:00-16:30: Coffee break
16:30-18:00: Vowel spelling in French as foreign language (Constanze Weth)
18:00-19:00: Focus on trainees’ data and discussion in the light of correspondences between phonemes and graphemes
19:30: Dinner

Saturday, April 6, 2019

09:00-14:00: Focus on trainees’ research and discussion
15:00-17:00: Multilingual spelling as a landscape: guided tour in Luxembourg city


University of Luxembourg, Campus Belval, Maison du Savoir, 2, avenue de l'université, L-4365 Esch-sur-Alzette

Thursday, 4 April 2019: Maison du Savoir, room 2.240
Friday, 5 April 2019: Maison du Savoir, room 4.050 & room 4.060
Saturday, 6 April 2019: Maison du Savoir, room 2.400

Deadline for Registration

15 March 2019

Travel & Accommodation

Please see here: Travel & Accommodation

Grant Opportunity

The ELN COST Action offers 6 grants of €600 in order to support the travel and accommodation of trainees. Selection of participants will be made on the basis of the submitted information and the statement of how attending the training school will benefit the participant and their home research group.

Note: In order to be eligible for reimbursement, trainees ought to be from a COST country (http://www.cost.eu/about_cost/cost_countries). According to the COST policy promoting European networking (mobility and exchanges), a trainee cannot apply for a grant for a training school occurring in her/his own country.

If you are applying for a grant, please email your application to constanze.weth@uni.lu.

You are asked to provide the following information:
  • Identification: Name, university etc.
  • Motivation: A letter of interest
  • Research description: A short description of your (planned) research project(s).
  • For PhD-students: Ask your supervisor or laboratory-department director to email us a letter of recommendation to support your application.

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