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Coordinator: Mirjam Egli Cuenat

Mirjam Egli Cuenat

Mirjam Egli Cuenat

University of Teacher Education St.Gallen, Switzerland

Address for correspondence: e-mail

Nationality: Swiss

Affiliation with educational networks/associations

  • Forum Fremdsprachen Schweiz FFS (member)
  • VALS/ASLA Swiss Association for Applied Linguistics (member)
  • SSG/SSL Swiss Linguistics Society (member)

Work information

Occupation or position currently held
  • Co-director « Institut Fachdidaktik Sprachen » (Institute of Language Didactics), University of Teacher Education St. Gallen/Lecturer in French linguistics for teachers
  • Independent consultant
Main activities and responsibilities
  • Scientific responsibility for the implementation of a research and development department concerned with the needs of school practice and language policy at the « Institut Fachdidaktik Sprachen » of the University of Teacher Education St. Gallen (PHSG, co-director with Wilfrid Kuster).
  • Lecturer for initial training of secondary school teachers in French as a third language at the PHSG
  • Several further activities, in specific:
    • European Council, Language Policy Division, Strasbourg
      • contribution to the Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education (coordinator)
    • Project Passepartout Fremdsprachen an der Volksschule:
      • contribution to the curriculum with French as L2 – English as L3 in a plurilingual perspective;
      • contribution to a language competence referential for teachers in initial training;
      • consultant for the coordinated development of teaching manuals for French as L2/English as L3 in a plurilingual perspective;
      • development of a curriculum for teachers’ continuing education in a foreign language « Berufspezifischer Sprachkurs Passepartout C1* »;
      • responsible for the module „Sprache und Didaktik – Intentionen und Instrumente“ within the Certificate of Advanced Studies CAS « WeiterbildnerIn Fremdsprachendidaktik an der Volksschule ».
    • Swiss National Science Foundation (FNSNF) and GC COM, Zurich:
      • preparation of a publication aimed at practitioners (teachers, policymakers) on the potential of usage of the results of the National Research Program 56 “Language diversity and linguistic competence in Switzerland”
    • schulverlag plus, Berne
      • contribution to the modification of the Swiss version of the European Language Portfolio (16+); partial online version and adaptation to the needs of learners in different strands of upper secondary education
Name of employer

University of Teacher Education St.Gallen

Country of employment


Education and training

Relevant qualifications or training

2008 Lecturer in Didactics of Plurilingualism at the University of Teacher Education Fribourg, CH (primary education)

2005 – 2008 Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK): delegate for the national coordination of language teaching (including, amongst others, the following responsibilities: representing Switzerland at the ECML, president of the Swiss ELP pilot group and interlocutor of the Language Policy Division of the European Council in Strasbourg for the ELP)

2000-2005 Director of the DELF-DALF examination centre of the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft and member of the Swiss DELF-DALF commission; oral examiner and responsible for nation-wide corrections of written exams during the spring exam sessions

1994-2007 Lecturer in teacher training for French language and French linguistics, University of Basel and University of Teacher Education Aarau, Switzerland (lower and upper secondary education)

2005 PhD in linguistics (Biliteracy among bilingual children, advisors: Prof. Georges Lüdi, University of Basel and Prof. Maya Hickmann, Université de Paris V and CNRS)

1985-1993 Studies of French and German philology, history and art history at the Universities of Basel and Neuchâtel, 1993 licentiate of arts (MA)

Language skills and competences

Mother tongue(s): German/Swiss German

Other language(s): French, English, Italian, Spanish

Project experience

(2009-2010) Passepartout « Fremdsprachen an der Volksschule » (www.passepartout-sprachen.ch): Berufsspezifischer Sprachkurs für Lehrpersonen C1*. Development of a catalogue of competences and a curriculum for the education of primary school teachers of foreign language. Development of learning scenarios corresponding to the catalogue of competences with a small team of teachers-practitioners. Responsible for the project. The result will be published in spring 2010.

(2005-2007) Expert commission of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education “Coordination of foreign language teaching in upper secondary school”. Direction and coordination of the project, writing of final report and the pertaining strategy (with Olivier Maradan) //www.edk.ch/dyn/17582.php

(1995-2005) Doctoral thesis, comprising the direction of an team of research assistants providing support for data collection among 50 bilingual families, for statistical analysis, and for transcription. Egli Cuenat, Mirjam (2005/2008): Le langage écrit chez l’enfant bilingue. Production narrative écrite et orale chez des enfants bilingues francophones et germanophones en Suisse romande et en Suisse alémanique (Written language of bilingual children. Written and spoken narrative production among bilingual French- and German-speaking children in French- and German-speaking Switzerland). University of Basel Universität Basel.

Expertise in the topic of the proposed project

Practice in the field
  • Teacher trainer in French language and linguistics, as well as didactics of plurilingualism (initial and continuing education; primary school, lower and upper secondary school)
  • Training of teacher trainers within the Passepartout project : didactics of plurilingualism and curricular instruments (ELP, CARAP, HarmoS standards, Lingualevel)
  • Individualized linguistic coaching, with ELP, of primary teachers in initial training (University of Teacher Education Fribourg)
Other relevant experience
  • Director of regional DELF-DALF centre, examinator (experience of the impact of a curricular instrument such as the DELF-DALF exam on language policy and teaching practises)
  • Teaching of French as an L2 (DELF-DALF courses) to adults


  • Egli Cuenat, M. (2009, in press) : Elaboration et mise en œuvre de curriculums pour une éducation plurilingue et interculturelle – la formation des enseignants. Publication based on a lecture given at the SemLang Summer School, Sèvres, 9 juillet 2009.
  • Egli Cuenat, M. (2007) : Gezielte und koordinierte Erziehung zur Mehrsprachigkeit – Fremdsprachen in der Volksschule aus Sicht der EDK. In: PH-akzente. Pägagogische Hochschule Zürich 1/2007, p. 3-6.
  • Egli Cuenat, M. (dir) (2007) : Coordination de l'enseignement des langues étrangères au degré secondaire II. Rapport du groupe d'experts à l'intention de la CDIP,  22 août 2007. //www.edk.ch/dyn/17582.php
  • Egli Cuenat, M., Elmiger D. (2006) : Differenzierte Ausbildung für differenzierte Profile – Aus- und Weiterbildung von Sprachlehrkräften für die Primarstufe. In: BABYLONIA 1/06. //www.babylonia-ti.ch/BABY106/eglielmigerde.htm