Representative surveys

In 2008, the first big representative survey was conducted. The survey was part of the project "Current Language Attitudes in Germany”, which was created in collaboration with the chair for Social Psychology of the University Mannheim and sponsored by the Volkswagen foundation. 2004 people living in Germany (age 18 or older) were asked over 40 linguistic questions (see e.g. Eichinger et al. 2009 and Gärtig/Plewnia/Rothe 2010 ). The telephone survey was conducted by the research group Wahlen. Survey questions include e.g. the evaluation of the German language and a number of dialects, and their attitude towards multilingualism and language correctness.

In 2016, another representative survey was conducted in collaboration with the Institute for the Low German Language (INS) in Bremen under the side project “Structure of the Language Status in Northern Germany” to determine the Low German competence and use as well as attitudes to different languages and varieties in Northern Germany. The research group Wahlen questioned 1632 people aged 16 or older by phone (see Adler et al. 2016 ).

Further Surveys

Moreover, additional and expanding surveys were conducted, e.g. with pupils, students and in kindergarten together with caretakers and parents. In 2010 and 2011, a group of (partly multilingual) pupils were questioned on their attitude towards German and other languages (N=628, 9th and 10th grade in Mannheim, Steinburg and the Lower Rhine region, see e.g. Plewnia/Rothe 2012 and Rothe 2012). In the same years, a group of students were asked about their attitudes towards German dialects in particular; in this study, the ‘mental maps’ tool was used to determine the mental language distribution of the questioned students (N=430, in Bielefeld, Köln, Leipzig and Mannheim; see Plewnia/Rothe 2012 and Plewnia 2013). In winter 2011/12, a survey on the attitudes towards multilingualism was conducted together with the Mercator-Institute for Language Training and German as a Second Language in some German and partly multilingual kindergartens (see Rothe/Wagner 2015).