Prof. Dr. Kristin Kersten

Prof. Dr. Kristin Kersten

University of Mannheim
Multilingual Education
L 10, 11–12 – Room 212
68161 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
by appointment
arrangement via email

  • Research

    Kristin Kersten holds the Chair of 'Mehrsprachigkeitsdidaktik' (Multilingualism and Education) at the English Department, University of Mannheim, which focuses on multilingualism, multilingual education and SLA. She conducts research on psycholinguistics, multilingualism, (Instructed) SLA and bilingual education. Her current projects focus on multilingualism and emotions, the cognitive advantage hypothesis, and on cognitive, social and instructional variables affecting mutilingualism / language acquisition in the project SMILE (Studies on Multilingualism in Language Education).

    Research Projects

    Book project  Understanding Variability in SLA, Bilingualism, and Cognition
    This interdisciplinary volume brings together linguistic, psychological, and sociological perspectives. They reflect on the relations­hips and interactions of the multilayered factors affecting second language development and cognitive competence.

    SMILE  (Studies on Multilingualism in Language Education)
    The role of input quality, internal and external factors in the acquisition of a second language (L2) by young monolingual and multilingual learners in different primary school settings

    STILE  (Strategies for Teaching in Language Education)
    1. Effects of L2 teaching strategies ('input quality') on language competences in the first, second and foreing language
    2. Multi-site Projekt 'Diverging perspectives': A project on student teachers' self-assessment of their teaching strategies ('input quality') compared to the assessment of experts in foreign language teaching

    FLINK  (FLINK – Fremdsprachenlernen in Inklusiven Kontexten)
    The development of linguistic and cognitive skills in children with heterogeneous learning conditions in monolingual and bilingual institutions from preschool to third grade

    ELIAS  (Early Language & Intercultural Acquisition Studies)
    A multi-site project on the effects of L2 teachers' input quality, social status, home literacy support and degree of multilingualism on children's L2 development in bilingual preschools

    BiLLiE  (Bilinguales Lehren und Lernen in Entwicklung)
    An interdisciplinary study on conditions for the implementation of CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) in primary school

    Project Series “Studies on Multilingualism in Language Education”:
    Papers, reports, instruments and materials

    Projects in progress:
    Kersten, K., Brunsmeier, S., Glaser, K., Roos, J-, Ruhm, H., Rossa, H. (forthc.). Bericht zum Symposium „Fremdsprachendidaktische Perspektiven auf Unterrichtsqualität“. In O. Mentz, N. Kulovics, T. Raith (Eds.). Grenzen – Grenzräume – Entgrenzungen. Schneider bei wbv.

    Kersten, K., Schüle, C., Steinlen, A.K.  (forthc.). The effect of internal and extern variables on early foreign language acquisition: Evidence from bilingual preschools. (request PREPRINT)

    Koch, M., Greve, W. Kersten, K. (forthc.). Can deterministic chaotic variations be described by probabilistic Rasch models?

    Lenzing, A., Ponto, K., Kersten, K., (forthc.). Developmental stages in L2 grammatical comprehension: Investigating and extending a processing framework.

    For the full list of publications and conference presentations, click here, for downloads on researchgate here.

  • Biographic Information

    Kristin Kersten studied English and Biology at the Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel with a special focus on psycholinguistics, bilingualism and bilingual education, and received a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Cologne. She obtained positions as a research assistant at the Universities of Kiel, Cologne and Magdeburg. In Magdeburg, she headed the EU-Comenius Project ELIAS (Early Language and Intercultural Acquisition Studies) investigating bilingual preschools.

    In 2010 she was appointed to the “Juniorprofessur Foreign Language Teaching and Second Language Acquisition” at the University of Hildesheim.

    From 2014 to 2023, she held the W2 Chair on English Language Teaching and Language Acquisition in Hildesheim. There, she served on the executive board (vice chairman) of the Center for Teacher Education and Educational Research (CELEB), as member of the senate and of several research centers. During this time she led the research projects SMILE (Studies on Multilingualism in Language Education) and the multi-site project STILE (Strategies for Teaching in Language Education).

    Since 2023, she has held the W3 Chair on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education at the University of Mannheim.

  • Teaching

    Kristin Kersten teaches in the areas of multilingualism, multilingual education, English linguistics and (instructed) second language acquisition.

    She is responsible for the transdisciplinary classes on 'Linguistic and Cultural Heterogeneity' in the Bachelor of Education and on 'Multilingualism and Education' in the Master of Education, as well as for applied linguistics classes and second language acquisition in the Master programs of Language and Communication and Culture and Business.


  • Kersten, K., Bruhn, A.-C., Ponto, K., Böhnke, J. & Greve, W. (2018). Teacher Input Observation Scheme (TIOS) and Manual. Studies on Multilingualism in Language Education, 4. Hildesheim: Universität Hildesheim.
  • Kersten, K. & Ponto, K. (2016). Fragebogen zum familiären und sprachlichen Hintergrund. Studies on Multilingualism in Language Education, 3. Hildesheim: Universität Hildesheim.
  • Kersten, K., Piske, T., Rohde, A., Steinlen, A. K., Weitz, M. & Couve de Murville, S. (2012). ELIAS grammar test II. Studies on Multilingualism in Language Education, 1. Hildesheim: Universität Hildesheim.