Principles of Language Survey


Sunday, 09. February 2025


Sunday, 09. March 2025

Surveys are often needed to assess the status of a language for those who speak it. This could be to help determine if a language development program might be started and its scope, to help a community assess status and progress during the course of a program, or survey might be conducted well after the program has ended.

Principles of Language Survey is a course designed to help students develop an understanding of the principles that lie behind language surveys.

By the end of this course students will be able to describe the linguistic and sociolinguistic criteria that can be used to identify languages and dialects and to determine the extensibility of existing literature in multilingual situations. They will be able to explain the methods used in language surveys to discover ethnolinguistic identity, assess language vitality, determine linguistic similarity, measure inherent intelligibility, evaluate bilingual proficiency, and describe language attitudes and patterns of language use. They will be able to select the type of survey most relevant for a given situation and to relate the requirements of survey to the methods and sampling techniques appropriate for that survey. They will be able to read and evaluate language survey reports. They will be able to conduct secondary research and to develop the proposal and initial plan for a language survey. They will be able to explain how survey fits into the larger picture of language assessment and which role ongoing assessment plays.

This course assumes that the student has already been introduced to basic sociolinguistic concepts (such as in a course like Language and Society). The course focuses on principles rather than the details of methodology. It assumes that students who go on to conduct language surveys will receive further training in methodology as part of an on-field internship.

It is according to SIL Language Assessment Training

Dr. Angela Kluge
For more details about this course contact Dr. Angela Kluge (

Room and full board

  • will be announced in November/December 2024

Tuition fees

Tuition fees: 400,- €

IBAN: DE 10 3506 0190 1013 440014

Note: Course Principles of Language Survey

Please contact Dr. Angela Kluge (