In October 2014, I was offered a short term scientific mission grant through the COST New Speakers Network.
Thanks to this opportunity, I visited the Institute of Multilingualism at the University of Fribourg, where I was welcomed by Alexandre Duchêne and his research team.
During my stay at the Institute of Multilingualism, I was able to confront my research on bilingual schools in Madrid - in particular, selection processes in the transition to secondary education - with related studies in the context of Switzerland, thus furthering my knowledge in both ethnographic methodology and critical sociolinguistics.
One of the highlights of the visit was the chance to attend the PhD workshop on “Making sense of multimodal data in sociolinguistics” held by Ingrid de Saint-Georges, from the University of Luxemburg, whereby I learned new frameworks and units of data analysis.
The Scientific Mission to Fribourg proved highly significant for the development of my PhD topic.
Alexandre's constructive feedback on possible directions in my analysis facilitated engaging discussions on "New Speaker" profiles and language commodification in different sociolinguistic situations such as Spain and Switzerland.
Indeed, one cannot but feel inspired when there is a genuine sharing of diverse perspectives. The visit to Fribourg allowed me to look beyond the horizon and find what it is that motivates my research. I returned to my fieldwork with a fresh new outlook.