In 2005 Thérèse Jeanneret (Associate Professor in Didactics of French as a Foreign Language) and Raphaël Baroni (Associate Professor in Didactics of French as a Foreign Language) founded the Research Group on Language Biographies (GReBL), which is linked to the School of French as a Foreign Language (University of Lausanne, Switzerland), and brings together many researchers both within the University of Lausanne and in other universities.
The members of the GReBL set themselves as a common subject for study language biographies in the broadest sense, i.e. the monolingual or interactional verbalization by a subject of various foreign or second language acquisition experiences. This allows the observation and analysis of subjective and social parameters involved in a personal learning trajectory. More precisely, circumstances, investment and learning chronologies are examined.
The language biography constitutes one of the tools of research on language acquisition, which is considered from multiple points of view. GReBL is mainly concerned with three domains of practice: research (applied and basic), education, and teaching related to language acquisition and representations of the subject, as they can be understood through the narrativisation of the acquisition. A triple goal underlies these domains of practice: first, to attain a better understanding of acquisition processes in a second or foreign language by learners, which also implies a consideration of the readjustment of identity; second, to observe the nature and functions of the discourses that formulate these acquisitions; finally, to develop didactic tools in order to exploit the reflexive aspect associated with the activity of formal biographical discourses.
Furthermore, the GReBL seizes the opportunity to capitalize on the particularly favourable field of investigation constituted by the School of French as a Foreign Language (EFLE), as a way of collecting data on various types of acquisition (interviews, monologues, diaries, forums, written documents, etc.)