What impact do the languages you speak have on your health and wellbeing? Social-science researchers at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) in Switzerland seek answers to this question and are looking for people to interview who live in French-speaking Switzerland and do not speak French as a native language.
Social connection is fundamental for health and well-being. There is a wealth of information about the impacts of social connection on many aspects of health, however, until now, most of this research has focused on people who grew up speaking the local language.
French-speaking Switzerland, where around 20% of the population communicate mainly in a language other than French, is a perfect place for this research. Recent data show that nearly 17% of Geneva’s residents don’t include French as one of their principle languages. The same figure in Vaud is 11% and in Neuchâtel it is 7%.
Non-native speakers connect in a variety of languages and people who have migrated from elsewhere maintain connections in multiple locations and develop new connections in their place of residence. This has important impacts on their communication methods, especially in relation to their health.
Researchers at the Lausanne University Hospital are currently conducting exploratory research into the ways in which non-native French speakers in French-speaking Switzerland connect and how their behaviour might affect their health. The research is focused on those who are retired from the paid workforce. Results of the research will be used to develop recommendations for health professionals, community groups and individuals for promoting beneficial connections and communication about health.
Recruitment for this research is currently underway. Participation involves an interview about a person’s social connections, the ways in which they keep in contact with their connections and the ways in which they communicate about their health. Interviews usually take between 60 – 90 minutes and are conducted at a time and place that is convenient for the participant. All data is anonymised.
Laura Jones, the principal investigator for this research would like to hear from anyone who is:
- over 70 years of age, and;
- non-native French speaker (irrespective of level of French)
- able to discuss their social connections in English, German or French, and;
- retired from the paid work-force
If you would like to be involved in this important research please contact Laura by email: email@example.com or by phone at 079 556 51 57.