The current activity of state and educational authorities in establishing procedures of German language assessment for bilinguals tends to reproduce and to strengthen lay views of bilingual competence. In this article, we are reminded of the specific character of bilingualism in general and, in particular, of the differences between the monolingual and the bilingual mode of speech. With regard to the latter, the construct validity of current models of language testing is questionable. The ultimate goal of analysing bilingual communicative ability should be upheld against the reductionism of monolingual competence level testing.
This article reports on the state of the art of the instruction of Turkish in German primary and secondary schools, both as a native language of Turkish immigrant children and as a foreign language. Following that, the phenomenon of a newly emerging contact variety of Turkish in Germany, and the consequences of this for the concept of the instruction of Turkish as a school language discussed.
The training of teachers of German in the Dutch Polytechnics is deeply in the crisis. In spite of positive perspectives on the labour market, the number of incoming students decreases all the time, and in the Netherlands this means that these teacher-training colleges slowly go bankrupt. Meanwhile, the financial need is so cutting that the necessary margins for personnel renewal and innovation have disappeared. In this article we try to show that the establishment of centres for professional development offers promising possibilities to secure the quality of the courses, to strengthen the cooperation with the schools and, finally, to put also the financing on a wider basis.
This article provides a sketch about the German language in comparison with other world languages. Originally outlined as a lecture, this overview of principal linguistic aspects is directed toward teacher students of German as a first or second language, as well as of German as a foreign language, and those students preparing themselves for bilingual teaching. The main goal is to raise the students’ language awareness in general and their individual approach toward other languages in specific. Topics dealt with include, among others, an overview about the study of languages, language history, multilingualism, and reflective practise in language learning.
In the current discussion concerning learner autonomy growing emphasis is placed on the role of language learning caching accompanying and supporting the learning process. However, the training situation of language learning coaches is still at an early stage, both in conceptual and organisational terms. Some considerations concerning the concept of a language learning coaching training module are presented in the following article. This concept should be flexible enough to allow it to be integrated into different courses, including the training of foreign language teachers.
Since fall 2001 a project group, coordinated by Rupprecht S. Baur, has been working on bilingual teaching and learning at the University of Saratow, Russia. The aim of this project is the development of a course that envisages the training of teachers for the bilingual teaching of geography based on the Germen language in Russian schools. This contribution tries to illustrate with two examples the attempt to develop a subject-oriented language course German as a Foreign Language as modules of a new study course.
Non-native German speakers who wish to start their tertiary level education in Germany can choose between two tests to demonstrate their language ability: the recently developed “Test of German as a Foreign Language” (TestDaF) and the “Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang” (DSH). One of several differences between the two tests is the grammar subtest of the DSH. The DSH-grammar subtest can be described as an indirect criterion-referenced test which tests the productive knowledge of grammar by means of contextualized transformation items. The culture of teacher-centred testing manifests itself in the case of the grammar test which is rather uncharacteristically employed as a progress or exit test. The construct of the grammar test has more to do with written rather than spoken language. Reading or writing subtests were significant predictor variables for the grammar test, but much of its variation could not be explained by the results of the other subtests. Dropping the grammar test from the SDH would therefore lead to some information being lost. It is, however, doubtful whether the additional information of the grammar test is needed for the decision on University admission.
A broad spectrum of theories dealing with the learning and teaching of foreign languages is currently under discussion, ranging from cognitive and constructivist approaches on the one hand to anthropological, sociolinguistic or sociocultural on the other. The theories are often based on very specific impact of differing images of man on the theory and practice of foreign language teaching and learning.