The project Essen Integration Model is to do with the cultural assimilation and linguistic integration of emigrants from the former Soviet Union. Most of the children and juveniles of Russian-speaking origin possess very little or no knowledge of German when they arrive in the Federal Republic. These pupils who are used to German as a Foreign Language courses face increasing language difficulties when they join regular school classes already in progress. At this stage, it is not any more the language rather the knowledge of the subject matter which lies at the forefront of the aim-of-learning. However, at the same time, capability in technical language is relevant especially when the subject matter of the teaching is imparted through technical texts.
The comprehension of school subject-specific texts can be assessed more reliably when the pupils are given the chance to reflect on the texts in German as well as in their native language. As the next stage, we are anxious to know with which strategy of comprehension the difficulties in understanding which have come up amongst the pupils can be met. Here also the recourse to Russian makes sense, above all if there is as yet not enough cognitive basis in German to mould the learning process in one language. Leaving the school learning situations behind the fostering of bilingualism should also be of educational and socio-political concern.