The article refers to a new agreement of the Permanent Conference of the Ministers of Education in the Federal Republic of Germany concerning the improvement of teaching and learning foreign languages in school in order to prepare young people for their lives in a multilingual Europe. In Germany some steps to multilingualism have already been taken, such as one compulsory foreign language for all pupils; possibility to choose two or three foreign languages in some types of secondary schools; programs of heritage languages for children of migrants; language teaching in primary schools and teaching languages through non-linguistic subjects. But there remains a lot to do, because too many pupils study only one modern foreign language. The article discusses how to improve organisational, pedagogical and psychological conditions in order to motivate more pupils and their parents to dare the adventure of multilingualism.
"Bilinguale Grundschulen“ in the understanding of this article are primary schools, which are attended by pupils from two different language communities, in which teaching and learning takes place in two languages and in which the teaching staff consists of native speakers of either language.
Six typical representatives of this type of school are dealt with; the Europa-Schule Berlin; the Vienna Bilingual Schools; the German-French School in Freiburg; the Danish-German School in Kopenhagen; the German-Italian School in Wolfsburg; the Slovenian-Hungarian Schools in Slovenia.
The reasons for their foundation are explained, and their organisation and objectives are delineated.
The central part of the paper gives a detailed description of one of these institutions, the Europa-Schule Berlin, and deals with its history, its pupils and teachers, its methodology and the research programme concerned with its evaluation. Five examples are quoted in order to show typical features of teaching methods at bilingual primary schools. Finally three unsolved problems are discussed: the supply of qualified teachers; continuity; the definition of the level of proficiency to be attained in both languages.
The article describes an empirical study that aims at examining the interaction of learning strategies and interests in text comprehension processes, particularly in the field of institutional foreign language learning. This essay focuses on one particular part of the rather complex triangulated research design: it shows the theoretical grounds on which two questionnaires were developed in order to elicit readers’ learning strategies and interests. First preliminary results are given.
The question, which kind of English should serve as a teaching model for non-native learners, has been hotly debated throughout the history of teaching English as a foreign/second language. Due to the development of regional standards and of “new” Englishes world-wide, there is no longer a single kind of English which can take on the role of a generally valid model. With reference to the concept of language awareness, especially its cognitive, social and affective dimensions, the paper addresses the following issues: what kind of standard(s) should EFL teaching be based upon, and to what extend can or should rules be “enforced”? As far as the non-native teacher is concerned, the question arises as to whether s/he should strive for native speaker competence, or accept the more realistic role of a life-long learner of English, which he shares with his students.
This article is concerned with the theory and practice of learner autonomy in the foreign language classroom. It begins with a working definition of learner autonomy and a warning against the dangers of fossilization and trivialization. It then proposes that autonomy is not only the goal of developmental learning but one of its determining characteristics, and explores the implications of this argument for second language pedagogy. The article concludes by describing the essential elements of a foreign language pedagogy designed to foster the development of learner autonomy.
The analysis of L2-compounds demands from the learner a multitude of mental activities due to their complex morphosyntactic and semantic properties. Apart from the determination of the semantic relation between the two parts of a compound (e.g. café filter), a German learner has to consider the morphosyntactic properties of French compounds which differ from German compounds in several aspects. The intention of the investigation presented here was to compound unknown to him. Another aim was to get information about the linguistic and conceptual knowledge a learner activates during the analysis of an L2-compound.
The paper explores the relationship between on the one hand learners’ conceptions of the task of foreign language learning and of themselves as language learners (jointly referred to here as their language learning awareness) and on the other hand various types of reflective problem-solving strategies they use when trying to produce the target language (conscious strategizing which can be summarized by the term language using awareness). It refers to a longitudinal case study of a small group of experienced and successful Anglophone learners who start to learn German at university. The data presented is based on the learners’ introspective reports which they give in a series of semi-structured interviews and think-aloud protocols relating to their performances in a series of oral and writing tasks. It shows evidence to suggest that some learners adopt their own preferred agenda for their learning which is associated with their conceptions of themselves as language learners and which influences the strategies they use to overcome lexical problems in target language production tasks.