Germany - CLIL in Hessen

CLIL in Hessen, Germany

The ‘Staatliches Schulamt’ in the city of Kassel ( organised a two day meeting for teachers of content and language integrated subjects, May 1-2, 2006.

My contribution to the two days was only for the first day, but if the intensive first day and the enthusiasm of the teachers is anything to go by it will turn out to be a very fruitful event.


Alf, Hagen…

and Egbert get the ball rolling…

The day began with an open lesson on Genetics with 11th grade Biology students from the Friedrichsgymnasium  hosted by colleague Egbert Weisheit and observed by 20 teachers from around Hessen.
The students were hesitant to say the least, who wouldn’t be with so many teachers and a camera to film the event?  After the initial introduction they warmed up nicely to the occasion and I was pleasantly surprised with the way they performed in English dealing with the topic ‘How do we make use of our knowledge of the cell?’

The students were asked to consider the advantages and disadvantages of genetic Science for humankind in the form of a ‘post its’ debate and in which all of the students contributed to the discussion.
The lesson was followed with an open forum for the teachers to discuss the lesson.  Two of the students from the lesson stayed for this.  The lesson itself was a tool for focusing the teachers on the issue of integrating language and content for their work in schools in Hessen.  It’s an approach that the Staatliches Schulamt in Kassel has adopted and uses to great effect in its training services for teachers.

… colleagues discussing the lesson…

After lunch we moved to the Seminar building itself to look more closely at the issues related to integrating content and language.  Alf Gutenberg and Hagen Riedemann as well as Egbert in their roles as training providers were keen to see that the teachers were made to actively participate in the process of the workshops.
We looked at getting students to talk in the class. We asked 'What constitutes a good listening activity?'

Colleagues investigated reading tasks.

 … and we also looked at activating new vocabulary


Egbert brought along a large collection of resource and textbooks as well as CD materials for the colleagues to browse and in the computer room at the institute we gave colleagues the opportunity to browse websites where resources are available to download.  We also presented colleagues with the Science Across the World programme to whet their appetites for a follow-up workshop which Egbert will offer specifically on the programme of Science Across.
It’s worth pointing out that there is a ‘bilingual’ network for teachers in Hessen which colleagues might like to look into  There is also a mailing list on bilingual education for those interested, which functions in both English and German.  Alf and Hagen, and two other colleagues are talking about following up in other ways, namely materials design workshops for these teachers to get them to put into practice the skills that they are developing in these initial workshops.  The aim is also to fill the enormous gap in the market of materials provision for CLIL.  Teachers have to do it themselves!   The teachers were keen to join up to the factworld group and also inject some life into the CLIL Germany group as well.
I am looking forward to coming back to help out. On to Bulgaria!