Germany - Four days of CLIL training in Thuringia

Thuringia teacher training institute - In-service course on CLIL
Feb 2012

The Thuringian state government has introduced legislation which makes it compulsory for Technical Vocational Schools and Grammar Schools in the state of Thuringia to offer some form of bilingual education (50 lessons in a school year). This applies to the current year 7 students, for when they reach year 9.

Colleagues inform me that the composition of these 50 lessons is at the discretion of the schools where there may be a 25 - 25 split between year 9 and 10, or 30 - 20.

I had a lovely stroll from my hotel to the centre

Sleepy Bad Berka    

Rest and recuperation is it's logo

We'd negotiated a collection of language and skills focused tasks    

... and it turned out to be a good idea as many of the teachers were unsure where to start

You can see lots of problems and challenges in the feedback postits below    

We looked at subject - specific terminology
If there is no bilingual teacher, two teachers (one English, the other Subject) are expected to collaborate and the English teacher delivers the content lesson in English with the subject teacher's support.
Another aspect of this project is that the law insists that the bilingual teaching take place in year 9 and 10, but that the students return to German in year 11 and 12.
Maths isn't allowed to be taught through English as a foreign language, not is any examined subject.
(NB - if any of the above is inaccurate, let me know and it will be changed asap!)

I try my best to learn names (thanks for your help!)

Anka Fehling of Thillm gets us started    

The technical school teachers was a large group and very diverse

    I presented ideas about organizing subject-specific vocabulary into 'unit maps' like this one with all the core vocabulary and with common academic language embedded within the tree.

We discussed 'scaffolding' listening and watching and so colleagues looked at animation, like this one on secondary economic activity from, and then considered how to produce frames and tasks based on the animation.     

    I summarised reading task types moving from word level through to reading outside the classroom and reading for research.
Technical Vocational School Teachers from around Thuringia

    We also looked at cross-curricular academic language, what it is, how to find it, and what to do with it. I used a lot of examples from the Your CLIL section of onestopenglish. My message was 'use the lists as examples, give two or three for your students to base their output on'.

... and we produced substitution tables like this to support writing ...    

     I always refer to this wonderful website for producing concept maps - Cmap (incidentally, if you register you get access to the thousands of maps on the site, and you can play around with embedding multiple languages into your maps.)

... in supporting students giving presentations in class, we looked at how to make handouts where the cross-curricular language is embedded within slideshow templates.    

    and the teachers got up, walked around and talked to each other and then we discussed creating information searches for their own subject areas. There is a nice planets info search on the onestopenglish site.

There were a lot of challenges...

and a lot of pluses

    The second group was a group of bilingual grammar school teachers.

Different perspective


    Their problems and challenges were very similar to those from the technical school teachers' group.

In short, they feel that their is little support to the bilingual project in Thuringia, they don't have books, they don't have language, nor do their students, the government isn't investing in on-going training and where there is only one teacher in a school who can do it, they are expected to get on and do it.
Quite a challenging situation. I was told that the current year 7 students will be expected to go bilingual in year 9. So, we wait and see what happens in 2013-2014 in Thuringia!