Germany - Exploring the Solar System in Tuebingen

Exporing the Solar System Germany, Part II
May 14th 2004, Content and Language Workshop, Tuebingen

16 teachers came together in the Pedagogy Seminar of Tuebingen for a day’s workshop on content and language integrated learning.
The programme included Project Work – here the teachers were presented with the Science Across the World ( programme of exchange projects, and Networking and professional development – teachers visited useful websites for resources. The teachers also joined up to the FACTWorld network of teachers (


There is already a good number of teachers in the region working through the medium of English and it was a pleasure to work with colleagues enthusiastic to join up to networks available and begin to share the good work they are doing with colleagues around the world. Katja Krey, the coordinator for CLIL in the region at the institute has suggested future initiatives and these include the possibility of repeat workshops for the teachers focussing on materials development, as well as making contacts with colleagues in other German states also working in CLIL. This will go some way to developing common curricula and standards in CLIL teaching and training.

It was also a treat to be in the beautiful university town of Tuebingen!

17 – 19th May – Staatliche Akademie fuer Lehrerfortbildung, Realschule, Donaueschingen

The British Council Germany exhibition Exploring the Solar System landed in Baden Wurtenburg, in Donaueschingen, where it was hosted in the local Realschule for three days.

Alongside the exhibition the Akademie for teacher training organised workshops for teachers and students based on the space theme. The children aged 13-15 came from the Hector Seminar initiatives for ‘gifted and talented’ children (


Dr Dieter Hausamann, from the German Aerospace Centre and the School_Lab project ( brought his Asuro robot for the children to build over the course of a day. At the same time a group worked with me on the British Council robot kits from Middlesex University ( and we built and launched rockets. Georg and Matthias, the teachers from the Hector Seminar built a simple instrument for measuring the height of the flight of the rockets and added an extra aspect to the activity.    


Finally, the students presented their constructions and observations in English to the whole group. It was admirable how they managed not only with the technical side of the workshop but also functioning and communicating in a foreign language in a group with adults, and teachers at that!


Coincidentally there was a workshop for 30 geography teachers who work through the medium of English with a regional coordinator for Geography education through English, Herr Weil. I was invited to talk to the group and they were very interested in getting involved in Science Across the World exchange projects ( and signing up to the FACTWorld network of teachers (

Visitors to the exhibition were excited about the chance of winning a trip to London and a visit to the National Science Museum and over 250 people came along. Many thanks to Henning Seifart of the Akademie for organising the event locally and providing us with 3 days of wonderful sunshine! These two events as well as the interest of Herr Weil and Katja Krey will lead to further development in integrating content and language in Baden-Wuertemberg, Germany.


It’s astonishing how many teachers are involved in foreign language content teaching in Germany and yet how each State works very independently from the others. Initiatives like these which bring teachers, and trainers together from different German contexts is a natural step for colleagues here looking to agree common standards, discuss common problems and share materials.    
I look forward to coming back to Baden-Wuerttemberg and being involved in the process.