Expansion of the method curiculum in the DaF classes this school year: 5 classes in the differentiation groups become 4 separate and 1 common class, called: "Supervision class".
by Bianca Bachmann
Since this school year, the differentiation groups of German Language learners, which are subdivided from the international section into the language levels Beginner to C1, learn together once a week in the so-called "supervision hours". The DaF (German as a Foreign Language) teachers have taken advantage of this to establish the principle of tandem learning, which is gaining more and more attention in Germany. In the sixth grade, tandem reading was introduced for the supervision lesson, which proceeds as follows: A student from the Beginner group works together with a student from the A1 group and each week a new chapter of the book "Anna likes animals" is worked on. The partners are regularly swapped so that new impulses and thus a higher learning performance can be achieved. The partners agree on who will take on the role of the athlete first and who will take on the role of the trainer. Depending on which part is taken, there are different tasks and responsibilities that must be observed. The coach starts the countdown and on 1-2-3 both start reading at the same time - the coach in a whisper and the athlete clearly audible, with the coach constantly adjusting the tempo to the athlete by running his index finger under the words. If one of the two falters, there is a chance to improve oneself, otherwise the partner is asked for help. With this, the entire sentence is read again from the beginning. After the text has been read twice in this way, the roles are exchanged and the process starts again from the beginning.
This method is intended to train the children's reading fluency and speed in addition to a high proportion of social learning, which is necessary in order to crack the so-called word codes more quickly and fluently when reading German texts and thus to be able to grasp the content of texts more quickly.
In this first attempt of tandem reading, a big praise goes to class 6, which masters the tasks week after week with a high degree of discipline, motivation, enthusiasm and mutual support!
As we continue to work intensively on the methods curriculum for the beginner, remedial, and mainstream courses, we can expect more work in the future in terms of tandem learning. Likewise, the entire DaF Department has been working hard in the past to improve the DaF curriculum. We want to enable the DaF learners to catch up on learning deficits as quickly as possible in order to find a connection to the "main course" of the respective grade. To achieve this, we have significantly reduced the work with textbooks, written a new curriculum, and are now working more with materials specifically geared to the respective learning deficits in order to be able to support the learners in a differentiated manner and to place authentic communication in the foreground. Focused vocabulary work via learner-managed databases and instruction geared toward immersive and active communication are other examples. Possible participation of DaF learners in some German Section lessons is also planned for next semester - we are excited! 😊