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including hands-on report and interview with Swetlana Dominnik-Bindi, project manager for team teaching at the language service centre in the Network IQ Thuringia

Innovative language training through team teaching

Intensive exchange of specialist and language teachers enables participants to understand complicated language content

Starting position/challenge

In order to test the concept of team teaching, a needs analysis was carried out in the Network IQ Thuringia for existing job training schemes. It became clear that general teaching of language skills is not sufficient to make complex and specific subject matter comprehensible and applicable for the participants. For example, this includes the understanding of specialist texts or the preparation for examinations. Team teaching means the joint planning and execution of the lesson by specialist and language lecturers with greater methodological diversity.

Based on the determined needs, team teaching was piloted in the “MINT Bridge” project. In this job training scheme (implementing organisation: Knoten Weimar GmbH), academics are trained in the fields of project management, labour law, IT applications, application training, etc. Creating and conducting a joint lesson proved to be a major challenge for the specialist and GSL (German as a second language) lecturers. The cooperation made the work easier, but also led to necessary compromises regarding didactic habits.

Implementation

The team teaching concept can be applied flexibly to different subjects. The procedure includes the following steps: First, the lecturer for German as a second language (GSL lecturer) observes the class and then exchanges information with the subject lecturer in the team discussion. In the second step, the language lecturer assists in the subject by providing language simplifications to individual participants or small groups.

The third step involves the joint preparation of lessons and the subsequent team teaching, i.e. teaching the class together. The GSL lecturer uses the developed templates for teaching observation, team discussion and teaching assistance to plan, analyse and document every step in team teaching. Through the close interlacing of the language and subject-specific lesson, the participants can be offered a tailor-made German lesson.

Summary

In the project “MINT Bridge”, the linguistic skills of the 13 participants (starting on “good” language level of A2 to B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Language) were further developed in such a way that they were able to comprehend and process complex technical content. The concept of team teaching has proven itself: By the end of the course, everyone was able to demonstrate a German skill level of B2+ and are currently working on a C1 language course for “fast learners”.

After testing it in the IQ job training scheme “MINT Bridge”, the concept was transferred to the IQ job training project “Healthcare Job Training” in 2016. Currently, the team teaching concept is applied in both newly launched job training courses.

Addressees for transfer:

Facilities of adult education, which are active in the field of vocational qualifications and bridge training.

Concept “Team Teaching”:

For team teaching, specialist and GSL (German as a Second Language) lecturers work together in a job training scheme. In doing so, the lecturer takes over the primary teaching design and the GSL lecturer observes, analyses, advises and supports the teaching process. The interlinking and coordination of the professional and linguistic contents results in a language training with a high degree of practical relevance. Participants can be mentored and encouraged more directly, which is a great advantage, especially in heterogeneous groups with different language levels.

Project:

Language service centre

Implementing organisation:

Thüringer Volkshochschulverband e.V. (Thuringian Association of Adult Education)

Project contact:

Swetlana Dominnik-Bindi,Saalbahnhofstr. 27, 07743 Jena, Tel.: +49 (0)3641/53 423 22, swetlana.dominnik-bindi(at)vhs-th.de