DLL advanced training familiarises teachers with the following guidelines and didactic methodology:
Every lesson is based on the development of specific language skills. This means that lessons are planned backwards, starting with the skill(s) we wish to develop. These skills are formulated with the help of descriptive learning targets and “can-statements.” An emphasis on skills also means that we always assess whether or not students are able to practice the target skill within the time planned. Of course, as language teachers, we aren’t able to formally assess every skill necessary for language learning (e.g. soft skills such as social and communication skills), which is why in general we focus on formally assessing language-specific skills such as listening comprehension, speaking, etc.
Student-centered instruction means that we take into consideration the diverse backgrounds, interests, talents, and needs of our individual students when planning and teaching. This means, among other things, that many different kinds of materials and strategies are implemented, and that students are given a voice in the learning process to positively influence participation and motivation.
Student engagement is the principle that students who are actively involved with the subject matter are better able to learn. Engaged students participate by asking questions and making conclusions about course work, interacting with others, and discovering for themselves different language structures, patterns, and rules. Students are also encouraged to take leading roles in all aspects of the learning process, from procedural and logistical tasks, to teaching themselves. This keeps students focused and motivated, and helps them become more conscious of their own abilities and learning styles.
An emphasis on interaction means that learning activities offer students many opportunities to engage and cooperate with one another. As one example, students are often encouraged not just to share their own experience or viewpoint on a topic, but to react and build off of the contributions of others. Activities are designed to require interaction, such as in role-plays or conversations in which students report previously unknown information on someone else, come to an agreement, convince someone of something, etc.
Promoting autonomous learning means that we help students become conscious of and reflect on their own learning process. Decisions about instruction and lesson planning should, from the very beginning, be made with the intention of using the languages and experiences students bring with them, and of preparing them to learn other languages in the future.
Communication is always embedded in a culturally-influenced social context, and it is therefore important that students learn the ways in which language is influenced by culture. Students do this by comparing and contrasting German language and culture to their own, and ideally develop their own communicative skills and strategies for orienting themselves to the cultural realities of the German-speaking world.
Task-oriented learning is closely related to active learning, which is the principle that instruction should focus on concepts and topics relevant to the learner (i.e. students learn to communicate about things they experience in their everyday lives). Students should be confronted with real-life situations and problems, which they are able to talk about and solve in the target language. New vocabulary and grammar rules have a role to play, but it is not a central one (such as in isolated grammar exercises or vocabulary drills).
Many students of German have past experiences learning other languages. Teachers should build off these experiences to speed up the learning process, for example by teaching cognates or comparing structures in different languages.
Seit 2022 unterstützt uns bei der Weiterentwicklung und Qualitätssicherung des Fortbildungsprogramm ein Gremium, dass sich aus externen Vertreter*innen aus Wissenschaft und Praxis zusammensetzt. Mindestens einmal im Jahr kommt das Gremium mit dem Fachbereich zusammen und diskutiert aktuelle Fragestellungen und Trends der Fortbildungsdidaktik und inwiefern diese ihren Niederschlag in DLL finden sollten.
Wir bedanken uns herzlich bei allen Teilnehmenden des DLL-Gremiums.