© CC Stig NygaardWhat is a bilingual music module?

First of all, a common theme should be chosen for German or English teaching in the module. This can result in the inclusion of additional teaching subjects.

The core of our bilingual module is formed by two songs, Nina Simones “Ain't got no, I got life” (in original jazz) and “Freiheit” by “Söhne Mannheims” (pop-rock). In terms of content, both songs are about freedom, servitude, freedom movements. In our module, we have restricted ourselves to this theme so as not to exceed the scope of a module. It is left to the teachers to place the module in a broader context. The two teachers (Elhame Bernard for English and Sterenn Le Berre for German) have envisaged incorporation into the theme “Dein Europa — Yourope”, the second part of which deals with Europe's values “Unis dans la diversité, Unity in diversity, in Vielfalt geeint.”

These values also include freedom.

© CC Stig Nygaard

The treatment of music, (song) lyrics and video should be as interlinked as possible in the two languages, so that the students can become aware of differences and common factors in the two languages.

The interaction of the two linguistic subjects can take a variety of forms and can also progress during the cooperation between the corresponding teachers. A first step involves working on the same content, word fields and structures, and being aware that the respective language does not stand in insolation but rather interacts with the other in the minds of the students. Ideally, both teachers should work in team teaching and open instruction.

The lyrics of “Ain't got no, I got” and “Freiheit” offer vocabulary in sensible contexts. As vocabulary has to be repeated several times — and also in a context-related and varied manner — in order to be retained (during the introduction, in short-term repetition as well as once more in the longer term), the bilingual classes offer us an ideal framework within which to repeat the German vocabulary by leading on from the English or vice versa. The sequence is of no importance here.

A further opportunity for combining the music of two language communities is deepening the themes. Firstly, the treatment of a common theme is directly related to the repetition of vocabulary in sensible contexts, while at the same time offering a comparison of national cultures, intercultural understanding and experience.

On the level of learning strategies and metacognition, students can benefit from double experience. Both teaching subjects or, better still, team-teaching provide them with knowledge of methods of understanding through hearing, understanding through hearing and seeing with music videos, understanding song lyrics, song-writing methods etc.

    © public domain

    The aims for the students

    What are the learning aims for the students?More ...

    The aims for language teachers

    What are the professional development aims for the language teachers?More ...