Deutsch diverse

Diversity and representation
in German teaching

For a discrimination-sensitive
approach in dealing with teaching materials


Eine Grafik mit einem Auge und einem Mund zusammen mit Sprechblasen © Goethe-Institut / EL BOUM

Introduction to the project

The Goethe-Institut, with German teachers around the world, faces the challenge that German language study materials (books, worksheets, tests) are often very traditional and stereotyped. They do not fully reflect the society that we are living in, but perpetuate harmful stereotypes and exclude marginalized groups of people.

Representation is relevant in the classroom: Who is shown in the pictures? Who is considered German? What is a “typisch Deutsch” person or family, who do they look like in the pictures? Do people feel represented in the books in terms of their background, gender, sexual orientation, or social class?

With this new project the Goethe-Institut in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK aims to make German teachers aware of biases in teaching materials and to raise awareness of diversity in the classroom.

The project aims
  • to raise awareness among German teachers and students in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK
  • to educate teachers to implement teaching methods that challenge discrimination
  • to create and collect teaching materials and tools that represent the diverse societies of the German speaking countries.


Three connected training events will be organized in the project, each with different focal points. All three aim to raise awareness about the diverse social and cultural contexts of language learning. The goal is that all the participating teachers see diversity as a key topic that they can continue working on critically and with self-reflection. The project wants to help make education systems more diverse and so that this work can go on in partnership with local educational stakeholders.


We appreciate your interest in the project and will be happy to answer your questions.

Project coordinator: Siina Sammalisto, Goethe-Institut Finnland,