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Language across the Curriculum

Report on a Working Group by Lilo Martens

Language across the curriculum is much more than lifelong learning. The name describes the underlying concept: language learning is viewed as the goal of all subjects and is not relegated solely to German class or remedial language courses. But how can content learning be combined with language learning? Using select examples, the introductory talk sensitized participants to the difficulties of both academic and disciplinary German and showed the methodological consequences for integrative language lessons. The subsequent discussion made clear how teachers in all subjects could support their students in the transition from colloquial language to academic language – a goal shared by all educational institutions.

Lilo Martens, a specialist in intercultural education and in language across the curriculum (LAC) at the Berlin Senate Department of Education, Science, and Research, gave a brief introduction to the LAC concept.

A number of examples were used to illustrate what is required for language learning in all subjects and what it requires of teachers: basic knowledge of the special linguistic characteristics of German and specifically of academic German, attention to multilingualism in the educational institutions in Germany as a country attracting a great many immigrants, a resource-oriented attitude toward learning, methodological expertise in integrating language learning and content learning, and, finally, a shift to a perspective that heightens language awareness.

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