EUF meets AVS – A Digital Exchange about Bilingual Teaching

The M.Ed. course "Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)" at the European-University of Flensburg (EUF) teaches students the didactical and methodical foundations of bilingual teaching. Throughout the past years the university was able to set up a collaboration with the Auguste-Viktoria Schule (AVS) in Flensburg to offer students a chance to sit in on bilingual classes, which are compulsory in some courses at this school from grade 7 onwards. In times of COVID-19 this collaboration was realized by transferring the face-to-face exchange into an (by now) familiar online format.

During the digital session the students were able to follow a sequence of a 9th grade bilingual geography lesson, followed by interesting learner presentations, which were partly created during periods of distance teaching. Afterwards the CLIL students were able to ask questions directed at the teacher of the bilingual lesson, the head principal, and the learners themselves.

We were quite impressed by the motivation and performance of the learners during the lesson. What was most remarkable was the language ability of the entire class. This is best displayed by one learner’s comment in which she stated that she is already thinking in English most of the time during the lesson. Another learner adds to this in an amazingly self-confident way that it is already completely normal for her to speak English.

This interesting exchange showed us that the bilingual concept implemented at the AVS is well accepted among the learners and that through this concept they can envision possibilities and chances for their professional and personal future.

The CLIL students are grateful for the possibility of having gained some valuable insights into the practical implementation of bilingual teaching at a local school, despite the constraints that the COVID-19 pandemic has on their academic studies.

On behalf of the CLIL course,

Svenja Altrogge-Wolfromm

Jonna Frederike Kunde