CLIL 2013–2014

Das erste Schuljahr mit bilingualem Zug erfolgreich beendet
oder: Alles nur auf Deutsch zu lernen wäre langweilig


Seit letztem Schuljahr bietet das Obermenzinger Gymnasium, staatlich anerkannt mit wirtschaftswissenschaftlichem Profil und sprachlichem Zweig, einen bilingualen deutsch-englischen Zug an. Die erste 5. Klasse des bilingualen Zugs, bei der eine Auswahl von Fächern auf Englisch unterrichtet wurde, hat das Schuljahr erfolgreich beendet. Das neue Unterrichtskonzept wurde bei den Schülern sehr positiv angenommen und umgesetzt.
Das bilinguale Unterrichtskonzept am Obermenzinger Gymnasium basiert auf der Methodik CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) und wird vom Lehrstuhl für Englischdidaktik der Katholischen Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt begleitet. Dabei sind Elemente der Arbeitssprache, die für das jeweilige Sachthema wichtig sind, Teil des Unterrichts. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen haben ergeben, dass Sprach- und Sachunterricht gleichermaßen von dieser Methode profitieren.
Gemäß der CLIL Methodik wurden die 18 Schüler der 5b in den Fächern Natur und Technik, Erdkunde, Mathematik sowie Sport in diesem Jahr auf Englisch unterrichtet. Dabei stand den Schülern während des gesamten Schultags ein in den USA geborener und ausgebildeter Lehrer als pädagogischer Assistent zur Seite. Er bildete zusammen mit den Fachlehrern das unterrichtende Lehrerteam.
Das Fach Natur und Technik bietet sich für den zweisprachigen Unterricht an, da viele Fachausdrücke im Deutschen und Englischen ähnlich sind. Als Einstieg in das Fach Erdkunde erfolgte im Einklang mit dem Bayerischen Lehrplan für die 5. Klasse die Betrachtung des Planeten Erde unter der Überschrift "Planet Earth". Auch wenn Mathematik auf den ersten Blick sprachunabhängig erscheint, so bestätigte sich selbst in diesem Fach der Wert der bilingualen Ausbildung. Schon bei der Verwendung der Grundrechenarten bestehen kulturelle Unterschiede zwischen Deutschland und den USA. Somit findet nebenher auch interkulturelles Lernen statt.
Die Lehrer sind begeistert, wie schnell sich die Schüler diesem Konzept angepasst haben und erfolgreich damit lernen. Auch die Schüler sind vom bilingualem Zug überzeugt: "Alles nur auf Deutsch zu lernen wäre langweilig" - so ihr Credo. Auch wenn das Konzept zu Beginn etwas ungewohnt war, meint Lehrerin Edit Mate-Ritter, "im Dezember hat es plötzlich in den Köpfen unserer jungen Schüler Klick gemacht und alles lief seitdem wie von selbst."
Der Zug bietet Kindern aus bilingualen Grundschulen, englisch- oder zweisprachig aufwachsenden Kindern sowie Familien, die nach längerem Aufenthalt im englischsprachigen Ausland nach Deutschland zurückkehren, eine einzigartige Chance: den Weg zum bayerischen Abitur in einem bilingualen System. Englischsprachige Kinder erhalten einen Nachführungsunterricht im Fach Deutsch. Deutschkenntnisse sollten aber vorhanden sein.

Die Münchner Schulstiftung betreibt neben dem Obermenzinger Gymnasium und dem Privatgymnasium Dr. Florian Überreiter seit Jahren erfolgreich die bilinguale Jan-Amos-Comenius-Grundschule und das gleichnamige Kinderhaus.
Interessenten am bilingualen Zug des Obermenzinger Gymnasiums können unter der Telefonnummer 089 891244-0 einen Gesprächstermin vereinbaren. Für das Schuljahr 2014/15 sind noch Plätze in der 5. sowie 6. Klasse für bilinguale Schüler vorhanden.

 

The bilingual track at the Obermenzinger Gymnasium

The bilingual track of the Obermenzinger Gymnasium has now successfully completed its first year. In preparing for this exciting new program, we went through an intensive period of research into various approaches to teaching secondary school subjects in English in order to find an approach that would be both effective and a good match to our school profile. Ultimately we decided to begin teaching selected subjects according to CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) methodology.
CLIL refers to the teaching of subjects such as geography, history, maths and science through a second language, in this case English. The goal of CLIL instruction is twofold: one focus is the teaching of the specific subject content, and the other is the fostering and development of the second language. The aim of CLIL is not to turn the children into native speakers; rather, it is to create students who can use a second language in a variety of contexts not limited to the language classroom.
The implementation of our new bilingual track is being guided and supported by the Faculty of English Education of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. This year we taught the subjects geography, maths, Natur und Technik (natural sciences, technology and experiments) and physical education in English, thereby providing students with enough English input to enable them to continue their development in the second language. The students were accompanied throughout the school day by a US-American-born teacher as pedagogical assistant. He provided assistance and support as needed and also took part in team-teaching with the subject teachers during their lessons.
Our CLIL teachers have been and are attending seminars to get fully up to speed in CLIL methodology and are continuously working on improving their les­sons. With this in mind, we highly value the feedback of parents and students, and we react to it, sometimes making changes to our lessons and our instruction to better meet our students’ needs.
Parents had the opportunity to observe sample lessons of the bilingual track during our Open House Day in March, with all CLIL subject teachers and the English teacher cooperating on the topic “The Car Industry & Energy: A Cross-Curricular Lesson”. Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and visitors, the teachers and students did a great job. Although this was a special occasion, this kind of cooperation between subject teachers occurred regularly over the course of the school year.
Everyone involved in the bilingual project is looking forward to school year 2014/2015, when we will have a bilingual 5th and 6th grade. We are confident that we will be able to build upon this first year’s experiences to make the program even stronger as it continues to expand.

David Koch & Jeffrey Park

 

Teaching English

So there they were, our youngest pupils – most of them from the Jan-Amos-Comenius Elementary School of the Münchner Schulstiftung, but a few others from all over the world.
We were eyeing each other curiously. We teachers hardly knew what to expect from these, our very first group of bilingual learners. We soon found that, like all learners, they had both strengths and weaknesses. For example, while our new protégés clearly excelled at listening (assumed the case they did really want to listen) and reading, they lacked some skills in spelling or speaking with accuracy. We had to make a lot of adjustments, and still I was a bit sceptical.
Then all of a sudden – it must have been December – something just seemed to click in the minds of our 18, and everything fell into place and began to run incredibly smoothly. And not just that, our lessons picked up in speed, too. The students improved by leaps and bounds in their accuracy, their storytelling skills and their world knowledge. They began to demonstrate a huge potential and curiosity, and with an impressive capability and readiness to study. We covered topics like eco homes, mysterious creatures, the lives of children in the ancient Rome and Greece, components of a healthy diet, fairy tales and a tremendous variety of fiction. We have practised speed writing, writing a diary, describing a character, extending a narrative, and much more. In short, we have taken off!

Edit Máté-Ritter

 

Teaching Geography through English

In the geography lessons of the past year we dealt with four major topics: the planet Earth, the four main German topographic regions, rural areas and urban geography in Bavaria and Germany. After an initial introduction to geography in general, our first topic was "Planet Earth," in which we studied various phenomena of physical geography, e.g. the solar system or oceans and continents. Afterwards we looked at Germany’s four main topographic regions: the North German Plains, the Central German Uplands, the Alpine Foreland and the German Alps. For each region, we examined the underlying processes that led to its current form. We also studied the geographical processes related to coasts and glaciers.
When dealing with rural areas in Bavaria and Germany, we looked at different aspects of agriculture. In our last major topic, "Urban Geography in Bavaria and Germany," we examined the various geographical characteristics of a city and its structure.
Although the curriculum in grade 5 focuses on Bavaria and Germany, we always made sure to include examples of the same geographical processes from around the globe. The students were also introduced to basic geographical methods and techniques which they then applied to other practical examples.
Overall I was very happy with the performance of my students. They were a very critical audience and did not want to simply memorize facts, but rather to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying topics. That and the fact that they were always eager to learn and seemed to really enjoy geography made teaching the lessons a lot of fun for me.

David Koch

 

Teaching Mathematics through English

"Content" is the first word in CLIL. This is because the curricular content leads the language learning.
In a CLIL maths course, learners gain knowledge of the&xnbsp;mathematics curriculum while simultaneously learning and using the English language.
It is very helpful to think of "4Cs" of planning maths lessons:
1. Content—what is the maths topic (e.g. numeration, integers, plane geometry)?
2. Communication—what language will learners use to communicate during the lesson (e.g. the language of comparing and contrasting numbers, graphs, areas, etc.)?
3. Cognition—what thinking skills are demanded of learners (e.g. identifying, classifying, reasoning, generalising)?
4. Culture—is there a cultural focus in the lesson (e.g. how people from other countries perform calculations and the different symbols they use)?
One example of how culture played a role in maths class came when we examined the American way of multiplying and dividing, which can seem very confusing to someone used to the German method. And when we looked at the topic of probability, our Language Assistant, Mr Park, was able to use the NCAA college basketball tournament (with a billion dollar prize offered by Warren Buffett to anyone who was able to fill out a perfect bracket) as a real-life example.
With new methods, materials and the demands of teaching my subject for the first time in English, I found CLIL maths very challenging at first, but in the end I really enjoyed the lessons.

Christiane Pfuhl

 

Teaching “Natur und Technik” (natural sciences, technology and experiments) through English

In selecting specific courses to be taught in English, science is an obvious choice because so many of the scientific terms are similar to the German ones. The precise use of scientific phrases will improve pupils’ academic language skills. Biological topics also provide a variety of hands-on materials and all kinds of opportunities for visualization. In our Biology lessons we used real objects, models, figures, video clips, computer animations and experiments. I am glad we were able to increase the sphere of ideas concerning the great potential of worldwide teaching resources and available documentation about nature.
It was very exciting to teach in such a student-focused way, with students doing more talking than the teacher. Naturally, teachers need to provide materials and opportunities for interaction, such as pair work, presenting posters and peer teaching. In this first year it took me many hours to search for and create suitable materials, but I am convinced of the advantage of student-centered activities, and I observed my students having a lot of fun in the classroom and succeeding at their tasks.
CLIL methodology enables inner differentiation by chunking at different levels and by using computer programs to learn at an individual pace. Working successfully leads to increased self-confidence. Frequent repetition, rich in variety (e. g. by puzzles and games), consolidates knowledge in a motivating way. Various games and websites really captured the students’ interest. Often they asked me for the internet address in order to have a second look at it or play it again at home. The kids also showed their own engagement by bringing pictures, books and video clips to lessons.
Learning content through a foreign language takes time. Nevertheless, through weekly meetings and cross-curricular collaboration, teachers of different subjects were able to manage any potential conflicts between the curriculum and CLIL methodology. I am looking forward with great enthusiasm to carrying on with and improving the bilingual track in our school.

Christiane Rehm

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