Mercator Institute for Language Training and German as a Second Language
A command of the German language is fundamental to a successful educational career in Germany. Many children, adolescents and young adults (not only those of migrant origin) require additional language training in order to be able to exploit their full potential. For this reason, educational institutions all over Germany need scientifically-sound tuition concepts, answers to research questions on language development and training, and staff qualified in language training. Satisfying these requirements is precisely the aim of the Mercator Institute for Language Training and German as a Second Language.
Structure and organization
Building on its experience in the field of language tuition, Stiftung Mercator has founded the Mercator Institute for Language Training and German as a Second Language at the University of Cologne. The Institute’s aim is to advise policy-makers and education managers on the best way to broaden high-quality language tuition in early child care and schools, to help Germany’s federal states increase the weight given to language tuition in teacher training programmes, and to promote and interlink nationwide research activities in this area.
Within these three core areas of focus,
1. language training and German as a second language will be firmly anchored in teacher training courses. To this end, the Institute will develop a support and advice programme for federal states wishing to adapt their teacher training to the requirements of linguistically heterogeneous classes.
2. research deficits in the area of language tuition and German as a second language will be eliminated by launching a support programme and generating incentives for the formation of networks.
3. personnel with skills in the area of “language training and German as a second language” will be trained in practical and theoretical teaching at schools and universities. To this end, programmes will be developed together with additional partners aimed at training university graduates and teaching staff.
In the long term, the programme aims to help ensure that pupils requiring additional language tuition obtain the help they need in the German education system. By providing qualified and scientifically-sound language tuition at schools, it is hoped that fewer pupils will slip through the educational net due to an insufficient command of German.