Special Instruction for Children and Adolescents of Migrant Origin
Stiftung Mercator launched the Germany-wide extra-curricular “Special Instruction Project” in 2004 to eliminate language deficits at an early age and improve education opportunities for children and adolescents of migrant origin. The special instruction model, which has been evaluated as very effective, offers schoolchildren with a migrant origin free extra-curricular tutoring provided by (teaching degree) students.
Structure and Organization
Stiftung Mercator has provided ten million euros to fund the nationwide special instruction initiative which helps to improve young migrants' language and school subject skills. In addition to their regular lessons, these children receive free special instruction. The future teachers have the opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience with heterogeneous groups of pupils and to test teaching methods. They receive in-depth preparatory training for the tutoring in special lectures at their universities which focus on methodical and didactic concepts for teaching German as a second language as well as teaching support. The project is supported at each location by a university and further cooperation partners (e.g. town and city councils, associations, foundations, regional organizations).
Around 7,700 secondary school children are currently taking part in the programme and receive special instruction in small groups, provided by 1,300 students. The project is located in 11 German states and has 29 teaching sites. Its effectiveness was confirmed by an evaluation in 2009. Based on the special instruction programme, various models are currently being created, which focus on teacher training for “German as a second language” and language support provided by a range of public-sector education alliances.
The project aims to improve education opportunities for children and adolescents of migrant origin by providing special language and subject instruction and give future teachers valuable practical experience. To ensure the project's sustainability, various approaches are currently being tested to integrate language support into local education structures.