Immersion and content-oriented language teaching

Didactic sequences and insertion into primary school’s curriculum
Project management

Laurent Gajo, UNIGE


Gabriela Steffen, Ivana Vuksanović, Audrey Freytag (UNIGE)

08.2016 - 12.2019
Didactics, Teaching

This project aims at documenting and discussing the conditions for implementing bilingual teaching at primary school level based on two main issues:

  • What are the specific didactic components for bilingual teaching in primary school, bearing in mind that the boundaries between subjects are flexible but that learning a first foreign language usually starts in HarmoS grade 5?
  • What is the minimum requirement in a bilingual education? Are we facing a quantitative problem (a certain amount of time spent in L2) or a qualitative issue (a specific vision of the curriculum)?
Purpose – Expected results

Interview with Gabriela Steffen

In terms of results, this project aims to produce two types of data:

  1. Research data: extracts and collection of phenomena and sequences illustrating different working methods between language and subject/content in various institutional and curriculum contexts. This type of data will promote a scientific debate through communications and publications in Switzerland as well as internationally.
  2. Data for educational material and teacher training:
    1. Didactic sequence models in the form of video clips with subtitles in combination with various teaching media (books, newspaper articles, diagrams, etc.) and possible pupils’ written productions.
    2. Model procedures to implement bilingual teaching into the curriculum (module, sequence, block, half day; integration into the language or the subject programme; language distribution among teachers etc.).

This type of data will provide input for reflection based on a wide choice and variety of actual practices. Presented in the form of a digital directory, it should be useful for teachers, their instructors and institutional executives. To access the sequences, click here and an interview with Gabriela Steffen can be found here.