The influence of foreign-language teaching methodologies on language learning in adult migrants in low-threshold language courses

Project management

Supervision: Thomas Studer

01.2012 - 12.2014
Competences, Didactics, Migration

There is little verified, i.e. empirically based knowledge about how second-language courses should be best designed to meet the specific needs of adult learners in low-threshold language courses. The aim of this project was to integrate didactic elements that are promising particularly for learners without a strong educational background into a course design (including course materials) suitable for daily use. In addition, the actual effects and results were compared with a course design that is currently widely used in the classroom.

The difference between the two teaching concepts can be summarized as follows: The concept of the intervention group (6 classes) focuses on the consistent use of chunks (fixed phrases) and fluency training. The concept of the control group (6 classes) does not prescribe the systematic use of these aspects; instead, targeted grammar lessons (with consciousness-raising phases) and vocabulary work with single words are the core elements, as determined by the textbooks.

Purpose – Expected results

The quasi-experimental study has yielded nuanced results: In oral language tests, the intervention group attained comparable results on the level of function and content, but achieved a greater increase in fluency than the control group. The control group, by contrast, tested better in the area of linguistic accuracy. In written language tests, no significant differences could be discerned, including in the area of accuracy. The interviews with the teachers indicated that the intervention concept was welcomed by learners without a strong educational background, but in part criticised by learners with an educational background as well as by individual teachers.

Audio files of the teaching material "Alltagsdialoge"

Download all audio files (.zip, ca. 12 MB)

Track #1 - Sich als neuen Nachbarn vorstellen

Track #2 - Einer Nachbarin im Treppenhaus begegnen

Track #3 - Einer Nachbarin Hilfe anbieten

Track #4 - Ein Möbel kaufen

Track #5 - Eine Wohnung suchen und mieten

Track #6 - Sich mit einem Freund verabreden

Track #7 - In der Apotheke ein Medikament kaufen