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Frühenglisch in den 1. und 2. Klassen der Erwin-von-Witzleben-GS
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Erwin-von-Witzleben primary school offers English as a regular subject starting in grade 3. At the moment, the children in grades 1 and 2 have no opportunity to getting to know the English language and culture in a school context. The main aim of our project is to teach English to our first and second graders (about 140 pupils) integrated into their regular subjects such as maths, P.E., music, science or arts. Educational contents of these subjects should be extended or modified by small sequences taught in English. This should be ideally implemented by the class teachers, since they are more flexible in their timetable. This early English learning offers the opportunity to playfully getting to know the English language and culture, may reduce the children’s fear about foreign language learning and increases their motivation to learn a new language. This can be achieved through the playful approach including songs and rhymes within all school subjects. Three teachers, as well as one child care worker from our after school care center, are going to participate in a 2 week long English class that will improve their English skills and will serve the European aspect in terms of the use of eTwinning and OER. One of the teachers is a teacher of English, the other two are not English teachers; one of them has already taught English in class 4 to a small group of pupils. The child care worker accompanies some of the lessons during school time in the mornings. In this class the four participants have acquired the basics for early English teaching in grades 1 and 2: didactics and methods have been worked out in various examples; the use of teaching aids such as the interactive whiteboard has been tested. Through the classes and the communication with the European colleagues the participants received many new and important ideas and suggestions for their english language teaching - that was even more necessary for the English teacher among them. The class offered answers to several questions and solutions for problems of practising; situations in class could been acted out which enhances the Early English lessons. The subject-specific and subject-didactic qualifications of our teachers are without a doubt an essential precondition for the quality of lessons and teaching. Through meetings in and trips to the host country, a cultural exchange in the sense of the European perspective has been encouraged. The participants have not only learned English; furthermore they got to know the culture of the host country and have included those experiences in their lessons. The advanced trained teachers have communicated their newly acquired knowledge in teachers meetings to their colleagues. Additionally they planned and developped a concept of early English learning together with their co-workers. Thereby the help and support of the collegues was very important because a two-weeks-class in England is no substitution for the academic studies of teaching English as a foreign language. The participants haven`t achieved the (long-term) aim of implementing these early English classes for all pupils yet; but two of them have installed their concept into their classes and the child-care-worker gained another colleage with whom she offers an Early English course regularly once a week. By this means they give their pupils the opportunity to getting to know a foreign language in a fun and motivated setting and to discover the English language within their environment, so that they will successfully continue to learn English in their future. The long-term goal of this project is to improve the quality of the English lessons, to emphasise the European perspective as well as to meet the parents’ desire of preparing their children for an united Europe and the globalised world, in which the English language is the international means of communication.

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