This is where you will find studies conducted by the Mercator Institute, publications on which Mercator Institute representatives have collaborated, and information material.

Studies conducted by the Mercator Institute

Newly arrived migrant children in the German school system. An analysis of the current situation and recommendations

This study provides for the first time a Germany-wide overview of the school situation faced by pupils who have recently arrived from abroad. It was ascertained how many school-age children and young people arrive from abroad in total, how school attendance is regulated by laws in Germany’s federal states, and how teaching for these young people is organized at the schools. The study analysed data from the Federal Statistical Office and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, as well as municipal data from the last few years up to the end of 2014, and conducted a survey of the education ministries of all 16 federal states.

Published by: 
The Mercator Institute for Literacy and Language Education and the Centre for Teacher Education at the University of Cologne

Mona Massumi, Nora von Dewitz
Johanna Grießbach, Henrike Terhart, Katarina Wagner, Kathrin Hippmann, Lale Altinay

With Michael Becker-Mrotzek and Hans-Joachim Roth

Date of publication: October 2015

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Language support and German as a second language at German schools: what role is played by teacher training?

The study explored how teachers at all types of schools and in all subjects are trained in the area of language support and German as a second language. To this end, the laws of the federal states and the regulations in place at the 70 teacher training universities were examined. In total, 107 state-level documents and 837 examination and study regulations were analysed, with personal feedback obtained from the federal states and universities. The results are intended to provide those responsible in the state-level ministries and at the universities themselves with a basis for discussion and planning so as to allow language support and German as a second language to be systematically made an integral part of teacher training.

Published by: Mercator-Institut für Sprachförderung und Deutsch als Zweitsprache

Authors: Barbara Baumann, Michael Becker-Mrotzek

Date of publication: February 2014

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The quality of language proficiency assessment methods at preschool level. An analysis and evaluation

Germany-wide, 21 different methods are used to assess the language proficiency of children in good time before they start school and, where applicable, to ensure they are provided with the necessary language support. On the basis of a previously developed set of criteria, the study evaluates the quality of these methods.

Published by: The Mercator Institute for Literacy and Language Education

Authors: Uwe Neugebauer, Michael Becker-Mrotzek

Date of publication: November 2013

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Quality criteria for language proficiency assessment methods at preschool level. An evaluation framework for language proficiency assessment in nursery schools

Germany’s federal and state governments have announced on a number of occasions, most recently in the 2012 National Action Plan on Integration, that uniform standards for language proficiency assessment methods will be developed. The Mercator Institute for Literacy and Language Education supports this goal and has therefore initiated an interdisciplinary Expert Commission that for the first time has drawn up academic quality criteria for language proficiency assessment methods at preschool level. From a psychological, pedagogical, language therapy and linguistic perspective, this evaluation framework defines the criteria that should be used in language proficiency assessment methods in order to identify a child’s language proficiency level in a way that is both comparable and academically sound.

Published by: The Mercator Institute for Literacy and Language Education

Authors: Michael Becker-Mrotzek, Konrad Ehlich, Iris Füssenich, Hartmut Günther, Marcus Hasselhorn, Michaela Hopf, Stefan Jeuk, Drorit Lemgyel, Uwe Neugebauer, Argyro Panagiotopoulou, Petra Stanat, Jürgen Wilbert

Date of publication: May 2013

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Further publications

School management handbook: teaching and learning how to read and write

How do children best learn to read and write? Which methods and corresponding tools are available to assess the individual learning level of each child? How can literacy education be systematically incorporated into lesson and school development processes? These questions are the subject of the handbook “Teaching and learning how to read and write” by Professor Michael Becker-Mrotzek, Professor Hartmut Günther and Simone Dambor-Fahlen. It provides an overview of different didactical and pedagogical ideas about how children learn to read and write, as well as of empirical findings relating to teaching and learning methods. In addition, it gives useful recommendations for school and lesson development.

Authors: Michael Becker-Mrotzek, Hartmut Günther, Simone Jambor-Fahlen

The handbook was published by Oldenbourg as part of its “School Management Handbook” series and costs 20.90 euros.

Publisher's website

Educational standards today: German in the sixth form

Defining educational standards: which skills and abilities should pupils have acquired in a particular class and a particular subject? What do the educational standards that were laid down by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) in 2012 for the subject of German at sixth form level mean in concrete terms when applied to actual teaching? Which innovative approaches do the educational standards contain and on which scientific foundations are they based? How can the educational standards be translated into (learning) exercises? This publication gives comprehensive answers to these questions. Each of the five chapters is supplemented by example exercises that were developed by teachers under the supervision of experts in teaching research.
In addition, the publication comes with a CD-ROM containing the example exercises, the relevant materials and extensive information about how to use these in the classroom.

Editors: Michael Becker-Mrotzek, Michael Kämper-van-den Boogart, Juliane Köster, Petra Stanat, Gabriele Gippner

Published in 2015 by Bildungshaus Schulbuchverlage (Diesterweg, Schroedel, Westermann)

Publisher's website


Brief profile

Brief profile of the objectives and activities of the Mercator Institute

Download in German

Project atlas – funded research and development projects

Between 2014 and 2017 the Mercator Institute funded 15 research and development projects at 26 universities all over Germany. The project atlas provides an overview of the objectives and contents of the individual projects.

Date of publication: October 2017

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The module “German as a second language” as part of the new teacher training in North Rhine-Westphalia

Proposal for the creation of a “German as a second language” module in North Rhine-Westphalia

Published by: Stiftung Mercator

Authors: Rupprecht Baur, Michael Becker-Mrotzek, Claudia Benholz, Christoph Chlosta, Ludger Hoffmann, Bernd Ralle, Agnieszka Salek-Schwartze, Bettina Seipp, Erkan Özdil

Date of publication: Mai 2009

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