© A. Etges/Mercator-Institut

Effectiveness of language support

The Zurich Department of Education had set itself the goal of giving greater consideration to scientific findings when redesigning its educational planning processes. To this end it commissioned an expert report that would reveal the current state of research and would serve as a scientific basis for a strategy aimed at coordinated and consistent language support throughout all educational stages, from early childhood to primary and secondary education.

The expert report presents an analysis of international studies and provides an overview of those factors that have been empirically proven to contribute to effective language support. One factor for example is the need for language support to be embedded (Situierung) within lessons in a meaningful way: pupils should be able to recognize the point of an exercise and see what effect they can achieve as a result. There are also clear findings regarding the effectiveness of cooperative forms of learning: interacting with teachers or their peers, pupils learn to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and to formulate their intentions and goals in a way that is clear to the other person. Another important finding of the analysis is that anchoring language and literacy education and support in an institution’s educational concept and continuous development of the teaching staff are key prerequisites for effective language support.

The expert report was published in September 2013.

At a glance

Objective

An expert report was compiled on behalf of the Zurich Department of Education that would reveal the current state of research and would serve as a scientific basis for a strategy aimed at coordinated and consistent language support throughout all educational stages.

Contracting Authority

Zurich Department of Education

Partners

University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW)

Duration

November 2012 until April 2013

Project Team

Simone Jambor-Fahlen

Markus Linnemann

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