© A. Etges/Mercator-Institut

Development of a vocabulary for the school

(realized as web-based application)

In Germany, some Länder – e.g. Bavaria, Berlin-Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and North Rhine-Westphalia – provide so-called key, minimum or basic vocabulary for the primary school. These vocabularies are used by teachers, inter alia, for German lessons to teach the children in particular, reading, writing and orthography. So far, no vocabulary has been provided to teachers of all subjects and a larger target group including educational institutions, publishers as well as scientists.

The aim of the project is to develop an annotated vocabulary that ought to be realized as web-based application. The data base ought to include approximately 5.000 real-live-based words, that are justified on the basis of linguistics and language teaching. Additional information (e.g. pronunciation, thematic fields, grammar, origin, orthography and frequency) will be assigned to each word in order to query results for the target groups’ questions.

The vocabulary ought to be a tool for teachers and educational institutions (e.g. further education, colleges, universities, childcare facilities) and help them supporting their students individually as well as planning and developing lessons. It will also support publishers in developing and providing appropriate educational school material as well as scientists in conducting scientific research.

At a glance


Development and provision of an annotated vocabulary, that is based on linguistics and language teaching and to which the target groups can relate their questions in order to gain founded vocabulary for the grades 1 to 10.


The Mercator Institute for Literacy and Language Education


Academic Advisory Council: 

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Günther
Prof. Dr. Jakob Ossner
Prof. Dr. Jörg Jost, University of Cologne
Dr. Tobias Thelen, Osnabrück University
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Pohl, University of Cologne
Prof. Dr. Torsten Steinhoff, University of Siegen

Funded by

Stiftung Mercator


May 2019 - December 2020

Project Management

Prof. Dr. Michael Becker-Mrotzek (responsible project manager)

Project Team

Rebekka Wanka (operational project manager and research associate)
Charlotte Stehr (scientific assistant)
Susana Mogollón Guarín (scientific assistant)