Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Leibniz-Gemeinschaft

The multilingual classroom - How much German does a Berlin schoolchild need?


A migration rate of almost one hundred percent is not uncommon in Wedding school classes. What does it mean for lessons if many pupils are not native German speakers and some learn German only after they have started school? This is highlighted in the book "Das mehrsprachige Klassenzimmer", published by Springer Verlag. The DEUTSCH 3.0 series dedicates an evening to this topic in the Französische Friedrichstadtkirche on Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt (Wednesday, 26 March 2014, 6.30 p.m.), organised by the Centre for General Linguistics (ZAS).

Why do Russians like to leave out all articles when they speak German? Why do Spaniards so often trip over our umlauts? And why can't an Arab do anything with the four cases of German in grammar? If you deal with foreign languages, it is easier to classify the problems of people from other countries when learning German. This is exactly what the event "The multilingual classroom - How much German does a Berlin schoolchild need? We will discuss the chances of multilingualism for children growing up here and the importance of valuing the "other" language.

The popular German-Turkish columnist Hatice Akyün, the Cologne professor Karl-Heinz Göttert ("Abschied von Mutter Sprache"), the Mannheim professor Rosemarie Tracy ("Das mehrsprachige Klassenzimmer") and the Berlin headmaster Michael Wüstenberg will also speak.
Hatice Akyün grew up in Duisburg and is at home in Turkish and German culture. Her column on everyday topics in the Berlin Tagesspiegel ends every week with a Turkish quotation from her father. She is committed to overcoming the balancing act between two identities.
Karl-Heinz Göttert points out that monolingualism is geographically and historically exotic. Most people in the world live in a multilingual context. The Germanist draws lessons from history for dealing with multilingualism in Germany.
Rosemarie Tracy represents the team of authors "Das mehrsprachige Klassenzimmer" and examines in her lecture the question of whether multilingualism is a stroke of luck or a disruption.
Michael Wüstenberg is headmaster at Lessing-Gymnasium-Berlin in Wedding, where 75 percent of the children are non-German speakers; language education is also part of everyday life at his school in promoting gifted students.
In the final Culture Slam, children and young people from different parts of Berlin present their multilingual identity. There are pupils from two ninth grades from Wedding, a nine-member German-Italian theatre group, a girl with a Polish mother and a Persian father and two pupils from Lessing-Gymnasium.

Then the baton of "Deutsch 3.0" will go to the next event at didacta. On Saturday, 29 March 2014, the topic "Promoting language in all subjects" will be discussed at Europe's largest education fair in Stuttgart (13:00). The Goethe-Institut, the Duden, the Institut für Deutsche Sprache and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft will be holding more than 25 events over the course of a year to encourage people to reflect on our language.

Background: "Deutsch 3.0" is a project of the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the Duden, the Institut für Deutsche Sprache, the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft as well as partners from society, science, culture, economy, education, media and art. Media partners are Deutschlandradio Kultur and ZDF Aspekte. In December 2014, the findings will be compiled at a major closing event in Berlin. The aim is to create perspectives for the future of the German language. Further information can be found at www.deutsch3punkt0.de.