Skip to main content Skip to home page

Archives All Issues since 1992

In the archive you will find all contributions that have appeared on the online platform since 2010. Also accessible are the annual bulletins that the association Leseforum Schweiz had published in printed form from 1992 to 2006.

Previous Next Previous Next

Language-aware subject teaching

Language plays a major role in learning, both as a subject of study and a vehicle for learning. On the one hand, in subject teaching, pupils learn new concepts in that subject which are denoted and discussed using specific terminology and expressions; on the other hand, these concepts are also described and explaining by means of language. In order to achieve cohesion in horizontal and also in vertical language education, everyone involved should pay attention to language, especially language teachers and teachers of the different subjects. The current issue of is dedicated to this topic. More

  • Focus Article |  from science Reading comprehension processes in language-sensitive teaching from Sabine Stephany

    Texts are a central medium in (subject) teaching at school. Understanding texts and tasks is essential for learning subject content in any lesson. Factual and technical texts frequently present difficulties for students dealing with their complex, specific demands and these difficulties are often considered a consequence of dealing with features of educational language. Attempts have therefore been made to simplify the surface linguistic features in factual and input texts for tasks. However, these studies revealed minimal to no effect on text comprehension.

    In text comprehension, it is above all the interdependence between linguistic structures in texts on one hand and cognitive processes in reading on the other hand which must be taken into account. This article will make clear that the various cognitive levels involved in text comprehension must interact with the "text on paper" in order to arrive at a "text in the head" (Nussbaumer, 1991).

    On the side of the text, the focus here is primarily on text coherence while on the side of the readers, the focus is on individual reading-related skills and abilities.

    It is worth examining the comprehension of factual and specialised texts in detail so as to deal with texts in language-sensitive subject teaching as only then can we understand what obstacles are present and what support is possible.

    Read the article in PDF (DE)
    Detail page of the article
  • Focus Article |  from science Reading strategies to support text comprehension in language-aware Biology classrooms
    Empirical insights from the learners' perspective from Fabiana Karstens, Anke Schmitz

    When subject and language learning are linked in language-aware subject teaching, language education is at the service of subject learning (section 1). To support text comprehension in Biology classes, learners should acquire (meta-)cognitive knowledge of reading strategies, as well as practising reading strategies and using them regularly (section 2). What remains largely unknown, however, is the role reading strategies actually play in Biology lessons from the learners' perspective (section 3). To answer this question, fifth grade learners at German secondary schools were interviewed about their Biology lessons (section 4). The results show that reading strategies are used fairly infrequently and that teachers tend to teach these implicitly rather than explicitly. It is also revealing that domain-specific reading comprehension and the degree of learner familiarity with reading strategies influence classroom perceptions of the teaching and use of reading strategies, and that metacognitive strategies are employed largely to check comprehension of subject matter (section 5). We discuss how findings from the learners' perspective relate to strategy recommendations for science teaching (section 6) and to what extent research on reading strategies (in subject-specific pedagogy) could be developed further (section 7).

    Read the article in PDF (DE)
    Detail page of the article
  • Focus Article |  from science Language-aware science teaching
    Implementation in "Nature, Man, Society (‘NMG’)" and "Nature and Technology" (‘NT’) from Susanne Metzger

    Scientific phenomena and practical scientific work can be accessed without language, but at the same time the two areas also offer a range of opportunities for speaking. For this reason they provide a good opportunity to acquire further linguistic competencies, especially for students with weaker language skills. Furthermore, the role played by language in the learning of scientific and technical concepts should not be underestimated. On one hand, students should increasingly use technical language as they progress through school. On the other hand, the concepts of scientific and technical phenomena which children and adolescents bring to NMG or NT lessons are shaped not only by their own experiences but also by everyday language, a language which is not always compatible with technical language.

    To begin with, the article presents in section 1 the fundamentals of language support in science lessons, considering also basic competencies, Curriculum 21 and the role of teachers. Next, section 2 examines everyday and technical language as well as technical terms and forms of representation in science teaching. Section 3 then focuses on the role of language in practical science work. This is followed by a discussion of the promotion of language in science teaching materials, which also includes concrete examples of how these can be implemented. The article closes with a fifth section which offers a conclusion on linking subject and language learning.

    Read the article in PDF (DE)
    Detail page of the article
  • Focus Article |  from practice Promoting language competence in all subject areas as the key to success at school
    School-based training on language-aware subject teaching from Claudia Neugebauer

    Curriculum 21 lists the promotion of school language competencies as something all subject areas must address. This article reports on a further education offering for schools considering how this re-quirement can be implemented.
    The school-based further education offering presented was developed by Zurich University of Teacher Education in cooperation with the FHNW School of Education. It is available to schools as part of QUIMS-component C, "Assessment and support with a focus on language", from 2019 to 2026.
    This article explains how the school-based further education offering was co-designed as a joint initia-tive by external experts and representatives of the individual school. This is complemented by a dis-cussion of
    aspects of language-aware subject teaching. In addition, the article shows how teachers work on the
    quality of their pedagogical and methodological activities within the scope of school-based further ed-ucation. Concrete examples are drawn from kindergarten and primary teaching in the subject ‘NMG’ ("Nature, Man, Society").

    Read the article in PDF (DE)
    Detail page of the article
  • Other article |  from science The Iliad and the "detour" of the ancient Greek epic: Reading experiences at school from Chiara Bemporad, Antje-Marianne Kolde, Carlamaria Lucci

    This article analyses statements made by teachers from French-speaking Switzerland who participated in the 2019 public reading of The Iliad held in many venues as part of the European Festival of Greek and Latin. As we will see, these teachers prepared two groups of students for the performance that the public reading represents by means of teaching scenarios which call on the notion of the "detour across other languages and cultures". This will therefore be the focus of this paper, which is divided into four sections. The first describes the research context; the second draws on the literature to define the notion of the ‘detour’; the third analyses the teacher interviews where the teaching scenarios are described; and the last section offers a concluding discussion of the notion of the ‘detour’ in the light of the data analysed, and identifies four typologies: detours across culture, across linguistic forms, across text structure and across the performative dimension.

    Read the article in PDF (FR)
    Detail page of the article
en haut