EU-Project "Multilingualism in Pre- and Elementary School"

Multilingualism in Pre- and Elementary School
EU-Project No 2001-0067/001-001 EDU MLCED

Overall Project Management Cornelia Nath, M.A.
Ostfriesische Landschaft
Regionalsprachliche Fachstelle / Plattdütskbüro
Postfach 1580
D - 26585 Aurich
Tel.: 0049-4941-1799-52/-58
Fax: 0049-4941-1799-70

Project Organization : Dipl. Päd. Elke Brückmann
Ostfriesische Landschaft
Tel.: 0049-4941-1799-53

Assistance in Scientific Issues :

Prof. Dr. Henning Wode, English Seminary of the Christian-Albrechts- University Kiel (


Main Topics

1. Development of curricula, frameworks and methods
1.1. for kindergarten and elementary schools
1.2. for the education and advanced training of educators and teachers

2. Development of resources and strategies for parent work and public relations

3. Development and publication of materials for classes and for education or advanced training, documentation


1. Development of Curricula, Frameworks and Teaching Methods

1.1. for Kindergarten and Elementary Schools

Having summed up the results of a preparatory project and gained knowledge from visits and seminars, we are now at a stage where we can assess and test the practicality of methods suitable to mastering a minority language in a multilingual environment.

Regional Activities:

- Becoming familiar with the regional or minority language and the associated culture, considering other present foreign languages and cultures (multicultural aspect of kindergarten and elementary school / Friulans)
- Testing methods of language teaching that combine language with music, dance, theatre, art, video technique, language games etc. (Friulans, Slovenians in Italy)
- Proficiency in mastering a language in bilingual kindergarten and schools by
a) working on the question: "equalization or differentiation in groups of children with heterogeneous linguistic conditions?",
b) elaborating contexts to support the learning of a language (Slovenians in Italy)
- Development of educational programs or curriculum frameworks whose contents and educational objectives are based on eachother (Slovenians in Italy, Saterfrisians)
- Testing methods for bilingual kindergarten (Slovenians in Austria)
- Testing methods for bilingual lessons in elementary schools (Eastfrisians)

1.2. for the Education and Advanced Training of Educators and Teachers

This issue is about preparing students for the multilingual work in kindergarten and elementary school during their education, including the regional and minority language. Currently practicing educators and teachers must get advanced training.

Regional Activities:
- Development of a design for a module about multilingualism that can be used universally in the training of educators and teachers (Westfrisians)
- Inventory of existing instructional and methodical material in the regions concerned (Westfrisians)
- Development of a curriculum for the training of educators and development of content modules for this curriculum (Eastfrisians)
- Development of a regional organizational and advanced training concept for multilingual kindergarten (Slovenians in Austria)
- Development of concepts for the advanced training of volunteers in kindergarten and elementary schools (Saterfrisians)


2. Development of Resources and Strategies for Parent Work and Public Relations

Attending bilingual kindergarten and schools or participating in classes with regional or minority languages is not obligatory, with the exception of Westfriesland. Therefore parents must be encouraged to send their children to an institution that offers an early education of those languages. The existing common arguments - published by the European Bureau of Minority Languages - usually are too extensive. Accordingly they cannot consider specific problems of the diverse language groups. Another question is: How can information and promotion meetings be created more appealing and effective with the support of modern media? Pamphlets and information brochures to take home back the rational decision making process. Additionally parents should be addressed on an emotional level in order to create a positive tone among them. Again that has a positive effect on the children learning the language.

Regional Activities:
- Information material for the parental participation and the presentation of parent-teacher conferences (Slovenians in Austria)
- Information material for public relations (videoclips, video tapes /Northfrisians and Slovenians in Austria)
- Development of a concept for information meetings for parents (Northfrisians)


3. Development and Publication of Materials for Classes and for Education or Advanced Training, Documentation

The results of the project are mainly addressed to teachers and instructors in kindergarten and elementary schools as well as to education and advanced training institutes for teachers and educators. Other important multipliers have to get informed about the results: parents, regional public, school and kindergarten administration, responsible politicians, ministerial bureaucracy.Therefore an impressive, clear way of documentation, supported by media, is very significant for the distribution of the results and for the long-term effect.

Besides the products mentioned in the issue "Parent Work and Public Relations", the following publications are planned:
- Material containing basic modules for the training of educators (Eastfrisians)
- Training material for voluntary assistants in kindergarten and elementary schools (Saterfrisians)
- Instruction Unit "history, culture and language of the Saterland" for lectures in Social Science (Saterfrisians)
- Folder with methodical and instructional materials for language teaching in bilingual or multilingual contexts in kindergarten (Slovenians in Italy)
- Interactive CD-Rom with games and instructions for kindergarten children enhancing bilinguality (Slovenians in Austria)
- Instructional papers for the bilingual work in kindergarten (Slovenians in Italy)
- Video with handbook for the documentation of the project activities that were realized together with the children (Slovenians in Italy)
- Development of a video, a book and photografic material for the documentation of project activities that were realized together with the children (Friulans)