The workshop deals with the production of multilingual multimedia educational materials. The target group for the material to be produced are people who want to improve their German from a level of independent language use in order to be able to work in Germany. Anyone who speaks German as their mother tongue and has good office skills can take part in the workshop. Those who want to participate as immigrants with German as a foreign language must be able to prove at least the DaF level C1. Participation is free of charge for all active authors of the ZUM platform.
However, Konrad Rennert’s offer is not only aimed at the authors of the “ZUM Deutsch Lernen” platform, but also at people who would like to help others acquire German as a foreign language.
Promoting language competence through informal learning
We acquire the highest and most sustainable language competence through informal learning. From our earliest childhood, we learn our mother tongue in passing. Very few parents are Germanists or language teachers, and yet we master the mother tongue they pass on to us better than all the other languages that are later taught to us by trained professionals.
Informal learning happens casually and without a predefined teaching or learning plan for the language. All people who teach in their own mother tongue to people with other mother tongues are automatically language teachers in the sense of informal education. This does not require a state examination, but social intelligence and empathy for the people concerned.
When refugees from Ukraine or conscientious objectors from Russia come to us now, most of them want to earn their own income in our country sooner or later. Almost all of them already have a job. Mostly, however, they cannot yet use our language independently or competently, as is expected in apprenticeship professions or in professions with a university degree. For further language training after the basic courses, immigrants need suitable material and preferably also German native speakers as personal mentors.
Anyone with a very good knowledge of German and suitable occupations can help these immigrants acquire the language level they need to start their careers. Valuable professional discussions about one’s own profession can also be held by agile pensioners if they are not yet demented and in need of care and are used to skyping or zooming with relatives and friends.
Since the Corona pandemic, many people have become accustomed to using video conferencing and digital educational materials. People familiar with such digital tools are able to take action regardless of location when it comes to developing German language skills among immigrants willing to work.
Because German professionals hardly ever speak Ukrainian, Russian or Arabic in their role as mentors, the immigrants must be brought up to a level of German as a Foreign Language (DaF) before these activities, which enables them to use the language independently.
Suitable further education institutions, e.g. the adult education centres, can be used to achieve the minimum language level requirement. This is the CEFR with level B1. From this level onwards, job-related language instruction can take place exclusively in German, because unknown terms can be paraphrased or explained in the context of digital tools.
Digitisation offers new ways for educational materials that are effective for learning
The aim of the online workshop is to familiarise participants with all the necessary digital tools so that they can create educational materials for the important vocational fields. To get started with the topic, there is already the YouTube playlist “Fachvokabulare kuratieren – Curating professional vocabularies”.
The workshop, based on the continuous improvement process method, serves to transfer the know-how from the aforementioned playlist to the materials desired by the participants.
The latest translation tools will also be used. In combination with the well-known Office tools, the presentations and subtitles are offered in videos in many languages. A summary of the case studies for the workshop is available at https://konrad-rennert.de/zum-corner. There you will also find the pdf document for accessing this press release in 29 languages. By clicking on the flag in front of the language, you can get an impression of what machine translation involving artificial intelligence can do.
On the aforementioned page there is more information about the workshop and the contact address.