The communal school programme 'Continuous language development'

For the 2021/22 and 2022/23 school years, Päd-aktiv e. V., a long-standing, reliable partner of the city of Heidelberg, is launching a pilot scheme to organise and implement 'Continuous language development' in primary schools and at the special education school Marie-Marcks-Schule.

  • 5,000 language development lessons
  • 54 groups

Over the next two years, language development will take place at the following 15 sites:

>> Albert-Schweizer-Schule, >> Eichendorffschule, >> Friedrich-Ebertschule, >> Fröbelschule, >> Grundschule Bahnstadt, >>  Grundschule Emmertsgrund, >> Wilckensschule, >> Heiligenbergschule, >> Schlierbach-Grundschule, >> Landhausschule, >> Waldparkschule, >> Geschwister-Scholl-Schule, >> IGH, >> Marie-Marcks-Schule


Learning success in school and involvement in social life depend largely on how well German is spoken. In order to maximise opportunities from the start, the city of Heidelberg, together with the University of Education and Institute for German as a Foreign Language at Heidelberg University, has developed a continuous language development concept from kindergarten through to secondary school. This is designed to increase the educational opportunities and later educational achievements of children and teenagers.

The 'Continuous language development' concept primarily focuses on two pillars. The first is the idea of 'German for early education' by the Institute for German as a Foreign Language (IDF) focussing on school years 1 and 2 (*). This is additional to standard lessons. The second is aimed at b>school years 3 and 4 (**) and involves various didactic and content-based concepts such as oral reading and analysis, solid vocabulary training, reading of full novels, essay writing training/written language as part of a lesson-based, integrated and additional support.


(*) Additional ‘German for early education’ support for school years 1 and 2

In the first two years of primary school, ‘German for early education’ generally comprises additional support for children with corresponding requirements and follows on from kindergarten support. The concept primarily developed by the IDF focuses on developing grammar, everyday vocabulary and recounting.

The learning material complements the elementary level programme of the same name, to simplify the transition from kindergarten to primary school in terms of language skills.

Individual linguistic developments are assessed as part of pre and post-tests. Individual skills are tested in the areas of grammar, recounting and phonological awareness in order to actively promote them and to select and implement the corresponding material.

(**) Integrated/additional support for school years 3 and 4

In years 3 and 4, language development is integrated into lessons and across subjects as part of 'Integrated language development' developed by the IDF. This means that regular teaching staff are accompanied and supported by a linguistic expert who particularly focuses on the needs of 'focus children'.

These additive support lessons are effective and proven methods (focussing on 'tandem oral reading') for analysing and promoting reading fluency. Reading fluency can improve as part of additive support lessons. This improves even more quickly by practicing oral reading.