Beginning reading and writing in primary

The Professional Development of in-service and pre-service primary EFL teachers. National and
International Research
*University of Vechta, Jan. 22-23, 2016*
Beginning reading and writing in primary EFL classes –
Experiences from an in-service training in Germany
Alicia Jöckel
At the beginning of teaching English as a Foreign Language in German primary schools, the focus has
long been on developing oral skills. Reading and writing in the foreign language was assumed to
interfere with the development of German reading and writing and has, thus, been mainly avoided.
Only until recent empirical research could confirm the positive effects of developing first and foreign
language written skills in parallel have teachers and educators started to allow reading and writing to
be included in primary EFL teaching and learning (Duscha 2007, Rymarczyk 2008, Frisch 2013).
Whereas other European countries have not paid such extraordinary attention to this issue and
included balanced skills training to primary EFL learners from the beginning, German researchers and
teachers have just recently started to develop ideas of how to teach written EFL skills (Drew 2009,
Ibarrola 2010, Böttger 2013, Fröhlich 2013). This presentation focuses on issues of teaching written
skills to primary EFL learners based on empirical data from an in-service training with German
primary EFL teachers. Teachers’ prior teaching experiences as well as their current teaching habits
were collected with the help of questionnaires and interviews which allowed reconstructing individual
processes of professional development in this respect. During this training which accompanied six
weeks of their regular teaching, teachers got input on linguistic background of the English writing
system as well as methodological suggestions. Materials and methods for this training were adapted to
the needs of the German EFL context from teaching reading and writing with the help of phonics in
the United Kingdom. In reverse, the teachers themselves gave feedback on the teaching ideas
presented in the training sessions based on both their general teaching expertise and their first
experiences with these materials and methods in class. Thus, teachers’ perspectives on their first
experiences and the collaborative professional development of researchers and teachers in this process
will be the centre of interest in this presentation.
The Professional Development of in-service and pre-service primary EFL teachers. National and
International Research
*University of Vechta, Jan. 22-23, 2016*
Böttger, Heiner (2013). Strategisch lesen und schreiben lernen. In: Grundschule Englisch, 45, 12-13.
Drew, Ion (2009). Using the Early Years Literacy Programme in Primary EFL Norwegian Classrooms.
In: Nikolov, Marianne (Ed.). Early Learning of Modern Foreign Languages. Processes and
Outcomes. 108-120.
Duscha, M. (2007). Der Einfluss der Schrift auf das Fremdsprachenlernen in der Grundschule.
Dargestellt am Beispiel des Englischunterrichts in Niedersachsen. Dissertation. Braunschweig.
Retrieved from
Frisch, Stefanie (2013). Lesen im Englischunterricht der Grundschule. Tübingen: Narr.
Fröhlich, Anna (2013). Welcome to Our Literate Classroom! In: Grundschule Englisch, 45, 14-15.
Ibarrola, Amparo Làzaro (2010). English phonics for Spanish children: adapting to new English as a
Foreign Language classrooms. In: Diehr, Bärbel & Rymarczyk, Jutta (Hrsg.). Researching
Literacy in a Foreign Language among Primary School Learners. Forschung zum
Schriftspracherwerb in der Fremdsprache bei Grundschülern. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.
Rymarczyk, Jutta (2008). „Paralleler Schriftspracherwerb in Erst- und Fremdsprache ist unmöglich!“
In Take off! Zeitschrift für frühes Fremdsprachenlernen, 2 (4), 48.