Bernd P. Klewitz studied in Marburg and trained as a grammar school teacher in Steinatal. He gained his PhD in Oral History and was a lecturer at Sheffield Polytechnic. After working in the German school system as Studienrat and teacher trainer, he was appointed language advisor to the Victorian Ministry of Education and later employed by the Goethe Institute Chicago. Returning to Marburg he continued teaching in a comprehensive school and worked for the Hessian Ministry of Education in different capacities. He was a senior teacher (Oberstudienrat) at Alfred-Wegener-Schule (Kirchhain) and presently advises school administrations in task-based teaching. He has written various school books and specialises in research on language skills like mediation and intercultural activities. Among others, he published a teaching unit on “Green Grass, Running Water” (Thomas King) at Stark Verlag. Forthcoming publications include two books on “Scaffolding in Foreign Language Teaching” and “CLIL – Bilingual Teaching Units” (Narr Verlag).
Introducing the pedagogical concept of scaffolding, this course will focus on designing and evaluating teaching units based on the Thuringian Curricula (Secondary I and II) for EFL. Project work (John Dewey) and task-based teaching are combined with direct instruction (John Hattie) to explore the dynamics of teacher-student interaction in the English classroom and provide a model of effective learning and evidence-based teaching. In this context, scaffolding is meant to go beyond traditional assignments and works by finding out where a kid is, where it is supposed to be and then closing the gap. This gap, also known as Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD, Vygotsky/Bruner) states what a learner cannot achieve alone, but with the help of a teacher. Scaffolding creates the bridge between prior knowledge and the ZPD. Worksheet compass, advance organizer, reciprocal teaching and backward design are tools that students will research and implement to create their own teaching units, following the scales A2 to C1 in the Common European Framework of Languages (CEF). Worked examples, ranging from beginners’ level to intermediate and advanced, will be presented by each student and tested in formative and summative evaluation. They may be based on a variety of resources such as text books, authentic materials, informative and literary texts. Written course work will establish a model of scaffolding in action.
Content and Language Integrated Learning can be implemented in the continuum of authentic topics and language instruction and enrich effective language learning in various directions, either as modules or special language classes. Students will familiarize themselves with current concepts and design and implement individual teaching units that will then be evaluated during the course work. We will work on a variety of topics such as social issues, market economies and the media (beginners, intermediate), political issues, economic growth and ecological problems (intermediate), as well as multiculturalism, international relations and globalization (advanced). A special focus will be on oral examinations and presentations as required in the final exams of the Abitur. The teaching units to be developed will draw particular attention to learning strategies involving discontinued texts, graphs and tables and using the dynamics of scaffolding to bridge the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD, Vygotsky/Bruner). Written course work will explore criteria to design further examples of authentic CLIL tasks and topical research across the curriculum. During the course we will link up with projects in Australia and New Zealand (www.visiblelearningplus.com) and the Northwestern University of Chicago (www.icollaboratory.org/projects).