Austria to put non-native speakers in separate classes

Education experts are wary of the new school curriculum, which would hinder student integration, in their opinion. 

Roxane Seckauer
Roxane Seckauer Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Austria to put non-native speakers in separate classes - NewsMavens
Teach and child, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

With its new curriculum, the Austrian Ministry of Education is aiming to integrate non-native speakers with teamwork, cultural training and adapted German lessons.

Educators and experts, however, criticize the approach laid out in the draft. In the suggested framework, children are separated from their 'parent class' for several semesters, and thus removed from the cultural context that they are supposed to absorb. To education expert Ferdinand Eder, this sounds like an exercise in pointlessness:

"First, the children are removed from the cultural environment, then they have to reach their learning objectives."

These special 'integration' classes would have up to 25 students per group. Overall, the outcome would be "more segregating than integrating," says linguist Hannes Schweiger.

Details from the story:

  • Austrian schools have one year to begin implementing the new curriculum for separate German classes. As of 2019 the curriculum will be binding.
  • The curriculum mentions "language-sensitive instruction in all subjects," which should be carried out in "cooperation with mother tongue teachers".
  • Numerous experts have signed an open letter criticizing the reform.
  • The new curriculum is vague on when non-native speakers should return to the parent class.
EDITOR'S PICK:
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy