The “Endspurt” project helps elementary school children learn German. The specialists have come up with creative solutions for the new digital format.
Since 2007, the Polytechnic Society Foundation has been promoting fourth graders with increased language needs from Frankfurt with its “German Summer” and “Endspurt” programs. Due to the current contact restrictions, the final spurt will be digital this time.
70 primary school students from 33 primary schools in Frankfurt from 33 countries of origin train their German language skills from home this week – the last week of the regular Christmas holidays. Because most of the 70 children also took part in the German Summer project last year, they already know each other and the teachers. The children are already familiar with learning at home, because some of the German summer took place at home.
“The children once made a rally through their district or had the task of cooking their favorite dish and then writing about it,” explains Axel Braun from the Polytechnic Society Foundation. Shortly before the recommendation to switch to a secondary school, what has been learned should be deepened on the final spurt. “We are assuming that the need is now even greater than usual because of the temporary cancellation of lessons,” says Braun.
Each child received material for home game tasks in advance. Ten to 17 pupils each are looked after by three educational specialists who are in contact with them via chat groups and by telephone. Astrid Lindgren’s “Ronja the Robber’s Daughter” forms the literary basis. “The tasks are close to everyday life and should be fun so that the holiday character is preserved,” says project manager Monika Röttele. In addition to promoting German language skills, theater education and socio-educational support are also on the agenda.
Because the project actually lives from personal encounters and the conditions in some families are not optimal, she was unsure whether the digital format would work, says Röttele. But her interim conclusion is positive: “The digital format is well received, the children are very active in the chat groups and video calls.”