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Multicultural Education on Borders (MEB) - Language proficiency assessment & promotion of children with migration background Objectives Description Partner Teaching material Bibliograhy Publications Financed by Contacts Objectives


The aim of this project is on the one hand to reveal linguistic behaviour of children with migration background in primary schools, and on the other to elaborate guidelines that can support the decision-making process of linguistic diagnosis as well as linguistic promotion, with special regard to an appropriate combination of personal monitoring, working in small groups, participating at in-class and extracurricular activities. The project runs with special regard to the nascent language centres ("Sprachzentren") in South Tyrol which are intended to support children with migration background.

The following questions are of central research interest within the project: Which scenes/behaviour indicates a functioning linguistic integration? Which methods or combination of methods allow us to draw comprehensive conclusions on linguistic knowledge and communicative language competence? How can language proficiency assessments with their findings contribute to an appropriate language promotion?



2006 - 2010 (financed by Interreg IIIC: 2006 - 2007)


Analysis of the current state

In collaboration with three primary schools (with German as their language of instruction) various classes are being followed over a period of several months. Through interviews and talks with teachers, cultural mediators, parents and children experiences and case studies are gathered, e.g. of children who are particularly fast in their linguistic apprehension. As a result a sample of observations, examples of good practice and case studies will be submitted.

 Language proficiency assessment

The linguistic behaviour as well as the communicative language competence of children will be documented and analysed applying several methods. In this regard, observations over a period of several months play an essential role in order to record linguistic actions and reactions in a classroom context. Besides the observations in the classrooms, information from interviews with parents and teachers will be analysed in order to complete the picture of linguistic integration, which in large part does not happen at school but elsewhere. Furthermore fixed point language tests, assessment by others and self-assessment will be considered. For this purpose we will draw on already existing tests and data, but also adapt and develop new materials. Apart from the competence assessment of the language of instruction, which - in the majority of cases - for children with migration background already constitutes a second or foreign language, the significance of the language spoken in the area of origin is also important for a linguistic documentation. To get information about this reality, cultural mediators of various institutions are being contacted. This holistic picture of the level of linguistic competence and linguistic development, including different perspectives (of the children, the teachers, parents and observers) as well as intra- and extra-linguistic factors (language ability, social environment, interrelation of education and a successful school carrier) ought to serve as a basis in developing an individual support for language improvement.

 Gathering materials and methods

 A collection of teaching materials should stimulate teachers in their planning of lessons and encourage them to carry out projects. A bibliography on "Promoting children with migration background" should give an insight to those who are interested.

Partner Boder Region Delta Rhodopi, Thrace, Greece Kally Simitopoulou Region North-Karelia, Finland Harri Laukkanen Teaching material

Teaching materials and sensitisation of teachers:

The growing presence of children with migration background in schools in South Tyrol reveals the ever increasing necessity of intercultural competences.








Teaching materials from the project "Grüß Gott! Ich bin ein Polyglott" (Hello! I am a polyglot):

This intercultural project has been led at the secondary school of Salurn in the year 2006/07 as a consequence of the growing number of children with migration background.






Materials for the optional subject of intercultural learning:

The main idea of this optional subject of intercultural learning is to convey consciousness about one's culture next to becoming more open for what is different.


Material 1_Informationen Vorbereitung.pdf

Material 2_Beispiele Einladungen.pdf

Material 3_Zur Nachbereitung.pdf


UE 1_Wie ist die Welt entstanden und wie sieht sie aus.pdf

UE 2_Worin und warum unterscheiden sich Menschen.pdf

UE 3_Es gibt verschiedene Sprachen und Schriften.pdf

UE 4_Überall auf der Welt gibt es Bräuche und Feste.pdf

UE 5_Wir hören von verschiedenen Religionen.pdf

UE 6_Was ist Kinderarbeit.pdf


 Montessori Part of speech -  fairy tale

 Teaching material to learn parts of speech in an easy way.




"Eine Reise durch den Balkan" (Travelling through the Balkan). A project report.

The project was elaborated at the "Lehranstalt für Wirtschaft und Tourismus (LEWIT)" in Auer in the year 2006/07. It was presented on the school's "open day".


Balkan Schmelztiegel.pdf

Historische Entwicklung.pdf

Kroatien Tourismus.pdf

Südtirol - Mazedonien.pdf 



A bibliography on "Promoting children with migration background" should give an insight to those who are interested. 



  • Abel, Andrea; Guadatiello, Angela; Plathner, Franziska (2009): Sprachenlernen in der Migration. Chancen und Herausforderungen für Lehrkräfte und Schulen. In: Info 2009/11, p. 18-19 (pdf)


  • Presentation of the Results (21st January 2008, EURAC) (pdf)


  • Presentation: Was müssen LehrerInnen können und kennen? Die Rolle der LehrerInnen beim kindlichen Erwerbsprozess mehrerer Sprachen unter Migrationsbedinungen; Sixth International Conference on Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism Bozen; Andrea Abel, Angela Guadatiello, Franziska Plathner; Sep. 2009
Financed by

The project is a result of the collaboration with the German School Office of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano-South Tyrol.


The project is conducted as part of the European Community Interreg IIIC initiative within the Regional Framework Operation "Change on Borders".


Andrea Abel
+39 0471 055 121


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