Language promotion with MITsprache

Equal opportunities by means of MITsprache

The initiative "MITsprache" is dedicated to promoting equal opportunities for socially disadvantaged children, especially those with immigrant background. By providing systematic access to German, MITsprache prepares the ground for successful learning and integration.

The initiative is based on language promotion of several years, from kindergarten to elementary school. The program’s three mainstays are:

  • a proven, hands-on learning program based on a language test
  • trainings and coaching for teachers and educators
  • professional socialwork with the children’s parents

The most important task is to support the children’s active participation within the classroom. This is indispensable not only for learning important skills as writing and math but also for acquiring social skills that will serve them in their later lives.

Current Status

With the beginning of the 2011/2012 school term, MITsprache was launched as a pilot project and is currently implemented at five elementary schools and five kindergartens in Berlin-Gesundbrunnen. In the 2014/15 school term, the project is carried out for altogether roughly 150 children.

For 2013/2014, child care facilities in the catchment area of the five involved schools are scheduled to be incorporated into the program to ensure continuous support of the children.

MITsprache works: Since sommer 2011, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich has been evaluating MITsprache independently. Interim results at the end of the second year of the project show that MITsprache does have a clear impact on the early acquisition of German. Those children who have been receiving language promotion (test group) outscore those who only get tested but not promoted (control group) by an 65 % higher increase of language improvement.

MITsprache is a winner: In 2013, MITsprache was acclaimed an outstanding educational initiative as part of the nationwide competition "Ideen für die Bildungsrepublik" (“Ideas for an Education Republic”). The prize is annually awarded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the Vodafone Germany foundation, and the "Deutschland – Land der Ideen" initiative. In 2014, MITsprache was selected for the “Primus Preis” of the German foundation Stiftung Bildung und Wissenschaft. Both awards praise the sustainability and the cutting-edge character of MITsprache.