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Schoolchildren with a first language other than German

In the 2018/19 school year, over 26 percent of all pupils in Austria used one or more other languages ​​in addition to German in their everyday life. Linguistic diversity has long been a reality in Austrian schools. It is an essential task of the school to support all children and young people in the best possible way, taking into account their different (linguistic) requirements.

Language of instruction is German

Knowledge of German as the language of instruction and the gradual development of educational language skills are the basis for participation in all educational processes and are therefore an essential prerequisite for school success, subsequent integration into the labor market and participation in political, economic, cultural and social life in Austria.

Early language support in elementary educational institutions

To determine the language skills of children, a nationwide uniform instrument in two variants was introduced in the last year before school entry ("BESK COMPACT" for children with German as their first language as well "BESK-DaZ compact" for children with German as a second language) has been mandatory throughout Austria since 2019/2020. Based on the results of the language level instrument, a compulsory Handover sheetfrom elementary educational institutions to elementary schools conveys information about a child's strengths and areas that can be supported in the area of ​​language and provides a concrete starting point for further support planning.

German support model for extraordinary pupils

Schoolchildren who cannot follow the lesson due to insufficient language skills have been in. Since the 2018/2019 school year German remedial classes or German courses informed. That is the aim of the German support model for extraordinary pupils early and intensive learning of the language of instructionGermanso that these pupils can be taught quickly together in the class according to the curriculum of the relevant school type and grade.

The allocation to a German remedial class or to a German remedial course is based on MIKA-D, an Austria-wide standardized, standardized test procedure.

In order to be able to document the language progress of the students and to be able to support them in the best possible way, they are compulsory in the classroom Diagnostic tools to use, on the basis of which individual support plans are to be created. The BMBWF recommends the USB DaZ funding diagnostic tool for use in German support classes and German support courses, but also in regular lessons.

Language-sensitive lessons

For language activities in the classroom are in addition to technical knowledge educational language skills necessary, which cannot be built up in German lessons alone. It therefore takes one language-sensitive design of all subjects. The focus of language-sensitive teaching is the Promotion of the linguistic development of all students especially in the field of educational and technical language.

On behalf of the BMBWF, the ÖSZ has developed extensive materials for language-sensitive teaching at primary and secondary levels (general and vocational education).

Multilingualism and mother tongue teaching

For children with a first language other than German or children who grow up bilingual, there are mother-tongue lessons. This is part of the Austrian regular school system and is hiring important educational offer to promote competencies in the second language and to strengthen the personality and identity development of children and young people. As an important component of a comprehensive language education, mother tongue lessons contribute Equal opportunities in the Austrian education system at. It is offered as a non-binding exercise at elementary schools and as an optional subject or also as a non-binding exercise at other types of school. In the 2018/19 school year, 26 languages ​​were taught as part of mother tongue lessons.

Legal basis

School Organization Act (SchOG)

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Last updated: April 2, 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research