Language Promotion at the DISD

Language diversity with German as core competence

At German schools abroad, German language support is a key function for many student*innen. We are proud of the linguistic diversity of our children and accompany their multilingual development with a great deal of expertise and commitment. Kindergarten prepares children for school in all areas of development and represents a valuable developmental phase, particularly in terms of language. Mastery of the German language is key to a successful school career at DISD.

Language Promotion in everyday group life

In order to promote language development, our kindergarten teachers always plan their pedagogical work in a language-sensitive manner according to the educational areas of the Thuringian educational plan. They structure the daily "language bath" in the kindergarten through methods of everyday integrated Language Promotion, so that each child can learn daily at his or her level of language development. Language Promotion then happens in all educational offerings as well as in sports, singing or crafts.  

For stable language acquisition, monolingual and multilingual children need both quantitative and quantitative input consisting of linguistic models, appropriate language, and sufficient auditory stimuli. Because listening is a precursor skill to reading, we want to practice the children early on in understanding stories without picture stimuli and also being able to reproduce their content linguistically. Our listening room in the kindergarten is also used to promote sensory listening.

Dialogical picture book viewing in kindergarten

To ensure that children benefit from the "language bath" in their group and do not drown in it, our educators always differentiate their pedagogical activities according to language. The methods of everyday integrated Language Promotion are part of their pedagogical tools.

Thus, dialogic picture book viewing has a permanent place in kindergarten and is also highly recommended for you at home. At the core of dialogic picture book viewing is conversation. The pictures and the story serve as a common focus of attention. When you open a book with your child, you are not simply reading it aloud in this method. Rather, you are passive, providing stimuli and listening to what your child has to say about the pictures. A number of studies show that regular dialogic picture book viewing increases children's language skills. Children set the pace and discover their joy in leading the conversation or exchanging arguments. Vocabulary growth then occurs casually as the adult provides the child with words when they need them during storytelling.

Additional Language Promotion "German as a Foreign Language" (DaF)

In the case of multilingual children, various factors can mean that the "language bath" in the kindergarten group is not sufficient for them to achieve linguistic school readiness in the remaining time until school enrollment. Often, children also regress linguistically during the time away from school when they have no contact with the German language. Using the DaF Framework for Education Abroad, DISD has designed a language development program for multilingual Dubai that focuses on the language development and needs of our children.  

DaF lessons take place three times a week for 45 minutes each in the kindergarten. In DaF lessons, children with additional language support needs are taught in small groups of up to 5 children with the following goals:

- Development of a language comprehension corresponding to the requirements of the school

- Promotion of basic communicative skills in everyday life

- Development and expansion of general vocabulary and the

Word formation in the German language

- Promotion of basic grammatical learning content

- Promotion of age-appropriate linguistic action patterns

Playfully practicing the prepositions

Exercise on accusative for preschoolers

Methodology and didactics of Language Promotion

Didactically, the additional Language Promotion is oriented to the content of the individual kindergarten groups. In this way, the children receive the linguistic skills they need for the current topics and activities in order to communicate in their group, to act linguistically and to participate.

The methods of DaF support are appropriate for children and are based on linguistically successful criteria. Learning still takes place in a playful manner, but is planned and focused on the necessary linguistic phenomena. The additional DaF-Language Promotion teaches the children new words, grammar and sentence structures, consolidates them and helps to prevent the fossilization of errors.

Language level survey

In the kindergarten, we conduct a comprehensive language assessment for children from the age of 4, if required, and invite the parents to a personal interview to inform them about the child's current language level as well as the overall support process. The evaluation always takes into account the children's multilingualism. Towards the end of the year, testing is done again to measure the children's language progress. The language level can also be determined at the end of the 1st half-year in order to decide on the further course of support.

Language screening allows for statements about competencies, delays, and disruptions in communication, vocabulary, concept formation, and sentence formation (syntax and grammar development). The evaluation and assessment of these results are prioritized according to the following aspects:

- Vocabulary (semantics)

- Sentence formation (syntax and grammar development)

- Linguistic expression (picture narration, free speech)

Involvement of parents

Parents play a significant role in children's language development. The quality and quantity of the family language has a great influence on German language acquisition even if the family language is not German at all. Multilingual acquisition is a complex process, but it can be well influenced and controlled. We would like to keep parents well informed about this and stay in contact.

At the beginning of the kindergarten year, a DaF parent café is held to make the structure and process of the language support program transparent. In addition, individual informational interviews are offered for each child to discuss test results and support options for family language use as well. Furthermore, parents receive regular e-email feedback on current DaF lessons. This includes ongoing tips around language use at home and possible language support opportunities. Media recommendations are also sent out on a regular basis, which are easy and quick to use.

Cost of additional Language Promotion

In kindergarten, children whose native language is German play and learn together with children who have a greater need for language support. Because this has advantages for both sides, the groups are deliberately mixed heterogeneously.

However, since the additional Language Promotion is an additional offer that only some of the families take advantage of, the language support costs are not included in the general school fee. The additional costs amount to AED 4800 per school year and are paid half in the 1st and half in the 2nd semester.

Open office hours

Ilham Abed-Ali: Mon-Fri: 07:45-08:15

Anja Beising: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri: 07:45-08:15

Karin Brosch: Mon, Tue, Thu: 08:00-08:30

Daniela Mottram: Mon-Fri: 07:45-08:15

Julia Badrakhan: Mon-Fri: by prior arrangement

Outside of open office hours, please feel free to email your child's DaF teacher to make an alternative appointment.

The DaF Team Kindergarten

German as a foreign language at DISD
Anja Beising

Anja Beising

Teacher for DaF Kindergarten

Daniela Mottram

Daniela Mottram

Teacher for DaF Kindergarten

Karin Brosch

Karin Brosch

Teacher for DaF Kindergarten

Ilham Abed-Ali

Ilham Abed-Ali

Teacher for DaF Kindergarten

Julia Badrakhan

Julia Badrakhan

Head of DaF