"Green Immersion" The concept of bilingual environmental education Kristin Kersten Otto-von-Guericke Universit - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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"Green Immersion" The concept of bilingual environmental education Kristin Kersten Otto-von-Guericke Universit


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Title: "Green Immersion" The concept of bilingual environmental education Kristin Kersten Otto-von-Guericke Universit

"Green Immersion" The concept of bilingual
environmental education Kristin
KerstenOtto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg
  • 1. Background
  • 2. The EU-Project ELIAS
  • Goals
  • Structure
  • 3. Green Immersion
  • What it is
  • How it works
  • 4. The Bilingual Zoo-Preschool in Magdeburg
  • (Suzanne Akerman Shannon Thomas)
  • Setting and Conceptual Design
  • Zoo Education

  • Zoos and aquariums enable people to develop
    appreciation, wonder, respect, understanding,
    care and concern about nature.
  • WAZA 2005 Building a Future for Wildlife The
    World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy
    (WZACS) Chapter 5 Education and Training

Background WZACS
  • Education and Training
  • education as a central role for all zoos and
  • develop strategic plan for education and
    environmental sustainability (a "green" ethos),
    incorporating conservation issues
  • collaboration with a variety of educational
    institutions, universities and teacher training
    institutes to link educational programmes to
    curricula developments
  • lifelong learning students from pre-school to
  • evidence to evaluate impact and effectiveness of
    education programs

Background EU
  • 'Mother tongue plus two other languages' Making
    an Early Start
  • Language competencies are part of the core of
    skills that every citizen needs for training,
    employment, cultural exchange and personal
    fulfilment It is a priority for Member States
    to ensure that language learning in kindergarten
    and primary school is effective, for it is here
    that key attitudes towards other languages and
    cultures are formed, and the foundations for
    later language learning are laid, in
    particular by teaching at least two foreign
    languages from a very early age.
  • European Commission Promoting Language Learning
    and Linguistic Diversity An Action Plan 2004
    2006, p. 7

  • Bilingual education / Immersion teaching (e.g.
    Wode 1995)
  • most effective method of teaching foreign
  • content-based
  • ? integrating contents such as science nature
    topics with foreign language teaching
  • Early start
  • ? 3 formula (Wode 2001)
  • bilingual / immersion preschools
  • bilingual / immersion primary schools
  • bilingual education in high schools

The EU-Project
  • ELIAS (Early Language Intercultural Acquisition
  • Project Goals
  • Monitoring of bilingual preschools
  • Enhancement of second language learning,
    intercultural competence, and bilingual
    environmental education for preschoolers
  • scientific documentation
  • evaluation of conceptual designs
  • recommendations and dissemination

The EU-Project
  • Network
  • 16 partners from 4 European Countries(Germany,
    Belgium, England, Sweden)
  • Cooperation partners from Italy and the
  • 9 Universities
  • Zoological Garden Magdeburg
  • 7 bilingual preschools with English as second
    language, e.g. the Zoo-Preschool in Magdeburg
  • Coordination
  • Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten, Kristin Kersten
  • (Magdeburg University)

The Study
1. Preschools ? Longitudinal Study 2. Cultural
Studies ? Intercultural Competence 3.
Linguistics ? Second Language Acquisition 4.
Speech Therapy ? First Language Acquisition 5.
Biology-Didactics 6. Zoological Garden MD ? Zoo
The EU-Project
  • Participant Observation (Spradley 1980)
  • qualitative research methods
  • observers take part in daily preschool routines
  • ? integrated in the preschool system
  • avoiding "test situations"
  • ? emotional stability for the children
  • field notes and questionnaires
  • language assessment

Bilingual Education
  • Immersion method (Genesee 1987, Wode1995, Zydatiß
  • to be "immersed" in the second language (L2)
  • the second language as medium of communication,
    not as focus of grammatical learning
  • ? all content matter is taught in the second
  • in bilingual preschools all daily routines and
  • in immersion schools as classroom language
  • ? more than 50 of the school subjects are taught
    in L2

Green Immersion
  • Combining the factors
  • "Green Immersion"
  • ? immersion language education
  • based on nature-related ("green") topics
  • (Kersten Perret 2008)
  • zoo education
  • environmental education
  • conservation

Immersion Teaching
  • (Lorenz Met 1989)
  • Comprehensible input
  • "Understanding occurs when input ... is
    comprehensible, and input becomes comprehensible
    when it is supported by concrete experiences,
    visuals, realia, and nonverbal communication that
    assist in conveying meaning." (p. 37)
  • Contextualization of content
  • ? body language, gestures, facial expressions
  • ? pictures / visual aids, concrete materials,
  • ? repetitions, paraphrases, intonation,
    extensions("caretaker speech / motherese")

Immersion Teaching
  • Results of Canadian Immersion studies
  • (e.g. Wesche 2002)
  • the content knowledge is not negatively affected
  • the development of the first language does not
  • attainment in second language is much higher than
    in traditional foreign language teaching
  • more positive socio-psychological attitudes
  • suited both for strong and weak learners
  • ? enhancement of language and general cognitive
    skills without negative effects for content
    knowledge and first language

Immersion Teaching
  • One Person One Language Principle
  • (Döpke 1992)
  • ? native speakers of English as educators
  • Experiences from bilingual preschools
  • the children are enthusiastic and very proud of
    their second language skills
  • within a few weeks they understand the daily
    routines in English
  • comprehension of the second language precedes

Immersion Teaching
  • Examples
  • Researcher Show me the mouth!
  • Child Die Maus is nich da.
  • The mouse is not there.
  • Researcher Look at the ducks over there!
  • Child Das ist doch kein Dachs!
  • That's not a badger!
  • Child Eric is red, Paul is dead and Tini is

The Website
The ELIAS project is funded with support from the
European Commission and Lotto Toto
This product reflects the views only of the
author, and the Commission cannot be held
responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein.
Thank you for your attention!
"Green Immersion"
Magdeburgs Bilingual Zoo-Kindergarten
Suzanne Akerman Shannon Thomas
The preschool
  • Zoo Kindergarten Childrens House e.V. Magdeburg
  • August 2008
  • Vogelgesang Park

EZE 2009 Köln
The team
Director Jaklin Isensee
  • German speaking educators
  • Kathleen Schladitz
  • immersion teaching in France
  • Viola Krebs
  • intercultural experience
  • English speaking educators
  • Diana Lawrence
  • immersion teaching in China
  • Suzanne Akerman
  • zoo education experience
  • ELIAS Project participants
  • Lydia Gerlich (no photo)
  • student research assistant
  • Shannon Thomas
  • immersion teaching in South Korea

The zoo
Zoologischer Garten Magdeburg
Our mission
To experience the zoo with children means to
learn with the mind, heart and hand. Animals can
wake up emotions and improve cognitive and
communicative abilities of the children who as
a consequence are stimulated to communicate
their ideas and feelings with open-hearted
enthusiasm. Jaklin Isensee
Lets be honest you, me, our generation, we are
a hopeless case that cant be helped any more.
But with todays children, we can still achieve
something. Here the preservers of our environment
are born! Dr. Kai Perret
Our goals
  • Fostering environmental awareness in young
  • Setting the foundation for bilingual abilities
  • Increasing young childrens intercultural

Our goals in action
A lesson from conception to completion
  • Teaching in the classroom
  • Morning Circle
  • song time
  • new English vocabulary
  • new environmental concept
  • in-class reinforcement through either crafts or
  • Reinforcing the morning circle lesson in the zoo

Our goals in action
  • Materials we use for greater understanding

weekly zoo visits
Our goals in action
  • Facilitating childrens comprehension

Teaching environmental concepts in the first
language vs Teaching environmental concepts in
the second language
Our planning motto
Teach the basics first, then the concept
Our goals in action
  • Another difference between we what do at the zoo
    kindergarten and zoo education in general is that
    our target audience falls within a very specific
    age range.
  • Many environmental topics are very complex,
    requiring mental scaffolding.
  • Our age group requires the basic building blocks
    to become the foundation for environmental
  • To construct this foundation we base our lessons
    on the cognitive development and abilities of
    children ages 5 and below.
  • Our older children are already capable of
    linguistic taxonomy in their first language.
  • Where as the younger children have yet to
    develop that ability..
  • To maximize the learning potential of each group
    we create 2 sequences of lessons based on the
    same environmental theme.

The end
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