"German as a Second Language" Certificate Program for Teachers

group of people Copyright: © Andreas Schmitter

Professors Hans-Joachim Jürgens and Thomas Niehr congratulate course participants on their completion of the "Teacher’s Certificate in German as a Second Language."


For the first time, RWTH has now issued the “Teacher’s Certificate in German as a Second Language,” a continuing education initiative which is supported by the NRW Ministry of Culture and Science. The first cohort of participants has now completed the program which seeks to better prepare teachers for the high proportion of pupils who are not native speakers of German.

Only 38 of the 158 pupils of the Schule am Fischmarkt in Aachen, for example, have German parents; the school educates pupils from 21 nations, and the language of instruction is German. Against this backdrop it becomes clear that it is highly valuable to provide teachers with additional knowledge on how to best support pupils in second language acquisition.

As Dr. Hristos Slutas, research associate at the Department of German Language Pedagogy, explains, even for children who are native speakers of German, “language competencies form an important basis for success at school and for social participation.” As formal German as used in school and academic contexts is not simply acquired, it has to be learned in class. “For this reason, language-aware instruction at school, regardless of subject, provides pupils with important opportunities.”

Register for the Certificate Program in October 2017

The “Teacher’s Certificate in German as a Second Language” program provides the relevant theoretical linguistics background, for example on the topic of language acquisition. Subsequently, participants apply their knowledge in seminar sessions, which focus on topics such as pronunciation, literacy training, and intercultural competencies.

Those how want to participate in the upcoming certificate course starting mid-October have the opportunity to register by October 6. For further information and registration, please visit the DAZ (de) web page.