Beginnjahr 2011 Abschlussjahr 2014


durchführende Institutionen


Ländercode Österreich Sprachcode Deutsch
Schlagwörter DeutschCurriculumentwicklung, Neue Medien, Soziale Netzwerke
Schlagwörter Englischcompetences of student teachers of languages, didactic use of new media, Curriculum development, role of social networks

There has been an ongoing debate all over Europe about how to meet the challenges of the information age faced not only by education but by the globalized world as well. The paper aims to reflect on three major fields, such as a) semantic and syntactic analysis of current curricula used at the University College of Teacher Education Carinthia, Viktor Frankl UC, b) guidelines for new language curricula, and c) surveys on the use of new media and social networks for language learning. Modern curricula contain competence-based guidelines for holistic communication skills in a foreign language, incorporating the full range of modern language teaching methodology under the paradigm of Austria’s “New Education for Pedagogues”. The results of the research project produce criteria for a “BEST PRACTICE-MODEL for language teaching and preferred forms of assessment“.


Analysis of existing curricula at the University College of Teacher Education Carinthia UCTE , Viktor Frankl UC.

Electronic questionnaires with students at the UCTE Carinthia and with teachers who attended further teacher training courses at the UTCE.


Summary of Analysis: The curricula need to be freed of inconsistencies as stated above as ‘criticism’. The language should be precise and clear. They need to be rewritten by a team of experts. The ministry initiated exactly this procedure. The rewriting process happened between November 2013 and June 2014. It is not yet completed. The focus is on describing competences. Modern curricula need to contain competence-based guidelines structured in a) basic foreign language competences, b) didactic competence, c) communicative and social competence, d) application competence in research under the paradigm of Austria’s “New Education for Pedagogues” (BMUKK 2010) which resulted in the experts’ rewriting curricula for languages which are valid for student teachers at both UCTEs and universities. “Competence-based education is becoming increasingly popular. Competencies are used more and more as the starting point for designing curricula and instructional methods, especially in vocational education and training, to realize authentic and self-steering study programs. Despite its popularity in both research and educational settings, there is no shared understanding of what competence-based education should look like. Earlier work developed a model for competence-based education that outlines eight features that are important for competence-based education.” J. Curriculum Studies, 2010, VOL. 42, NO. 6, 813–829. Competences are sustainable skills and capacities which must be developed by the students and which enable them to solve problems successfully and responsibly in various situations. The majority of students (60.58%) use the internet daily or multiple times per day. If the 23.08% are added to that number we reach a majority of 84% who are heavy internet users. This is a resource which should be incorporated into teaching because the students engage in it regardless. Findings: Effect of Social Networks: Students use social networks at least 4-6 times a week or more – 84,66%. They use it predominantly for contact with friends and family – 100%. They use it for social events – 87%. They use it for travel information - 81%. They use it for political engagement – 22%. Didactic approaches of tertiary English language curricula and teaching should include the integration of multi-media components, messaging, wall-posting, notes-functions, as well as the possibility to network with people from nearly anywhere in the world. The Austrian findings correlate strongly with the findings by a comparative study within the OECD – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. “Moreover, at home the three main activities developed by teenagers are playing games, looking up information via the Internet, and electronic communications via e-mail and instant messaging. Although any comparison between home and school uses has not been carried out yet, it seems to be that, leaving aside playing games, only the Internet search for information is a well-integrated school practice while electronic communications do not seem to be recognized as a typical educational activity.” OECD, 2006, p. 3. The OECD was founded to facilitate global development and to provide a foundation for improved living standards and stable work. Do new media further this goal? “Our origins date back to 1960, when 18 European countries plus the United States and Canada joined forces to create an organization dedicated to global development. Today, our 34 member countries span the globe, from North and South America to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. They include many of the world’s most advanced countries but also emerging countries like Mexico, Chile and Turkey. We also work closely with emerging giants like China, India and Brazil and developing economies in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Together, our goal continues to be to build a stronger, cleaner, fairer world.” Result of on-line questionnaires on languages: The results of the online questionnaires have been stored in an Excel sheet and processed accordingly. The survey participants were distributed equally between the age groups of ‘digital natives’ (born between 1980 – 1990) and ‘digital immigrants’ (before 1980). Important aspects of language learning. Since the focus of the survey was on social networks for encouraging language learning, the hypothesis of this study was contradicted by the fact that only 10 out of 50 people chose ‘multimedia support’ while the majority listed other factors which contributed to their language learning, for example ‘a good teacher’, and ‘stay in a foreign country’. Participants had the opportunity to choose more than one factor. Social skills of a good language teacher. The social skills of a good teacher are primarily empathy and communication.Emotional qualities of a language teacher. The most often mentioned emotional quality is also empathy. From the survey results, it can be deducted that the participants do not differentiate between social skills and emotional qualities. Importance of language teachers‘ knowledge. Language teachers should have the most knowledge in the field of human science, creativity and design. The least beneficial field of knowledge a language teacher needs to possess is that of nature and technology. But as the graph shows clearly, language teachers must have a rudimentary knowledge of all fields. Preferred length of language lesson. 30 (60%) out of 50 participants prefer two hour blocks for teaching languages, 13 (26%) teachers prefer one–hour sessions; 8 (16%) prefer two-plus hour block sessions. Reforms are necessary in this aspect as well; the national discourse is again between preserving the old status quo or incorporating more manners of teaching which is founded upon neurological research. Ex-cathetra teaching is not efficient. Our brain is not conditioned to be permanently attentive. Too much information at a constant and rapid pace retards students’ receptive capacity. Information cannot be stored in the long term memory if there is no time allocated for the repetition and use of new information. See: Fanta/Valent, 2012, p. 80 f. Learning has to take the emotional, social and cognitve capacities of a human being into account. Emotionally, a relaxed atmosphere is required, because as soon as fear is present, the amygdale blocks all stimuli. Socially, a variety of pedagogical activities, such as group work and team work, is needed to make learning fun and enjoyable. See: Fanta/Valent, 2012, p. 33f. Preferred Assessment Methods. The participants prefer engagement in class to written exams and homework. Written exams must be corrected which possibly explains the teachers’ and students’ responses. Automated correction software could be a solution to this problem. Tasks concerning Social Networks: The tasks a teacher gives to the students or to the class need to be result-oriented. The motivation is higher when the task given provides personal meaning for the individual as well the opportunity for the exploration of personal interests. A teacher should be able to assess the capacities and the skills of students and develop them. If the teacher is able to form teams possessing different skill sets and is able to explain the value of each member, excellent performance is the result. Teachers need to be motivated and enthusiastic in order to have motivated and enthusiastic students. Innovation will occur when there is space for new ideas, new concepts, and solutions. In such an atmosphere teachers will become the catalysts for innovative solutions to global problems. E-learning has yet to be explored and utilized in creating an effective, engaging learner experience, by bringing together concepts from instructional design, technology, and user experience research into each lesson, and learning project. “Technology is changing rapidly, and the possible uses of technology for education, training, and to improve job performance are seemingly endless. But technology-based solutions are not always successful, for one reason or another. As the world of online learning and performance changes, learner expectations change as well.”In the future it will be a necessity for trainers, professors, and others interested in understanding successful approaches to online learning to integrate research and theoretical approaches into the classroom. Competences of teachers: Ø  A teacher’s social competences should be to recognize the capacities of a student, to observe them and to promote them individually. Ø  Emotional competences are courage, trust and the willingness for communication. A teacher must recognize that team building is a process which is only successful with interpersonal values. Ø  A teacher must recognize the necessity for constant teacher training which allows for one’s permanent reflection and assessment of one’s own teaching. Ø  There must be a balance of emotional, social and cognitive intelligence in order to be an excellent teacher. A survey at an agricultural school proved that there is an approval rating of 96% to  90% (two separate teachers) by the students if there is a balance of these components in daily teaching situations. See: Fanta, H., 2011. Ø  Summary: The language teacher has to have a) basic language competences, b) instructional competences including IT-competences, c) communicative and social competences, and d) implementation competences in language acquisition research. 

Erhebungstechniken und Auswahlverfahren

Method of analysis of current Language Curricula at the University College of Teacher Education – UCTE Carinthia. Text analyses and online student and teacher surveys were chosen as the statistical basis of this study. Text analysis was most effective in showing current curricula flaws; the online-survey of students and teachers were well-suited to provide critical reflection, suggestions for improvement, and creative input for new curricula.  An adapted semantic analysis based on Rüdiger Wagner and Theodor Pelster was used in order to analyze the curricula. Wagner’s and Pelster’s essay postulates that texts always have to be considered in a greater context. The content of texts represents an extract of reality. They have a creator or a producer. There is a specific intention behind a text which the creator wants to convey to the recipients. The intention of the text determines the type of text, the structure, the selection of semantic, syntactic and rhetorical instruments. The text will be distributed to the recipients through media, and it has an effect on the recipient. The following questions were chosen to analyze written texts. Curricula are such a type of written texts which will be scrutinized under the scope of:A.   Questions concerning the production 1.    Origin of text 2.    Intention of text 3.    Determination of type of text B.   Questions concerning the content 4.    Identification of topic 5.    Investigation / Analysis of Structure C.   Questions concerning reception 6.    Media 7.    Effect of text 8.    Recipients D.   Questions concerning form (language and style). 9.   Semantic block 10.Syntactic block.

1.  Surveys on the use of new media and social networks by Austrian teacher students and teachers – 2011/12. In a first step, pre-surveys were conducted with student teachers who are born between 1980 and 1990; they are referred to as ‘digital natives’. During summer semester 2011, they were asked in an online questionnaire about their individual use of internet and social networks. The findings were presented at the European Conference on Educational Research ECER in Berlin, Germany in September 2011. In a second step, another online questionnaire was administered to student teachers (‘digital natives’) at the UCTE Carinthia and experienced teachers - who have been teachers for more than 10-30 years (‘digital immigrants’) - about their opinion on “BEST PRACTICE-MODELS“ for language learning and their views on including social networks and new media in the classroom. This online survey was conducted in summer semester 2012. The second survey’s findings were presentedat the European Conference on Educational Research ECER in Cadiz, Spain in September 2012. In a third phase, curricula for English, Italian, Slovene, and German as foreign language at the University College of Teacher Education Carinthia were analyzed. The findings were taken into account when expert groups of the above mentioned six educational institutions were writing the new curricula for PädagogInnenbildung NEU.



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