STILE — Strategies for Teaching in Language Education


Lehr­stuhl für Mehrsprachigkeits­didaktik (Prof. Dr. Kristin Kersten)

The STILE project was a cooperation of a student research project at Hildesheim University with experts from several universities in Germany. It is part of two 3-semester research classes ('Projektband') on Effective Teaching Strategies in the (Foreign Language) Classroom.

Cooperation Partners:

Prof. Dr. Sonja Brunsmeier (University of Passau)
Prof. Dr. Karen Glaser (University of Leipzig)
Prof. Dr. Jana Roos (University of Potsdam)
Dr. Hannah Ruhm (University of Potsdam)

Study 1: Effects of L2 Teaching Strategies on Language Competences

In cooperation with the experts, 20 students are conducting a Germany-wide online study that collects teachers' self-reports on their use of language-promoting teaching strategies.

Research questions include:

  1. How do teachers differ in their use of language-promoting teaching strategies in English- and German-language classrooms?
  2. Which factors (knowledge, training, beliefs, etc.) predict these results?
  3. What effect does differential use of these teaching strategies have on the L2 proficiency of learners in fourth and fifth grade?
  4. How effective are language-promoting teaching strategies in subject matter classrooms taught in German?

Teachers’ self-reports on their use of teaching strategies are operationalized using the Teacher Input Observation Scheme (TIOS, Kersten et al., 2018). The instrument contains 41 items representing four dimensions of strategies, i.e., cognitively stimulating activities, modified verbal input, non-verbal input, and support of modified speech production. In addition, the survey contains questions pertaining to demographic factors on the school program and teachers’ background, teachers' experiences, knowledge and beliefs. L2 proficiency of the learners is elicited with the help of CEFR descriptors. The fourth research question will be answered based on a quasi-experimental design.

Student Project Coordinators:

Aenne Blackman (contact), Fenja Louisa Funke (contact)

Student Researchers:

Tooba Akram, Selina Alas, Aferdita Aljidemi, Johanna Awe, Christoph Becker, Aenne Blackman, Inga Lena Eck, Julia Ernert, Fenja Louisa Funke, Greta Goßmann, Melina Kliebisch, Marina Johanna Laas, Julia Letterhaus, Natalie Lupas, Katharina Pankoke, Anna Randerath, Sarah Schaller, Alicia Strompen, Sophie Wildhage, Karina Wystup
(English Department, University of Hildesheim)

Conference Presentations:

Akram, T., Blackman, A., Funke, F.L., Kliebisch, M., Koch, M., Kersten, K. (2021). Effekt von Inputqualität auf Deutsch- und Englisch­kompetenzen. Posterpräsentation.FFF: Universitäten Eichstätt-Ingolstadt und Leipzig.


Kersten, K., Blackman, A., Funke, F.L., Akram, T., Kliebisch, M., Koch, M.J. (in press). Input quality affects L1 and L2 proficiency and moderates the effect of socioeconomic status. Fortschritte im frühen Fremdsprachenlernen. Konferenzband zur 5. Tagung im Dezember 2021. Salzburg: Schriftbild.
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.13137.61284

Study 2: Diverging perspectives?

In the following 'Projektband', a second part of the project investigates how student teachers evaluate the teaching strategies they use in their training classrooms, and to what extent this self-assessment corresponds to, or differs from, the lesson assessments of experienced experts in foreign language teaching. As in Study 1, data elicitation is carried out using the TIOS subsequent to the students’ L2 lessons. Results will shed light on differences between students’ and experts’ conceptualizations of teaching strategies, and will ultimately inform the quality of foreign language teacher training programs in Germany.

The project is a multi-site study which is carried out identically at four universities, i.e., University of Hildesheim, University of Leipzig, Unversity of Potsdam, and Universty of Vechta.

Student Researchers:

Lea Busch, Marleen Chill, Jill Chowanec, Vanessa Clavey, Samira Ghorbani, Frederike Klose, Sarah Nerlich, Sophie Sieverding, Leonie Tacke
(English Department, University of Hildesheim)

Conference Presentations:

Roos, J., Ruhm, H., Kersten, K., Bruns­meier, S., Glaser, K. (2022). Effective teaching strategies in the primary EFL classroom – Diverging perspectives? ATFLY. Universities of Leipzig and Wuppertal.


Kersten, K., Glaser, K., Ruhm, H., Roos, J., Brunsmeier, S., Koch, M.J. (submitted). Student teachers’ and experts’ perceptions of effective teaching techniques in the primary L2 English classroom. In S. Frisch, K. Glaser (Eds.), Early language education in instructed contexts: Current issues and empirical insights into teaching and learning languages in primary school. John Benjamins.