TEPS - Teaching English in Primary Schools

In the German context, foreign language education is a relatively new school subject at primary level. Since the school year 2004/05 learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) has been a compulsory primary school subject in most of the 16 German federal states. In all federal states children learn a foreign language at least from year 3 onwards; in four states (i.e. North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg, Hamburg & Rhineland-Palatinate) the age of onset is earlier, in the second half of year 1 (effective: May 2019). There is insufficient evidence regarding an early or late start in primary EFL education and its effects on learners’ target language proficiency. Furthermore, there is little empirical knowledge about other factors in early EFL education, such as teaching quality or teacher characteristics. The TEPS study is addressing these research gaps by exploring the conditions and outcomes of primary EFL education in two different federal states with different ages of onset, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.

The TEPS study is a cross-sectional study in two federal states testing the receptive EFL proficiency of primary learners’ with different ages of onset at the end of year 4. Furthermore, both learners and primary EFL teachers were surveyed regarding further variables. For the main study in data was collected among 770 primary learners and 844 primary EFL teachers in summer 2017 (pilot study: summer 2016).

Duration: Jan. 2015 – Dec. 2017
Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Eva Wilden & Prof. Dr. Raphaela Porsch
Project management: Janina Ehmke
Project team: Benjamin Möbus, Rebecca Schlieckmann

Publications:

Wilden, E., Porsch, R. & Schurig, M. (accepted). An early start in primary EFL education and the role of teacher qualification and teaching quality. Language Teaching for Young Learners.

Wilden, E., & Porsch, R. (submitted/2020). L1 and L2 use in primary EFL education and the role of teachers’ L2 proficiency. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching. Special Issue: English Language Learning in Primary Schools: Variables at Play.

Wilden, E., & Porsch, R. (2019). Early vs. Late Starters' Receptive Proficiency. Babylonia, 2019(2), 46.


Presentations

Wilden, E., & Porsch, R. (2018). Early vs. Late Starters' Receptive Proficiency. Researching Primary EFL Education with a Special Focus on Teaching Quality and Teacher Characteristics. First International ADLES Conference, PH Lausanne/Switzerland, Sept. 6-7,2018.

Porsch, R. & Wilden, E. (2018). Enthusiasm for teaching English as a foreign language in primary school: differences by teacher qualifications. ECER Conference 2018, Bozen/Italy, Sept. 4-7, 2018.

Porsch, R. & Wilden, E. (2018). Teaching English as a foreign language in primary school: teacher education and qualification in Germany. 5th Teaching Across Specializations (TAS) Symposium: “Researching Teaching Out-of-field in Math, Science and beyond”, Bozen/Italy, Sept. 2-3, 2018.

Wilden, E. & Porsch, R. (2018). The Impact of Teaching Quality and Teacher Characteristics on Early and Late Starters’ Receptive EFL Proficiency: The TEPS Study. Early Language Learning Conference, Reykjavik/Iceland, June 13-15, 2018.

Wilden, E. & Porsch, R. (2018). More is better? A comparative study on the effects of lesson quantity and teaching quality on EFL reading skills of primary learners. Invited talk in the colloquium ‘Reading and Writing in the Primary EFL Class’ at the Early Language Learning Conference, Reykjavik/Iceland, June 13-15, 2018.

Möbus, B. & Wilden, E. (2017). Self-efficacy beliefs of differently qualified primary EFL teachers. A study. DGFF Conference 2017, University of Jena/Germany, Sept. 27-30, 2017.

Schlieckmann, R. & Wilden, E. (2017). Bridging the Gap. Eine Studie zu den Lehr-Lern-Einstellungen von Englischlehrkräften der Grundschule und des Gymnasiums [Bridging the gap. A study primary and secondary EFL teachers' beliefs on learning and teaching]. DGFF Conference 2017, University of Jena/Germany, Sept. 27-30, 2017.

Wilden, E. & Porsch, R. (2017). Findings from the TEPS study: teacher characteristics, teaching quality and primary EFL learners' receptive proficiency. Biannual conference of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA) 2017 'Innovation and epistemological challenges in Applied Linguistics', Rio de Janeiro/Brazil, July 23-28, 2017.