Follow-up study at secondary schools in Bavaria: Longitudinal effects of the project “Learning in two languages – Bilingual Primary School English”

Long-term effects of the Bavarian initiative “Learning in two languages – Bilingual Primary School English” are examined in this follow-up study (2019 – 2022) with over 100 secondary schools (secondary modern schools, i.e., “Mittelschulen” and “Realschulen” and grammar schools, i.e. “Gymnasien”), which are located throughout Bavaria. This project is funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Education (“Staatsministerium für Unterricht und Kultus”) in Munich.

The aim of this follow-up study is to gain insights into the educational and foreign language development of those secondary school pupils (grades 5 to 7) who had previously attended one of the 21 bilingual primary schools participating in the Bavarian initiative “Learning in two languages – Bilingual Primary School English”. In these schools, English is not only taught as a subject but the language is also used as a medium of communication for conveying content in subjects like mathematics, science, music, arts or PE.

This longitudinal follow-up study examines the extent to which these pupils feel well-received by secondary schools with regard to their educational / language biography. Test instruments include questionnaires for students, teachers and parents, English language tests for selected pupils and interviews with English secondary school teachers, which are administered at the end of grades 5, 6 and 7. The outcomes of this follow-up project are two-fold: First, the questionnaires will show which teaching strategies used in the secondary school English classroom are effective for pupils who had previously attended a bilingual primary school. Second, the results of students’ English tests will give teachers additional feedback on how to support the development of these students as effectively as possible. In Germany, this is the first project that follows bilingual primary schoolers’ educational / language biography in secondary schools in a longitudinal fashion.