Friedrich-Ebert-Oberschule, Berlin

Author(s): Adrian Bröking
Institution/Organisation: Friedrich-Ebert-Oberschule, Berlin (DE)


1.1 Scope of the initiative

The initiative is undertaken at local level.

Target group: secondary (grammar school) students from grade 8-12 (13-18 years)

The project involves cooperation with two postgraduate students of Freie Universität Berlin who have functioned as project launchers.

The initiative involves support for and establishment of a partnership with a comprehensive school in Guatemala.

An exchange programme for teachers and students has been started.


1.2  Range of languages studied

Covered language(s): Spanish and (to a very small degree) indigenous Maya languages.


1.3  Learning outcomes

A ‘real’ motivation for students to learn Spanish has been achieved by creating anauthentic communicative demand.

The language learning process is closely connected to other, more general learning
processes like

  • project-based cooperation by students from different age-groups
  • self-organisation,
  • planning fund-raising activities,
  • negotiating with project supporters.
  • achieving intercultural awareness (•
  • to be measured by qualitive methods, still
  • in progress)


1.4  Practical realisation

Specific structure of the initiative: a group of teachers plus postgraduate students;the initiative is not officially controlled.

Project launched by 2 university students (Freie Universität Berlin) who were looking
for school contact in order to carry out a humanitarian help initiative.

Project aim: to organize support for a school in Santiago de Atitlán (Guatemala),  destroyed by a natural disaster (landslide) in October 2005.
The project is outside the official curriculum. There are, however, many points of contact which allow to relate it to the standard language classes on different levels.

Project partners:

  • the destroyed school which has become one official partner school of Friedrich Ebert’s
  • Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and several foundations as finance-and knowledge-oriented supporters for the project (e.g.) to cover travel costs
  • Local venues where benefit performances have been carried out

Realisation phases:

2006-spring 2007:

  • Project group gets to know the issue, starts fund-raising activities
    Organisation of supportive Spanish classes for students who do not learn the language in one of our official language classes.

July/August 2007:

  • a group of 2 teachers and about 10 students from our school travel to Guatemala to hand over a donation of several thousands of Euro.
  • during that time they live in the students’ families who in their majority have an indigenous background.

September 2007-spring 2008:

several other fund-raising activities are carried out.

22 May – 7 June 2008:

planned return visit by Guatemaltecan teachers and students to Berlin:

  • The visitors, who in their great majority have never been out of their hometown will be living in German-speaking families which provides our students with excellent opportunities for close contacts with representative of a culture unknown to them.
  • The visitors will be brought together with Spanish-learners of different ages from our school who do not belong to the project group.
  • A closer connection of the project work to the official Spanish curriculum is intended.
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