Principles and modern education methods of learning German as the second language in Germany

Keywords: learning by teaching, learning by doing, German as the second foreign language, motivation, authenticity, professional orientation, principles of teaching, cognitive thinking


The article is devoted to the analysis of the German scientists’ works on the methodology of teaching German as the second foreign language with an aim to determine the basic principles of teaching and characteristics of the features of modern alternative methods of foreign language learning. Having analyzed the works of A. Berndt, W. Butzkamm, R. Faistauer, T. Fritz, U. Gibitz, V. Janíková, B. Kumaravadivelu and others, the basic methodological principles were defined: a) Learning by Doing – learning through activities and in the process of activity, on the assumption that the main goals of foreign language learning are communication and interaction with other cultures, and information acquisition (this principle helps to involve cognitive and affective areas of students in the teaching process); b) Individualization of the Educational Process, that facilitates the student’s awareness of their strong and weak possibilities at learning, the support and development of distinctness so as to self-select own meanings of learning (individualization contributes to the development of self-awareness, autonomy and responsibility); c) Communicative Principle; it means that teaching German is built adequately to the real process of speech communication, in other words the teaching process is the model of speech communication process; d) Authenticity, that is realized in three aspects: the choice of authentic materials, the use of authentic methods, the creation of authentic communication in the authentic environment; e) Motivation, the stimulus of which is the problematicity and the communicative orientation of educational tasks which transform language learning into a research and experimentation process of language discovery, which activates the students’ intellectual and creative abilities.

On the ground of these principles and the researches of methodologists Jean-Pol Martin, Joachim Grzega, Franz Waldherr, Roland Graef, Rolf-Dieter Preller, the method «Learning by teaching» was singled out and analyzed as in our opinion the most suitable for the future German teachers training. This method helps to direct the whole studying process onto the active independent work of students, the activation of their potential, the creation of conditions for their self-expression, self-development and preparation for their future profession. German language classes serve as the organization of students’ interactive communicating; promote their collective decision-making, which helps to form the foreign language competence with a professional orientation. Students, with the help of their teacher’s step-by-step instructions, prepare and conduct a lesson. The task of the teacher is to organize their active communication and the development of interpersonal contacts.


1. Berndt A. Motivation ist nicht statisch – Motivation ändert sich / Annette Berndt // Fremdsprache Deutsch. – 2002. – Heft 26. – S. 12–15.

2. Berger L., Grzega J., Spannagel Ch. Lernen durch Lehren im Fokus – Berichte von LdL-Einsteigern und LdL-Experten / Lutz Berger, Joachim Grzega, Christian Spannagel (Hrsg.) // Epubli. – 2011.

3. Butzkamm W. Lust zum Lehren, Lust zum Lernen: Fremdsprachen von Anfang an anders unterrichten / Wolfgang Butzkamm // 3. überarbeitete Aufl. Tübingen: Francke. – 2012. – 428 S. ISBN 978- 3-7720-8447-8.

4. Fritz T., Faistauer R. Prinzipien eines Sprachunterrichts / Fritz, Thomas, Faistauer, Renate // In Bogenreiter-Feigl, Elisabeth (Hrsg.) Paradigmenwechsel Sprachenlernen im 21. Jahrhundert: Szenarios – Anforderungen – Profile – Ausbildung Wien: Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen. – 2008. – S. 125–133. ISBN: 978-3-902922-25-7.

5. Gibitz U. (2012) Fremdsprachen lernen und lehren heute / Ulrich Gibitz // Available at : mediapool/61/617820/data/fremdsprachen_lernen _und_lehren_heute_correct.pdf.

6. Janikova V. Mnohojazyčnost a didaktika cizích jazyků / Vera Janikova // Brno: Masarykova univerzita. – 2013. – 127 S. ISBN 978-80-210-6683-0.

7. Martin Jean-Pol. Lernen durch Lehren: ein modernes Unterrichtskonzept / Jean-Pol Martin // Schulverwaltung Bayern, März – Link-Verlag. – 2000. – 13 S.

Author Biography

Nataliia Marchenko, SHEI «Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi State Pedagogical Hryhorii Skovoroda University»

Lecturer at the chair for foreign philology, translation and education methodology

How to Cite
Marchenko, N. (2017). Principles and modern education methods of learning German as the second language in Germany. Theoretical and Didactic Philology, (26), 63-72. Retrieved from