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Teaching Core and Language in Bilingual Settings

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Bilingual students with CCN are depending on communication aids that represent their different languages (ideally coherently) and allow switches in between (‘code switching’). This is a requirement for AAC intervention that aims towards increased participation in the students’ communicative environments. In this presentation, similar, yet language specific English and German low- and high-tech communication aids will be introduced as an example for a coherent bilingual AAC system. The core vocabulary was selected based on research data on German native speakers’ and English native speakers’ and ESL students’ language use. The materials are very similar in organization and vocabulary, but they differ in language specific characteristics like word order and grammar. These similarities and differences can help to support teaching the languages and AAC system use at the same time.
First experiences show that these materials serve both as communication aids but also as tools that support language development and language learning (second and foreign language learning). In particular the wallpaper with Velcro symbols is not just as a tool for modeling language for the AAC users, but also helpful as a language visualization tool for all students.
One of the workshop´s goal is to discuss the language learning and teaching possibilities while using linguistically built communication systems. We will offer a reading activity with core vocabulary in two languages, incorporate modeling activities and use a cooperative learning approach to gather information on the topic of ‘wallpaper use and purposes in the multilingual classroom’.


Stefanie Sachse, PhD    
University of Cologne

Lena Schmidt    
University of Cologne

Jens Boenisch, PhD    
University of Cologne


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