German Intensive class (IK)

In a German Intensive Class (IK), the teacher draws a clown with a thick red nose on the blackboard, points to it, and asks: "What is that?". Nensi, eleven years old and from Albania, answers excitedly and replies: "This is Tomato!"

These kinds of scenes are typical for teaching in an IK class at the Georg-August-Zinn school. Next to Nensi, there are children from Thailand, Cameroon, Japan, Argentina and Spain sitting in the class. Some have only been to Kassel for a few weeks; while others have been in Germany for ten months. What brings them together is the interest in learning the German language. What distinguishes them are their prerequisites: the range stretches from students with no or little knowledge of German to advanced learners.

The teachers of the IK class are faced with the challenge of meeting this diversity as well as the individual needs of the IK students. The Georg-August-Zinn-School (GAZ) has a wealth of experience in this area. It began more than forty years ago with the integration immigrant children from Russia and Poland.

The children are divided into the intensive classes according to their age and regardless of their origin. The concept of the Europaschule therefore provides for the following German Intensive Classes:

  • IK1 for students from grade 5 to 7
  • IK2 for students from grade 7 to 10

Due to the current inflow of refugees from war zones and children with a migration background, the number of students to be enrolled in the IK classes is increasing. The GAZ reacts to this new situation by further developing the existing, flexibly designed concept (see diagram).

Further development of the IK concept

The IK 1a and 2a classes are for beginners and newcomers. Most of the school lessons are taught in German so that the students can develop their German language skills. IK 1 and IK 2 classes are for advanced students. The students there improve their German skills and the teachers prepare them for the regular classes. They are also offered the opportunity to take part in the language test "German Language Diploma" (DSD) of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK).

The integration and funding concept of the GAZ therefore offers to all IK students, regardless of their age or origin, not only intensive language lessons which are indispensable for further learning success, but also an individually tailored entry into the German school and education system.

(Parwane Ibrahimkhail, Bhente Amir Seyed)



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