Since the 1970s, the Landesspracheninstitut has been teaching practical foreign language skills in intensive courses of 6 to 8 hours per day. This basic approach to language teaching, to develop foreign language skills over a period of two to three weeks with a high daily learning workload, places special challenges on the methods and framework conditions used.
Speaking - right from the start
In principle, the teaching at LSI is based on dialogue and emphasises intensive communication between the learners and the lecturers. Methodically, tandem exercises, role plays, exercise dialogues and other forms of oral communication (listening / speaking) are in the foreground, which in turn represent the central learning objectives. In addition, the more receptive skills (reading/writing) are taught at LSI. Depending on the learning level and course format and in relation to the concrete course objectives, the interrelationship between listening / speaking and reading / writing can also change in such a way that - e.g. in special reading courses - priority is given to receptive skills. In all languages taught at LSI, with the exception of Chinese characters, the respective writing systems are also introduced and practiced.
Personal learning atmosphere
The teaching at LSI is characterised by the fact that individual learning requirements and learning paths are given outstanding importance, which is reflected in everyday teaching practice. With up to nine people, the learning groups have an ideal size to offer sufficient freedom for individual questions and learning needs. This makes it possible for every learner to actively participate in lessons, but there is also the possibility of addressing personal questions and learning contexts. The learner receives direct support from the teacher, who on the one hand remains aware of his role as a proven mediator of new knowledge and desired competences, and on the other hand sees himself above all as a trainer and consultant who assists the learner in the acquisition of foreign languages. The lessons are held in a foreign language as far as possible (in the sense of "enlightened mono-lingualism").
In addition, the introduction, explanation and practice of grammatical rules and patterns find their appropriate place in intensive language courses. On the one hand, the use of this method serves to clarify and enhance the cognition of linguistic mechanisms and functional contexts; on the other hand, it also produces a noticeable temporal economy, which is not without significance in view of the often compressed learning times. Grammar for the sake of grammar does not take place at the LSI.
The central learning objective in all courses is language competence and thus the "can do" in the corresponding foreign language requirement context. Autonomous learning, in which the learning process itself is largely independently planned and implemented, is flanked by classroom instruction in the follow-up and preparation phase.
The use of media (auditory and visual materials, vocabulary trainers, etc.), which are integrated into the lessons and are also available for independent follow-up work, also plays an important role at LSI.
In the future, LSI will further enhance the area of autonomous, self-determined learning and is developing the web-based, interactive learning platform LSI.Online, on which courses that have already been completed in class can be reprocessed and consolidated as well as new areas of competence (e.g. reading skills, listening comprehension, grammatical knowledge) can be developed.