Online Teachers Course

  • 24 lessons
  • 0 quizzes
  • 1 week duration

Online Teachers Course

Why is it relevant?

Denmark has a unitary school system which means, among other things, that pupils with very diverse qualifications and needs – and thus also bilingual pupils – must be integrated into general education. As a result, the need for educational differentiation has been increasing in recent decades. In addition, a principle has been formulated in the legislation that the school must challenge all pupils so that they are as proficient as they can be. This gives rise to a necessary interest in how pupils with different learning prerequisites and potentials participate in a rewarding and meaningful way in school teaching.

Differentiated teaching is a framework that allows the teacher to assess and adjust his/hers teaching to suit the individual pupil’s prerequisites and skills. This does not mean that teaching should be individualised, but that activities, methods and content are organised with a view to the participation of all pupils.

Bilingual pupils in Denmark must develop language skills based on their overall language prerequisites so that they can understand, and use spoken and written Danish. This means that bilingual pupils’ Danish language teaching must be as closely as possible to the school’s other subjects, so that the pupil can also benefit from the teaching here. Likewise, language teaching must strengthen each pupil’s self-esteem and confidence in their own opportunities and promote the versatile development of each student.

In a Danish context, a distinction is made between basic teaching for pupils who are about to start learning Danish, supplementary teaching for pupils who are enrolled in an ordinary class and need to further develop their language proficiency, and finally ‘Danish as a second language’ as a dimension in general subject teaching. Notwithstanding this distinction, teachers must relate to the prerequisites of each newly arrived pupil and reconcile their didactic and pedagogical choices accordingly. However, it is the last form of teaching that we have an eye to in this context – i.e. ‘Danish as a second language’.

It is important that the school,  early after receiving a newly arrived  bilingual pupil,  should identify  his/her competence in order to be able to organise and implement the best adapted and thus differentiated course for the benefit of the pupil’s learning and well-being. The identification shall ensure that the requirements and expectations of the teaching are adjusted to the pupil’s skills and competences. And it must be continuously qualified through follow-up involving different actors’ different competences.  It is also important for the overall identification that the pupil’s background and experience are also considered because this knowledge helps to form an important starting point for understanding and further work on the pupil’s competences and participation opportunities.

In this context, it is a point that the approach to identify and continuous follow-up should take a resource perspective, where the pupil’s competences are the focus in order to use the his/her knowledge, skills and motivation in relation to further learning. This resource perspective should shape professional dialogue and continued cooperation with the pupil on learning and teaching, enabling differentiation, thereby providing the pupil with an experience of possessing relevant competences and learning progression.