Evaluation ex post
For four years, the School Backpack programme has been evaluated by the University of Hamburg (supported by the Freudenberg Foundation) as part of the first longitudinal study of a language education and parent education programme in Germany, to examine its effectiveness and for quality assurance purposes.
The guiding question was: Do children who participate in the school backpack programme have higher linguistic skills in German and in their family language by the end of primary school than those who do not participate in the programme?
The study proves the effectiveness of the concept and shows a wide margin of gain also beyond the children's linguistic competencies.
- Increase in the frequency of extracurricular reading activities.
- Narrative ability in mother-tongue Turkish shows an advantage.
- Stronger gains in the development of narrative writing skills, also and especially in the formative language elements in German.
- Most schools show a focus on parent education with clear parallelisation efforts by Turkish teachers.
- Parents' materials and exercise sheets for family language work of parents with children at home. They are available in Arabic, German, English, French, Greek, Polish, Russian, Serbian (Croatian), Spanish and Turkish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Albanian. Further translations are being sought.
- Teaching materials for classroom and heritage language teaching with exercises, tasks, and activities for continuous language education. They are available in the same languages as the parent materials and exercise sheets. Further translations are being sought.
- Accompanying materials for the preparation, organisation, and implementation of the programme with suggestions for practical implementation.
- Materials for parent guides to prepare the work in the parent group and supplementary educational and project topics.
It has been reproduced and is an established programme by now. Schools can contact the coordination and apply for training and consultation in order to implement the practice within their environment.
Motivation for the submission
Since multilingualism is one the three main KPIs this best practice is highly recommendable for its methodological approach as well as its reproducibility as it combines education, parent partnership, and school development.