What are the principles of English writing

Principles of foreign language didactics

The principles of general foreign language didactics also apply to early language acquisition, albeit with a slightly different focus. In the early foreign language lessons, the foreign language (oral) ability to act is more important than usual.

The language skills are acquired and applied in authentic situations and thematic contexts. These can be assigned to specific fields of experience. The areas of experience that are important for foreign language teaching in primary school are based on the environment and interests of the children (for example: me and my family, my school, the weather, caring for a pet, leisure time, nutrition). In addition, it is recommended to link early foreign language lessons with subjects and content from general teaching (for example, the street as a traffic and living space, living together in peace, careful treatment of nature and the environment, orientation in the media world). When dealing with key issues such as these, strategies for understanding new elements from the linguistic or situational context can be learned and promoted, among other things.
The training of skills in foreign language teaching follows the sequence in natural language acquisition:

  1. Hear and understand
  2. Speak
  3. Read and understand
  4. Write
The development of communicative skills is closely linked to the acquisition and secure availability of basic linguistic resources: vocabulary, grammar, spelling, pronunciation and intonation. However, since the foreign language ability to act is in the foreground, the linguistic means in the primary level are more of a supportive character.

All curricula contain suggestions for such useful linguistic components: typical pronunciation and intonation patterns, elementary vocabulary, linguistic means of expression and grammatical structures. They were selected in such a way that they optimally support the goal of bringing about the elementary communication skills.

In contrast to the past, the use of the typeface is more important today, even if the oral continues to have priority in the primary level. Recent studies show that children benefit from reading and writing in a foreign language. For example, foreign language lessons can make use of experiences that children have gained in acquiring the written language in their mother tongue, for example certain strategies to differentiate between meanings and develop them.
Vocabulary and phrases
The vocabulary acquisition should take place in a spiral-shaped progression. This means: At each level of the vocabulary expansion, the vocabulary already learned is used as a starting point for new terms and thus consolidated again.

For the realization of the language intentions prescribed in the curriculum (for example, greeting someone, thanking someone or asking a question, expressing agreement), general expressions are specified that are based on the expressions most frequently used for language functions according to age.

The conception of the meaning of grammatical progression has changed significantly in early foreign language didactics. The introduction of grammatical elements is now a mandatory part of language didactics, whereby the selection is limited to an indispensable minimum. This is justified by the fact that a wealth of language functions can be implemented with this minimum.

An example of English as a first foreign language from the curriculum of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for grade 4:

Area: availability of linguistic resources, focus: grammar, competence expectations at the end of class 4

The students form simple sentences with a few simple grammatical structures and patterns, for example:
They report and tell about present and past events from their own area of ​​experience. They use the following shapes and structures, among others:

  • nouns: singular, plural, limited specified irregular plural forms (men, women, children ...)
  • pronouns (he / she, my / your ...)
  • determiners: the, a, an, some, a lot of, this ...
  • adjectives: appearances, feelings, ...
  • adverbs: time, frequency, manner
  • prepositions: time, place
Discovery learning
Like all linguistic skills, grammatical structures should also be developed inductively in conversational situations (discovery learning). For the mediation, the mastery of conscious processes is propagated, although little is known about the appropriate methodical implementation. Tatjana Kuhn provides the first teaching methodological suggestions for imparting awareness-raising procedures for inductive development of grammatical structures.

In their curricula, the federal states mainly name the following didactic principles for the design of foreign language teaching:
  • extensive monolingualism
  • Action orientation in authentic language learning situations
  • Priority of oral language action using the learning supportive effect of writing or reading and writing
  • playful, creative use of language
  • functional fault tolerance - fluency before accuracy
  • communicative progression
  • Speech reflection
  • Internal differentiation
  • Building on the existing multilingualism in the learning group
  • holistic learning


Legutke, Michael; Müller-Hartmann, Andreas; Shocker v. Dithfurth, Marita (2009): Teaching English in the Primary School. Stuttgart, Klett. P. 17ff.

Kultusministerkonferenz (2013): Report "Foreign languages ​​in primary schools - State of affairs and concepts 2013" Decision of the Kultusministerkonferenz of October 17, 2013, p. 3.

Rymarczyk, Jutta (2008): Sooner or later? To introduce the typeface in elementary school. In: Böttger, Heiner, (Ed.) Advances in early foreign language learning. Selected conference contributions Nuremberg 2007. Munich, Domino-Verlag. Pp. 170-182.

Edelenbos, Peter; Johnstone, Richard; Kubanek, Angelika (2006): The most important pedagogical principles for foreign language early education. Languages ​​for the children of Europe. Research publications, good practice, and key principles. Final report of the study EAC 89/04 (lot 1). Brussels, European Commission.

Mindt, Dieter; Schlüter, Norbert (2007): Results-oriented English teaching. For grades 3 and 4. Berlin, Cornelsen Scriptor. P. 67.

Kuhn, Tatjana (2006): Grammar in English teaching at primary level. Theoretical foundations and practical teaching suggestions. Heidelberg, winter.

Quality and Support Agency - State Institute for Schools (2010): English Curriculum - Skills.