Developing general writing skills at VET schools

Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW, Language Competence Centre

Lead researcher: Prof. FH Dr. Joachim Hoefele

Duration: 01.06.2012 - 23.02.2015

In general education in vocational schools, a high proportion of learners come from an immigrant background. They are generally taught according to guidelines and practices that are designed for monolingual - German-speaking - students, and by teachers who are trained to deliver lessons to native speakers of German. In the project on Developing general writing skills at vocational schools, Process-oriented teaching of writing skills between DaM (German as a first language) and DaZ (German as a second language), a concept of process-oriented teaching of writing skills was developed that combines teaching in first and second languages and promotes the development of both written and oral skills.

To implement and evaluate the concept, students were taught writing and language skills and tested prior to (pre-test) and following (post-test) the teaching. The results of a follow-up survey showed that the teaching session had a moderate effect on writing skills. The general writing skills of the students in the experimental group compared with the control group improved immediately after teaching. As for the long-term effect on writing skills, in the experimental group there was found to be a positive but insignificant development between the post-test and follow-up, whereby the experimental group performed significantly better than the control group in the follow-up test. Students training for professions with higher scholastic requirements performed better in writing on average, whereas the improvement made by those training for professions with lower scholastic requirements was greater.


Project description on the ZHAW website (german)

Further information


Valorisierungsbericht (PDF, 398 kB, 23.07.2015)Prof. FH Dr. J. Hoefele