To address the challenges of applying the competency-based approach in the context of teaching German, in 2021, the German Teachers Association of the Central Region of Cameroon and LCE-Cameroon have jointly initiatedpractical competencies of teachers of the German language through interdisciplinary practical workshops.
This project comes in a context where, despite the introduction of a competency-based approach in our school system, but in practice, it is still theoretically designed.
Just as in other subjects, German teaching is much more exam-oriented and not competence-oriented as it should be according to the new approach. This could be due to the fact that teachers don't have enough time to cover all the programs.
There are other reasons why the introduction of competence orientation has not yet been effective like the lack of practical skills of teachers..
Unfortunately, good knowledge or theoretical knowledge is not enough to meet the demands of today's society, because, besides knowledge, practical competencies are essential.
The situation here is that the system only focuses on developing student skills, but we believe that the teacher should be the first model for the students. Thus, Teachers with practical skills are more equipped to effectively work with students.
Therefore, we are advocating a two-sided skills approach here rather than a one-sided approach, as has been the case.
We believe that teaching a foreign language is an interdisciplinary exercise. The teaching of German, Spanish, and English in Cameroon is based on five modules: family and socio-cultural life, environment, health and well-being, economic life, media, and communication, and citizenship.
The practical skills that learners can develop are integrated into various subjects such as biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc. As part of a course on the Environment, Health, and Wellbeing module, for example, teachers can organize projects on soap making and its daily use. For this, these teachers must develop knowledge in the field of chemistry and/or involve a chemistry teacher.
The 1st in-service training session of German teachers on interdisciplinary practice workshop was held on 20 February 2021 at the headquarters of LiSy Creative Education Cameroon (LCE Cameroon). The module concerned was Family and Social Life. Thanks to the financial support of the Goethe-Institut in Yaoundé, the association was able to offer high-quality in-service training to nine teachers. This idea of in-service training was born in a context where all actors in the education system (teachers, students, parents, inspectors, etc.) are complaining more and more about the theoretical nature of teaching. As a possible solution to this challenge, the association has developed a program of 6 training sessions to develop practical competencies. At the end of this 1st training session, teachers have developed three practical competencies as well as one language competence. The practical competencies were the production of candles, decorative flowers, and making wooden trivets.
- Menthol Making
- Soap Making
- The making of hand sanitizer
- Making a cement flower pot.
- Making a paper towel holder.
- Making a wooden mobile bin.
- Making creative envelopes.
- Making a pop-up card.
- Learning the features of Google Meet.
Didactic games :
- Vocabulary game.
- Game of knowledge of the map of Cameroon.
- Game of knowledge of the main towns of 10 regions of Cameroon.