LCE-Cameroon promotes teacher and student competencies through interdisciplinarity workshops: this is a proposed solution to the challenges of implementing the competency-based approach of German teachers. Quality education is the fundamental basis for improving people's lives and sustainable development.
Project Context

The use of the competency-based approach in the Cameroonian education system seven years ago has innovated pedagogical and didactic practices. This approach is considered one of the best approaches to meet the demands and challenges of today’s society, both economically and socially (Tayim, 2017). Although the education system has placed it at the center of its agenda, it must be acknowledged that there has not been much progress in practice in terms of tools and mechanisms to implement the competency-based approach (ibid.). A first deficit is the lack of effective integration of this pedagogical approach in the current teacher training for both German and other subjects in Cameroon.

 

In order to address the challenges of applying the competency-based approach in the context of teaching German, the German Teachers Association of the Central Region of Cameroon and the LiSy Creative Education Cameroon (LCE) Association have jointly developed a project to promote the practical competencies of teachers and learners of German through their participation in interdisciplinary practical workshops.

Objectives

In order to improve the quality of teaching and learning, as well as the efficiency of the use of competence orientation in Cameroonian DaF teaching, this project has the following goals:

  1. develop teacher and learner competencies, which is the best way to more efficiently use the competency-based approach,
  2. stimulate the creativity of the teachers and the learners,
  3. present the lessons in a more interesting way, so that the students have fun while learning,
  4. illustrate the interdisciplinary nature of teaching German,
  5. increase the motivation of teachers and learners.

 

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.

Theoritical Design
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.
Theoritical Design
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.
The Interdisciplinarity
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, economics, etc.
LiSy Creative Education Cameroon