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Doctoral project: Language teacher collaboration on a cross-curricular writing pedagogy in language of schooling and foreign language classrooms

This project involves a collaboration between teachers of different languages (German, English, French, Spanish) that aimed at developing a cross-curricular teaching approach to writing in all the language classrooms. We developed new teaching materials that facilitate such a shared teaching approach. The project took place in two secondary schools in Berlin, Germany.

Project information

Doctoral student
Justyna Legutko
Marie Källkvist
Assistant supervisor
Jukka Tyrkkö, Claes Ohlsson, Ewa Bergh Nestlog
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
august 2020–june 2025
Linguistics (Department of Languages, Faculty of Arts and Humanities) 
Research group
Educational Linguistics

More about the project

Even though teachers of the language of schooling and of foreign languages all teach writing in their respective language classrooms, few cross-curricular connections are made in their teaching practices. The present PhD project attends to this gap, aiming at (1) gaining a deeper understanding of how teachers of different languages teach writing, and (2) exploring the extent to which teachers of different languages can align their teaching approaches to writing. Data were collected at two secondary schools in Berlin, Germany, where German is the language of schooling, English the first foreign language and French or Spanish the second foreign language.

The project was divided into two phases: an ethnographic and a design phase. Through observations, interviews and analysis of educational policy documents, the ethnographic phase revealed that teachers of German, English, French and Spanish have divergent teaching approaches. Writing tasks in most German classrooms focussed on teaching specific genre and text types while writing tasks in the foreign language classrooms were predominantly motivated by practising new grammar. Moreover, this phase revealed the central role of teaching materials in mediating teaching practice.

Consequently, the second phase involved the design of teaching materials that could be used in any language classroom at the school and were adapted to the local needs of the participating teachers. The materials brought together knowledge about genre and grammar, by including information on the expected content, text structure and language use in all language classrooms. In addition, the materials introduced a view on writing as a social practice by encouraging discussion on the communicative purpose of writing tasks. The materials were used in a German and Spanish classroom and inspired new teaching practices.


The project is part of the Linnaeus Knowledge Environment Education in change.