Speak Up!

  Das Speak Up! Logo Speak Up! Project

What is Speak Up!?

The Speak Up! project is a university/school co-operation of the RWTH English Department and Rhein-Maas-Gymnasium, Aachen. It started up in July 2012 with the purpose of improving RMG pupils’ spoken English, enriching the teacher training offering to students in the “Staatsexamen” and Bachelor programmes, and providing a platform for research. In recent years students have been teaching a weekly session in small groups at the school, focussing on encouraging the pupils to speak. The teaching period covers approximately 30 weeks. Based upon the positive experiences and outcomes of the project at Rhein-Maas-Gymnasium, Dalton Gymnasium Alsdorf, and Gymnasium Würselen have joined for year 6 of Speak Up!.

  Rhein-Maas-Gymnasium, Außenansicht Speak Up! Project  

How does it work?

RWTH students are assigned to a class and a supervising teacher. Teaching takes place in small groups such that all the pupils in the class receive tuition in the course of the school year. The task is to “Get the pupils speaking!” Support for lesson design is provided by the supervising teacher, the coaching team and the Speak Up! management team. The project tuition is conducted with Years 5 to Q1. Coaches who are given the opportunity to gain teaching experience in Speak Up! also have hands-on experience of devising and implementing assessment for evaluating the impact of their work on improving pupils’ spoken English.

Who can take part?

Students in the third year and beyond of the Lehramt Bachelor programme are eligible to take part in the project.

We are recruiting now for the academic year 2018/19. If you would like to inform us about your interest or would like further information please contact .

Information for RWTH students

The Speak Up! project is integrated into the Fachdidaktik- module and fulfils the requirements of the Seminar Ausgewählte Aspekte des Englischunterrichts/Hauptseminar: Fachdidaktik II. It also fulfils the requirements for the Berufsfeldpraktikum. The teaching period at the project schools for the upcoming 7th year will start in November or December 2018 and finish in July 2019. Occasionally, students are worried that their competence in English might be insufficient for taking part in the project. It goes without saying that all students studying in the Bachelor programme are expected to be proficient in English. If you have any doubts or questions, however, feel free to discuss this with the project managers.


Project Leadership

Didactics input: Prof. Frauke Intemann
Linguistics input: Prof. Stella Neumann
Headmaster Rhein-Maas-Gymnasium: Jochen Geradts

Project Managers

Nicola Brown
Anne Strobelt

Project Assistant

Thomas Schilling

Supporting Colleagues

Dr. Anette Bretschneider
Dr. Julia Dinn
Britta Gühsgen-Moll

Alumni Support Team

Speaking coaches wanting to stay connected to the project belong to the Alumni Support Team. The aim is to offer help and advice to the current student team whenever needed and support the project in practical ways, sometimes even by undertaking a second year of teaching. AST members join can join the seminar sessions at any time and also the Kick-off and Wind-up events. Any former speaking coach is welcome join the AST.

Speaking Coaches

  These are the speaking coaches of 2017 and 2018 Speak up Speak Up! Team 2017 and 2018: Madita Broden, Corinna Frings, Sabrina von Normann, Anne Palm, Kerstin Ruland, Dorothea Schuster, and Betül Türkyilmaz.

What the students think

  1. “You are working in a great team, getting help whenever you need it! It is a very nice, comforting surrounding for your first teaching experience.”
  2. “The main benefit of the project was the opportunity to become acquainted with school reality. I learned a lot about the preparation of lessons, about pupils‘ wishes, interests and fears, about how I can help them to get rid of their embarrassment and shyness.”
  3. “I gained a lot of teaching practice. Having to teach on my own each week, having to prepare the lessons, and having to keep the students on task, was not always easy, sometimes stressful, most times fun, and always a great piece of the puzzle that I plan on completing in my teaching career.”
  4. “The language coaches who take part in the project enjoy the unique chance to gather more teaching experience than students at other universities.”