Our concern

The acquisition of a national language as a second language takes place within a specific migration policy framework. Within this framework, learning the hegemonic language of a nation state always has two sides: On the one hand, it contributes to the strengthening and extension of participation; on the other hand, the entire system of "German language teaching" respectively "second language teaching" is accompanied by sanctions, exclusion and discrimination. The teaching of the hegemonic language within a nation state is thus always interwoven with exclusionary migration policies and discourses. Therefore, a central target of our association is to stimulate reflection on this tension between the empowering element of second language mediation and the involvement of this language mediation in exclusionary policies and discourses. Based on this, we develop theoretical and practical research-based analyses and publications that contribute to the didactic and pedagogical design of the teaching of hegemonic second languages in migration-related contexts in such a way that less exclusion occurs inside and outside the learning opportunities. The "migration pedagogical perspective", as initiated by Paul Mecheril in 2004 and subsequently developed by many colleagues, is the guiding principle for our thinking and actions.

We understand "migration pedagogy" as a perspective that enables questions and analyses critical of power and hegemony in pedagogical contexts – and thus also in second language teaching contexts. We focus on the entire complex context and do not only highlight individual aspects (such as "culture"). We rather include differences that are significant in this context (such as experiences of racism, socio-economic conditions and, above all, language) in our analyses. In doing so, we embark on a joint search for pedagogical and didactic forms of action and experience as well as ways of thinking that wield less power over second language learners in the migration society and develop strategies to implement them in pedagogical practice. This discussion is a (self-)critical one, in which language is conceived both as a means of communication and as a distinguishing feature whereby second language learners are assigned to hierarchically arranged social groups. The type of criticism that characterizes the migration pedagogical approach is related to a constant observation of the developments in migration society and the involvement of second language in it: We assume that our work is characterized by long-term processes, since it is not easy and cannot be done quickly to change structural inequalities in a society and we are just a small cog in the system. Nevertheless, a fundamental reflexion and constant work on less violent conditions are necessary, because we assume that any contribution that serves to enable second language learners to experience themselves in less marginalizing contexts is meaningful and valuable.

We would like to adapt the migration pedagogical perspective more strongly to the context of second language teaching and learning, to contour them more precisely, to discuss proposals for their further development and to question ourselves self-critically. In doing so, we refer to research, teaching and the practice of (second language) teaching. Although we are primarily based on the didactics of German as a second language, we have an international orientation and, within the framework of the assocation's work, we conduct an international exchange on second language didactics from the perspective of migration pedagogy. We are therefore also interested in second language didactics as they are handled in other migration societies or national contexts, such as Sweden, Great Britain or Turkey. We always understand "didactics" as closely intertwined with "pedagogy".

The contact between theory and practice is very important to us. We therefore understand our association as a place of cooperation between university, (elementary) school, extracurricular work with children and young people as well as adult education.

As an organ of our debates, we publish the peer-reviewed international journal "Migrationspädagogische Zweitsprachdidaktik" ("Second Language Didactics from the perspective of Migration Pedagogy") following our annual conferences.