BIKA (Bilingual Kassel)

BilingualKassel (BIKA) is a study-accompanying, supplementary specialization module on bilingual teaching and learning at the University of Kassel. It is offered in the departments 02 Humanities and Cultural Studies and 05 Social Sciences by the two departments Foreign Language Teaching and Learning Research and Intercultural Communication and Didactics of History. After successful completion of this module, participants receive the BIKA certificate.


Since the winter semester 2004/2005, BIKA Kassel has been continuously developed and implemented by Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner (Foreign Language Teaching and Learning Research and Intercultural Communication) and since 2011 by Prof. Dr. Christine Pflüger (Didactics of History) in research and teaching of the respective departments in close cooperation.

Since the 2011/12 school year, bilingual teaching in history (and other subjects) has been an integral part of the Hessian core curricula for all types of schools. A qualifying continuing education program is therefore urgently needed in this area.


The BIKA certificate offers you:

  • an additional professional profile in the field of bilingual teaching and learning
  • a unique selling point and a qualification advantage
Structure of the BiKa Certificate Module 1: Basics (2 seminars), Module 2: Deepening (2 seminars), Module 3: Practice (1 seminar)

BIKA Kassel is designed as an additional module (independent of the examination regulations). It contains three modules that can be handled flexibly:

  • Submodule 1: Fundamentals of bilingual teaching and learning (Grundlagen des bilingualen Lehrens und Lernens) (4 teaching hours per week).
  • Submodule 2: In-depth courses in the field of bilingual teaching and learning (Vertiefende Veranstaltungen im Bereich des bilingualen Lehrens und Lernens) (4 teaching hours per week).
  • Submodule 3: Practical school studies: Bilingual teaching and learning (Schulpraktische Studien: Bilinguales Lehren und Lernen) (3 teaching hours per week).

In each of the three modules, students will write a term paper that meets the standards of academic work.

Workshops on bilingual teaching and learning and internships at bilingual schools and at partner schools abroad with a bilingual focus are recognized.

The following can take part in the course-related specialization module "Bilingual Teaching":

  • Students of the University of Kassel who
    1. study one foreign language (English/ French/ Spanish) and one subject (e.g. history, PoWi, sports)
    2. are studying two subjects, but demonstrate very good foreign language skills (e.g. TOEFL test, etc.)
    3. study two languages, but intend to add another subject
  • teachers at schools or students of other universities as auditing student

The certificate was developed by Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner and Dr. Sylvia Fehling together with Mr. Wolfgang Gabler and Ms. Ursula Uzerli and implemented in the Department of Foreign Language Teaching and Learning Research & Intercultural Communication at the Institute of English Studies/American Studies of the Faculty 02 starting in the winter semester 2004/2005. Within the framework of a teaching innovation project from 2011 to 2014, the Department of Didactics of History (Prof. Dr. Christine Pflüger) and, as an additional language, French were integrated into the certificate. Between 2014 and 2018, Prof. Dr. Bernd Tesch was involved with the subject area of Foreign Language Teaching and Learning Research: Didactics of French and Spanish at BIKA Kassel. Since 2012, OStR Stephan Oppelt has taken over the coordination for BIKA.


Within the framework of the PRONET sub-project "multilingual teacher action in bilingual subject teaching - a project for the professionalization of prospective and active teachers" of foreign language teaching and learning research & intercultural communication and the didactics of history, Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner, together with research assistant Regina Kaminski and Prof. Dr. Christine Pflüger, organized two interdisciplinary seminars on bilingual teaching and learning in the summer semester 2019. In these courses, students dealt with narrated life stories ("Life Stories in the Present and Past: A Multilingual Approach to Life Stories") as well as written self-testimonies ("Französische und deutsche Tagebücher aus der Zeit des zweiten Weltkriegs als Quellen im bilingualen Geschichtsunterricht / Journaux intimes et témoignages comme sources historiques dans l'enseignement bilingue").


On June 19, 2019, as a culmination of the two parallel events, a joint student workshop took place. In this workshop, students worked together in groups consisting of seminar participants from both events. After a short presentation of the seminars by the lecturers, the students were given the opportunity to report to each other on the contents and processes of the respective events in a subsequent exchange phase. Subsequently, they received three theses on multilingual teaching, which they dealt with and discussed in their groups. They collected their results as MindMaps under the heading "I - in historical perspective" and presented them to their fellow students in the form of a poster tour.


The students who took part in this workshop found it very enriching to exchange views on the similarities and differences in dealing with narrated life stories or written self-testimonies in the form of a free discussion. Thanks to the participation of fellow students from the departments of English and History, the interdisciplinary student workshop led to a lively and varied exchange during the group work and the subsequent poster tour. There were many points of contact with other university events and the students' life experiences. In the discussion that concluded the workshop, they also stated that students from both seminars had the opportunity to broaden their perspectives and experience other perspectives during the workshop.

On May 22, 2019, the 10th meeting of the AG Bilingual Kassel (BIKA) took place at the University of Kassel. During this meeting, the student Cathrin Fiedler was presented with the BIKA certificate by Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner and Prof. Dr. Christine Pflüger after successfully completing the bilingual modules BIKA Kassel in English.


Bild zeigt Seminarraum mit 6 Personen. 3 Personen stehen vor Projektion bzw Tafel, 3 Personen sitzen an einem Gruppentisch
v.l.n.r.: Anna Petzoldt, Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner, Prof. Dr. Bernd Tesch (Foto: Samantha Pfanzer)

As part of the PRONET sub-project "Potentials of multilingualism in bilingual subject teaching (Mehrsprachigkeitspotentiale im bilingualen Sachfachunterricht)" of the three didactics for English (Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner), History (Prof. Dr. Christine Pflüger), and French and Spanish (Prof. Dr. Bernd Tesch), Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner and Prof. Dr. Bernd Tesch, together with research assistant Anna Petzoldt, organized two interdisciplinary seminars on bilingual teaching and learning in the summer semester of 2017. For these courses, the students had prepared teaching materials that were tested and evaluated in the form of a novel student conference. In order to make the overlapping areas of foreign language subject didactics fruitful and visible for the development of a new teaching concept for multilingualism potentials in bilingual subject teaching, this semester the two project seminars "CLIL Texts & Tasks: A Language Awareness Approach" and "French and Spanish bilinguals under the magnifying glass - innovation and research in foreign language didactics (Französisch- und Spanisch bilingual unter der Lupe - Innovation und Forschung in der Fremdsprachendidaktik)" were organized in an interlocked way. In the form of a student conference with several alternating groups, the prepared teaching materials in English, French and Spanish for secondary levels l and ll were discussed and examined with regard to the concepts of language awareness, multiperspectivity (in the sense of the Human GPS approach) and controversiality. The materials should focus on the so-called "zero hour", as the end of World War II is variously referred to in Europe, and elaborate the different perceptions of this event in different countries and, if necessary, compare them with the perceptions in Germany. This was to be made clear in particular by means of key linguistic terms from the respective languages in selected sources. The student teachers aimed to enable students to change their perspective into the respective other culture and other historical perceptions through the language and the sources used, in order to sensitize them to different perceptions and interpretations. In both sessions, the groups were mixed across seminar boundaries and languages, and the teaching materials were each reviewed and evaluated by one or two people from the other group. For this purpose, the students used an evaluation sheet for bilingual teaching in which "curricular validity", "language awareness" or multiperspectivity" were important criteria. Finally, the plenary discussed the results and the challenges students faced in processing and evaluating the instructional materials. For example, finding sources appropriate for the age levels required increased effort. In addition, students learned that translations or extensive vocabulary lists can hinder the development of language awareness and multilingualism. This is where text mapping would be helpful. Unlike vocabulary lists, learners should only underline the important vocabulary words they are unfamiliar with and these would then be discussed in class. In addition, the goal of the change in perspective should be made clear in the assignments. The students should become aware of (subject) concepts. Another important point is the balance between content and language. Neither one nor the other should predominate, because bilingual teaching is neither pure language teaching nor pure subject teaching. It needs its own curriculum, he said. The students who participated in this new format of the student conference considered it very interesting to learn about and develop new concepts in bilingual education. Due to the participation of fellow students from Romance Studies and English Studies, who each additionally studied different subjects, the interdisciplinary student conference led to a lively exchange. The problem of a lack of access to one or the other language was dealt with authentically through peer cooperation and peer feedback. Thus, German was used as an overarching lingua franca.

The very well attended, eighth meeting of the BIKA - Bilingual Kassel AG, which took place on 25.01.2017, was more exciting and fruitful than ever. First, Tatjana Schrör, student at the University of Kassel, and Christine Glück, trainee teacher at the Albert-Schweitzer-Schule Kassel, received their BIKA certificates for successfully completing the bilingual modules. The unique selling point of the BIKA certificate was underlined. This was followed by an interesting presentation by Dr. Michael Maset, teacher at the Albert-Schweitzer-Schule Kassel, who together with the participants discussed the question of what a subject-specific teaching model for bilingual history teaching might look like. Prof. Dr. Christine Pflüger and Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner started the second part of the session with the presentation of first results of the PRONET project P9 "Multilingualism potentials in bilingual subject teaching", which is carried out together with Prof. Dr. Bernd Tesch. Mr. Timo Gerke, teacher at Georg-Christoph-Lichtenberg-Schule Kassel, and Mr. Lars Förster, teacher at Modellschule Obersberg Bad Hersfeld, received a certificate of participation for their involvement in the above mentioned project. At the end of the winter semester 2016/17, Mr. Gerke and Mr. Förster as well as their students from their bilingual history courses had supported the project by agreeing to participate in the background survey conducted by Ms. Anna Petzoldt and to make audio recordings. The handover was done by Prof Dr Claudia Finkbeiner and Prof Dr Christine Pflüger. In the last part of the session, a stimulating debate took place on various challenges of bilingual teaching and learning. Text: Anna Petzoldt

On January 21, 2015, the 6th meeting of the AG Bilingual Kassel (BIKA) took place at the University of Kassel. During this meeting the students Jamila Roth and Jannik Harlinghausen were awarded the BIKA certificate by Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkler. BIKA Kassel the BIKA certificate from Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner and Prof. Dr. Christine Pflüger.

The interdisciplinary teaching innovation project of Prof. Finkbeiner and Prof. Pflüger in cooperation with StR Oppelt on the topic of Bilingual Teaching and Learning - A Competence-Oriented Professionalization Model for Student Teachers of Languages (English / French) and the Subject History within the framework of BIKA Kassel (Bilingual Kassel) was approved by the Presidential Board of the University of Kassel on 20.2.2013.

Who is part of the BIKA team?

Prof. Dr. Christine Pflüger

Subject area
Didactics of History
University of Kassel
+49 561 804-3116

OStR Stephan Oppelt

University of Kassel
+49 561 804-3355

Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner

Foreign Language Teaching and Learning Research& Intercultural Communication
University of Kassel
+49 561 804-3353

Laura Wetzel

PRONET² - Subproject 09
Research assistant