Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities - German in Multilingual Contexts

"Lassma Grammatik machen": Kiezdeutsch in German classes

Because Kiezdeutsch has characteristic features that fit well into the German language system, this urban dialect can be a useful topic in German lessons. In fact, many textbooks, especially at the secondary level, take Kiezdeutsch into account when discussing language variation and youth language.


School students' projects on Kiezdeutsch can support the teaching of grammar and contribute to language education. If you want to awaken the interest of young people in language and grammar in the classroom, Kiezdeutsch can serve as an exciting object of study. Through projects on Kiezdeutsch, students gain an interesting approach to grammatical topics and thus also develop a greater interest in grammatical aspects of standard German. In addition, multilingual young people have often developed a very negative linguistic self-image over the years if, in addition to German, other languages are spoken in their family that are often accorded a low prestige, such as Turkish, Kurdish or Arabic. If Kiezdeutsch, for example, is taken seriously as a subject of grammatical analysis in German lessons and not merely criticised as "broken German" but rather understood as part of the German language, it counteracts a negative linguistic self-image, which can be an obstacle to language education. In public debate and partly also in education, speakers of such other languages are frequently not accepted as Germans, but perceived exclusively as "Turks" etc. (and students then often adopt this exclusionary perception themselves at some point). The discussion of Kiezdeutsch as a German dialect can also counter such exclusions.


In German lessons, students can examine different aspects of Kiezdeutsch, such as word order, the emergence of new grammatical constructions or the occurrence of Turkish and Arabic words. Self-recordings, data from chat rooms, transcripts of everyday conversations and examples from this info portal can serve as authentic working material, with which the grammatical and lexical features of Kiezdeutsch can be analysed. A comparison with standard German and the discussion of parallels and differences enables an everyday introduction to the grammatical topics of German lessons and can help to deepen, expand and, if necessary, improve one's knowledge of standard German, which is essential for young people's future careers and social participation. In this context, it is a worthwhile idea to carry out a discussion on formal German, i.e. German used in school lessons, for example, as opposed to informal spoken German, which is more likely to be spoken among friends, as well as on varieties of German resulting from processes of language change.

At www.deutsch-ist-vielseitig.de, you will find a variety of materials on language variation and multilingualism that can be used directly in the classroom, with handouts for teachers, multimodal templates, slides, work assignments and concrete flow charts. The materials are designed for different learning groups, with a focus on secondary education, but also with modules for primary and pre-school education. The following materials can be used for teaching units on Kiezdeutsch: „Kiezdeutsch-Sprachforschung“ ("Kiezdeutsch Language Research"), „Sprachsituationen“ ("Language Situations"), „Typen erkennen“ ("Recognising Types"), „BallKontakte“ ("Ball Contacts"), „Dialekttest“ ("Dialect Test"), „Wortschatz im Wandel“ ("Changing Vocabulary"), „Sprachlandschaften“ ("Language Landscapes") and  „Zirkel Mehrsprachigkeit“ ("Multilingualism Circle").


For reference and further reading:

Wiese, Heike (2012). Kiezdeutsch. Ein neuer Dialekt entsteht. München: C. H. Beck.

Wiese, Heike (2010). Kiezdeutsch: ein neuer Dialekt. In: Politik und Zeitgeschichte 8/2010. [Themenband: „Sprache“]. Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. S. 33-38.

Wiese, Heike; Tracy, Rosemarie, & Sennema, Anke (2020). Deutschpflicht auf dem Schulhof? Warum wir Mehrsprachigkeit brauchen. Berlin: Duden-Verlag.

Schroeder, Christoph, & Wiese, Heike (2019). Kiez goes Uni – SchülerInnen untersuchen Sprachvariation und Mehrsprachigkeit mit MentorInnen der Universität. In: Anica Betz & Angelina Firstein (Hg.), Schülerinnen und Schülern Linguistik näher bringen. Perspektiven einer linguistischen Wissenschaftspropädeutik. Hohengehren: Schneider Verlag. S.216-234.

Wiese, Heike, & Mayr, Katharina (2017). „Lassma Kiezdeutsch forschen, lan!“ – explorative Schülerprojekte zum Entdecken von Sprache abseits des Standards. In: Elisabeth Berner (Hg.), Sprache–Literatur–Region im Deutschunterricht: Fachliche Grundlagen und Unterrichtsanregungen. Potsdam: Universitätsverlag Potsdam. S.148-162.

Wiese, Heike (2014). Sprachliche Variation und Grammatikanalyse. Fallbeispiel Kiezdeutsch. Der Deutschunterricht 4. S. 82-87 [Themenheft Schulgrammatik – Grammatik in der Schule, hrsg. von Peter Schlobinski & Oliver Stenschke].

Wiese, Heike (2011). Führt Mehrsprachigkeit zum Sprachverfall? Populäre Mythen vom „gebrochenen Deutsch“ bis zur „doppelten Halbsprachigkeit“ türkischstämmiger Jugendlicher in Deutschland. In: Şeyda Ozil, Michael Hofmann, & Yasemin Dayıoğlu-Yücel (Hg.), Türkisch-deutscher Kulturkontakt und Kulturtransfer. Kontroversen und Lernprozesse. Göttingen: V&R Unipress. S.73-84.