Pre-Conference Symposium: English Language Learning and Neurodiversity – Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for the Inclusive Classroom Using Principles of Inquiry-Based Learning

Monday, September 12, 2022 – 10-12h
Please register for this event when you register for the Professionstagung.

The ELLeN Team is pleased to offer this pre-conference symposium with insights emerging from the first phase of the ERASMUS+ Project ELLeN: English Language Learning & Neurodiversity. This complimentary meeting will provide university educators with the theoretical background and “hands-on” tools needed to develop learning opportunities for future teachers of English in inclusive classrooms. The focus will be on showing how the dual objectives of fostering pre-service teachers’ inquiry practices and their understanding of learners who are, for example, autistic, or who have ADHD or dyslexia, can be addressed within a polyvalent university seminar.

Designed around principles of inquiry-based learning, parallel university seminars were developed, piloted, and evaluated in the winter semester of 2021/2022 at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, the TU Dortmund, and the University of Vienna to support the development of professional competences regarding neurodiverse EFL learners. Students in the courses applied socio-constructivist methods to acquire information about neurodiverse learners from a variety of sources before cooperatively conducting and analyzing interviews with EFL learners, subject teachers, special educators, and professionals regarding their school experiences.  

In this session, we will provide information about the theoretical background and practical implementation of the interdisciplinary courses implemented, incorporating illustrative syllabi and materials. Experiential reports from three different perspectives will reflect the underlying premises of co-construction: The teacher educators who designed the courses; the participants who participated in the courses; and the informants who reflect the voices of EFL teachers and learners grappling with neurodiversity.

Attendees of the symposium will receive access to course materials and suggestions regarding the implementation of similar learning opportunities in other contexts.

The ELLeN Team consists of the following members:

  • Goethe University Frankfurt: Judith Buendgens-Kosten
  • TU Dortmund: Carolyn Blume and Raúl García
  • University of Ghent: Geert van Hove
  • University of Vienna: Nicole Gotling, Julia Hüttner, Marlies Petritsch, Michelle Proyer, and Manuela Wipperfürth

For any questions concerning the pre-conference please contact
Carolyn Blume,