Large-scale assessment studies, most notably Pisa, triggered a rapid process of educational reforms which aim at increasing the levels of pupils’ competence. Since then the concept of competence has become a focus of educational policy in Germany, and also of teaching and learning in schools and of educational research. 

In this course students will reflect on, actively engage in and develop competence-oriented teaching and learning scenarios for the EFL classroom. Theoretical knowledge will constantly be linked to practical issues of classroom teaching.

Main topics:

  • Competence: historical overview, definitions, models
  • Competence in the education policy context: the OECD’s PISA and the DESI studies
  • Competence and its relationship to standards and curricula 
  • Key Competences in Foreign Language Learning


If you improve education by teaching for competence, eliminating schooling, and connecting with students, the test scores will improve.” (William Glasser)