Preparation for mandatory introduction of textbooks Clin d’œil and New World in lower-secondary schools (Progymnasial-Klassen) in Solothurn: observation and evaluation of test phase

Commissioned by: Canton of Solothurn, Department of education and culture (Departement für Bildung und Kultur, DBK)
Project head: Malgorzata Barras
Duration: Oktober 2015–Dezember 2017

At the start of the school year 2018/2019, the Canton of Solothurn will begin the comprehensive introduction of Clin d’œil and New World, the new foreign language textbooks developed in the scope of the “Passepartout” project. Both textbooks have already been used in lower-secondary schools B (basic curriculum) and E (expanded curriculum) since the start of the school year 2015/2016. The P level (Progymnasial-Klassen, highest level of Swiss secondary education) was given more time to introduce the new textbooks, meaning that a total of seven test classes will be working with the new books during the test phase (school years 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018). Researchers at the Institute of Multilingualism were charged with the scientific evaluation of the test phase.

This project applies qualitative and quantitative methodology when examining diverse, context-specific data in the interest of formulating statements on 1) the achievement of learning outcomes, 2) the experiences made by teachers and students, and 3) the capacity of the transition from the lower-secondary level as defined in the regulations on recognising the federal Baccalaureate (Maturitätsanerkennungsreglement, MAR), including theories on the conditions for a successful transition (regarding the P level and the concept for foreign languages in MAR). In addition to the seven test classes, seven other classes will function as the study’s control group and will continue to work with the current textbooks for English and French. Aside from assessing how well learning outcomes are achieved, the project aims to gain an evidence for the understanding of the impact different textbooks have on learning.