About MELT (Multilingual Readers‘ Theatre)

The project aims at developing a multilingual guided reading program to improve reading fluency as well as reading motivation in all languages for pupils in grades 6, 7 and 8. The didactic-methodological design developed for this purpose addresses three key issues in language teaching didactics and foreign language didactics.

Lesetheaterskript InformationResults of major reading performance studies over the past decade have shown that in the countries involved in this project large deficits in reading skills exist for both languages of instruction as well as foreign languages being learned, particularly at the lower secondary school level.

Lesetheaterskript InformationInstead of isolated language learning, a stronger network of school language and foreign language instruction should be promoted. However, only a few specific proposals exist as to how the multilingual repertoire of pupils can be used in reading instruction.

Lesetheaterskript InformationThe promotion of individual multilingualism is a declared objective of the European Union education policy: At least 75% of all secondary school pupils should learn (study) at least two foreign languages.

Unlike conventional theatrical productions in which scripts are memorized and then acted out, in Readers’ Theatre the dramatic texts are divided into smaller units and then allocated to the pupils who then read them aloud, using only their voices and facial expressions to convey meaning. As the main focus of Readers’ Theatre is on reading aloud, Readers’ Theatre is used in school contexts – particularly in the U.S. – as a successful method for increasing reading fluency and reading motivation. In the European region, Readers’ Theatre is scarcely known as a means of promoting reading. In addition, no Reading Theatre scripts with multiple language roles exist.


Erasmus+ quality seal 2017

The project “Multilingual Readers’ Theatre for the promotion of reading motivation and reading fluency” has been awarded a very good rating by the Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) of the Secretary of the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs as an example of good practice of the EU Erasmus+ programme in the field of school education.

The Pedagogical Exchange Service, as one of the four national agencies for EU programmes in the school sector, has rated MELT as excellent in the project evaluation. Therefore, MELT is awarded with the Erasmus+ Seal of Quality 2017 in the school sector. MELT is thus considered an example of good practice with regard to project implementation, results and quality criteria. In addition, the project is labelled as a good practice project on the Erasmus+ results platform and is thus intended to give other applicants ideas on how an Erasmus+ project can be implemented efficiently, meaningfully and realised sustainably in the school sector.

Success Stories 2017

Erasmus+ in the school sector

MELT was awarded as Success Story 2017 by the Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) of the Secretary of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. In total, only four projects from key action 1 and twelve projects from key action 2, which were completed in 2017, were awarded the “Success Story” prize for their special quality. In addition to innovation and sustainability, the criteria for selection were the impact and transferability of individual project components as well as the educational relevance of the projects.
Excerpt from the justification for the award ceremony by the PAD (26.2.2018):

“The particular strengths of the project can be seen in the aspects of innovation, quality of the products created, sustainability and dissemination.

The purpose was to test innovative didactic models (multilingual readers’ theatre) in close coordination between research and school practice. The project was able to set new impulses in language didactics. Numerous high-quality and carefully prepared teaching and learning materials were developed (also from an editorial point of view), which were continuously tested with teachers and school classes, and subsequently improved. In the future, the project’s findings and results will be incorporated into teacher training courses, partner university seminars and follow-up projects, making the project particularly sustainable. The events for the dissemination of the results, whether for teachers or for the specialist public, were appropriate for the target group and highly professional and widely disseminated (conferences, publications).

A positive side effect was that young people with insufficient reading skills, or a history of migration benefited particularly from the method and that, in addition to linguistic competences, key competences could also be promoted, and further learning objectives of mother-tongue and foreign language teaching could be achieved.”

Regional Prize for Professor Massler

District Administrator Harald Sievers awarded Professor Dr. Ute Massler from the subject English with the regional price of the district Ravensburg and the cities Ravensburg and Weingarten.

From 2014 to 2017, Ute Massler carried out the international Erasmus+ project Multilingual Readers’ Theatre for the promotion of reading motivation and reading fluency (MELT) in cooperation with the Universities of Education of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and Vorarlberg, Austria, the SCRIPT Inno of the Luxembourg Ministry of Education and several schools in in these countries.

Like her colleague Professor Dr. Petra Burmeister explained in her laudatory speech that Massler developed a multilingual reading promotion measure based on reading theatre and scenic reading of theatre texts.

These methods had hardly been known in Europe and Massler had “made an important contribution to the didactics of multilingualism” with the project. Within the framework of the project, numerous and very carefully elaborated teaching and learning materials had also been produced. The accompanying research had shown that young people with insufficient reading skills and language problems had benefited particularly from the multilingual readers’ theatre, Burmeister continued. The project MELT had also been awarded by the Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) as a success story and thus as particularly outstanding and recommendable.

MELT is a project supported by the new European Erasmus+ funding program.