How can I improve formal writing skills

Autonomous Literacy Learners: Sustainable Results

Sustainability in basic education that promotes autonomy

An innovative method for first and second language literacy

In this European Erasmus project, a procedure for sustainable literacy is being developed. The approach focuses on helping learners with literacy needs at A1 / A2 level to develop the ability to manage their own learning and maintain the skills they have achieved. The approach does not aim to teach literacy (i.e. literacy) skills directly. Rather, it aims to empower learners to improve their own reading and writing skills through self-directed learning. This process takes place within the framework of an individual learning counseling offer.

Features of the approach

Learner-oriented: The approach focuses on linguistic tasks that people encounter in everyday life (including work). The learners themselves choose the tasks and “challenges” they want to work on instead of working along a given path (with the help of materials such as text or reading books).

Learning settings that do not support the course: In discussions with a learning advisor, the learners set learning goals, discuss their own learning processes (based on authentic tasks from their daily life, e.g. workplace reports), determine the next steps in the learning process (e.g. week) and think about how to do them can be done most appropriately. During the counseling interview, they also assess the steps they have taken since the last interview (however, the reading and writing activities are not reflected in the counseling interview.)

A shift in responsibility: in this approach, the learner takes responsibility for his or her own learning and development rather than being a passive consumer of the lessons. Learner support is provided through coaching that focuses the learning process but does not aim to impart written language skills.

Supplementary, but possibly independent of formal teaching offers: The approach is compatible with formal, teacher-controlled, classroom-based teaching, but it can also remain separate and independent of formal learning and can be used effectively with learners who do not or will not take part in German / literacy courses . The counseling service is open to empowering teachers to support others in developing self-directed literacy learning. This can be a qualified teacher or someone who has no teaching experience.


The project includes:

  • A trainer training course on how to support a literacy learner at A1 / A2 level to develop self-directed learning in the area of ​​literacy. This element contains a training toolbox to support the person doing the trainer training. The training toolbox enables the learning advisor to meet various needs.
  • A description of the competencies (behaviors, attitudes and actions) required by the person assuming the role of trainer in this approach.
  • A curriculum and profile on autonomous learning and a competency description (i.e. behaviors, attitudes and actions of an autonomous literacy learner) and analyzes of what constitutes autonomous literacy
  • A toolbox with literacy techniques, as well as learner-oriented methods for dealing with texts, e.g. for writing texts, for searching for information on the Internet, for writing an email or for learning vocabulary. This toolbox will also contain a portfolio for selecting and planning learning activities and assessing learning outcomes, with options for different levels of literacy, different levels of language proficiency (including native and non-native proficiency levels), different types of assignments and a variety of learning strategies. This toolbox is intended to enable trainers to support as many different learners as possible.


All tools are developed and tested in learning counseling offers in all cooperating countries. After the piloting, the tools are adapted based on the test results. This project leads to an accessible, freely usable framework and tools for learners and trainers.


A functional approach and tools to support sustainable literacy that have been tested, assessed and optimized. The approach takes into account the needs and preferences of learners and learning advisors.

Evaluation of the results: qualitative indicators

The project provides the following measures to assess the results of the project. Qualitative indicators are:

  • A curriculum and profile for autonomous literacy are available.
  • A number of instruments to support autonomous learning have been developed.
  • Portfolio instruments are developed.
  • A skills profile for teachers / trainers and a practical toolkit to train teachers / trainers and / or volunteer volunteers are available.
  • Investigations have been carried out, analyzed and reported on.

· The development of the curriculum, the profile and the instruments for autonomous learning are theoretically sound and are supported by a scientific advisory board. The design of the project is exploratory and generating hypotheses. Accordingly, the developed instruments are evaluated in a test phase (investigation). Consultants and coachees are observed in all three countries. The observations are then analyzed, how they deal with the instruments, what selection of learning tasks they undertake and how they interact with each other during the consultations. In addition, both trainers and learners are interviewed in order to scrutinize their reflections on the counseling approach, their behavior and their learning progress. The results of the study should lead to an improvement of the framework conditions and the developed instruments.

The quality of the training for trainers is decisive for the success of the project. Accordingly, it is assessed with a feedback questionnaire. The participants of the consultant training are asked about the quality of the training, about their knowledge and about their acquisition of skills.

Evaluation of the results: quantitative indicators

  • Number of participating consultants: at least 20 (divided over 12 or more examinations)
  • Number of participating coachees: between 30 and 50 (in 12 and more examinations)
  • Number of trainer training courses: 4-6 (2 in Germany, 1 or 2 in the Netherlands, 1 or 2 in England)
  • Number of educational institutions involved: at least 10.


The publication of the project results is aimed at everyone involved in literacy activities; as well as those who deal with learners and those who decide who will deal with learners and which methods will be used.

  • Institutions that hire teachers and counselors and organizations that sponsor volunteer volunteers
  • Institutions that train / educate these teachers, counselors and volunteer volunteers
  • Your professional organizations
  • Actors responsible for providing literacy courses
  • Organizations that offer literacy activities (e.g. libraries)
  • Scientific institutes for literacy and language acquisition, research colleagues in the same field at other universities
  • Governmental and non-governmental organizations influencing politics at local, national, European and international level

During the project, three international conferences will be organized, articles will be published in digital newsletters and magazines, and workshops will be offered for seminars.

Would you like to be kept up to date? Would you like us to write an article in your magazine or give a talk at your conference? Please contact one of the members of the project team (see cooperation partners).