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European Journal

France/Germany: Alsace

The Alsace region is defined by two of Europe's dominant cultures - the French and the Germans. But the ability to speak German is no longer taken for granted among the people of the region.

The once typical bilingualism in Alsace is a thing of the past - young people, especially those from big cities, only speak French. Since the early 1990s, thousands of jobs were lost in neighboring Germany and Switzerland, as well as in Alsace itself - especially jobs that required both languages. It’s also a result of official French policy that once set the goal of driving the German language from the region. 

Die österreichische Grundschullehrerin Sylvia Letzelter unterrichtet am 27.11.2001 in der Grundschulklasse der Ecole les Mickele in Straßburg Deutsch. Die zweisprachige Grundschulklasse in der Mickele-Schule ist im Elsass bislang die Ausnahme. In den kommenden fünf Jahren soll sich dies jedoch ändern. Bis 2006 soll es in jeder Sekundarschule und Gymnasium neben dem herkömmlichen Deutschunterricht jeweils einen bilingualen Zug geben.