German Language Diploma of the Cultures Conferences” (DSD)
The “German Language Diploma of the Cultures Conferences” (DSD) is a language examination developed by the Federal Office of Public Administration –Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, which has been in use for more than forty years at German schools abroad and at about 1100 DSD schools worldwide.
The DSD is more than just a language test – it hides an entire language acquisition program which is embedded in scholastic learning. The DSD has a special billing with these small entries in German as a foreign language in many exams.
Learning German as a foreign language (DaF) in school means having German as a subject on the curriculum equivalent to subjects such as biology or subject matter. At DSD schools, the proportion of German students is not unambiguous, because to achieve the language level B1 or B2/C1 according to the general European framework for languages (GER) in a scholarly context, a further German program is required. This is the reason for each national curriculum, which considers the framework plan DaF of ZfA. On the one hand, there are national learning cultures and traditions in German learning applications, on the other hand, however, characteristic work is mediated independently of the traditions of a country for the German learning culture: These are above all the problem-oriented discursive approach to subject areas, independent and project-oriented learning and the communicative action orientation in language acquisition, which occupy an important position with regard to the ability to study at a German university.
The continental German lessons can cover all everyday topics for the students and from a certain language level on can also cover specific scientific, social and literary topics. Diverse projects, such as “Jugend debattiert international”, “Lesefüchse”, “Jugend forscht” and Schüllerexchange and scholarship programs, provide an equivalent level of learning at a DSD school. Wide range of German language courses at school.
The examination for the German language diploma can only contain a small excerpt from the broad academic German program. On the one hand, the DSD examination requirements have a high feedback effect on German lessons, especially about the productive language skills, and on the other hand, the DSD program allows a great deal of freedom so that the German program can be designed individually. For this purpose, the DSD schools have numerous methodical-didactic and thematic offers for the DSD program via the advanced training courses of the specialist consultants, regional study seminars for teachers of German as a foreign language or, more recently, via the learning platform GOLD (Globales Online-Lernen Deutsch als Fremdsprache).
With the publication of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in 2005, the world of language examinations has changed fundamentally: Based on the competence levels described in it, a basis for the comparability of linguistic skills was created. This meant that the examinations also had to be assigned to the language competence levels. The test quality criteria such as reliability, validity, objectivity and fairness required not only new task formats, but also test scientific support based on representative testing and criteria-based evaluation.
The DSD, while retaining its unique selling point as a school examination, can also compare itself with all internationally recognized language examinations due to the standardization of its test formats.