Integra_et_Klima: Environmental and climate protection as part of integration and language courses

Studies on the environment- and climate-related attitudes and behaviour patterns of people from migrant backgrounds show that they are less oriented towards sustainability than the German population. Measures that are intended to provide support for migrants in the area of the environment and climate protection must take cultural and migration-specific considerations into account. The “Integra_et_Klima” research project at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts focuses on these issues and has developed teaching materials on the subject of climate protection for use on integration and language courses.

As well as helping participants learn the German language, the course materials provide basic knowledge about climate change and specific options for action which can easily be implemented in day-to-day life. The effectiveness of the training materials was assessed in terms of knowledge, attitudes, behaviour and the resulting CO2 emissions.

Engine for progress:

  • Teaching materials about climate protection on the topics of climate change, travelling around, living and working, eating and drinking, and shopping
  • Behavioural changes in terms of environmental and climate protection
  • Support of integration through language learning and competencies for climate protection
  • Environment- and climate-related dictionary compiled by children for children

1 of 5

Photo: Multikulturelles Forum e.V., Maximilian von Lachner

People from migrant backgrounds use the training materials to learn about topics such as “Climate Change”, “Living and Working”, “Travelling Around”, “Eating and Drinking” and “Shopping.

Teaching materials for climate protection

Five course modules based on the topic of climate protection were developed during the project. The subject matter of the modules is based on knowledge about “Climate Change”, “Living and Working”, “Travelling Around”, “Eating and Drinking” and “Shopping”. Care was taken to ensure that the materials could be used on language courses at A1, A2 and B1 levels and on job-related courses. The project was scientifically tested by means of two independent studies, which compared data from participants on the training courses with data from people not taking part (control groups). The results prove that the level of knowledge and the attitudes regarding climate protection demonstrated by course participants have changed in a positive way.

In addition, individual CO2 emissions were calculated for all the participants with the help of a climate calculator. While no change in CO2 emissions was observed in the group on the training course, the emissions of the control groups without training increased over the same time period. This result indicates that a rise in CO2 emissions resulting from the social integration of migrants can be curbed by means of the training courses.

Activities and campaigns held in the course of the project

With the help of partner organisations, a large number of excursions, bicycle trips, workshops, language competitions, festivals and informative events were held in different cities in Germany during the “Integra_et_Klima” project. All the activities and campaigns were aimed at helping participants to develop their language skills in the area of environmental and climate protection.

A noteworthy additional achievement of the project is the creation of a bilingual environmental dictionary. The Yeşil Çember Association, a project partner of “Integra_et_Klima”, developed the dictionary in collaboration with children during a “climate day” at the German-Turkish Aziz-Nesin European School in Berlin. The book comprises 72 pages with more than 500 words in eight categories, as well as tips for protecting the environment that are relevant to everyday life. This dictionary is available to download free of charge, as are the teaching materials.

Foto: Marcel Hunecke

“Integra_et_Klima teaches participants on language and integration courses about environmental and climate protection. The training materials therefore make an important contribution to the migrants’ social integration. At the same time, an empirically-proven increase in CO2 emissions, which has been established for the first time as being linked to the social integration of migrants, has been counteracted by using the training materials.”

Prof. Dr Marcel Hunecke, Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Partners and sponsors

  • IFEU - Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg GmbH
  • Multikulturelles Forum e.V. Lünen
  • Yesil Cember im BUND Berlin e.V.
  • Migranten für Agenda 21 Hannover
  • Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (BmUB)