Assessment of Student Achievements in German and English as a Foreign Language

The DIPF chaired and co-ordinated a scientific consortium for analysing the development of language competencies at 220 schools in Germany in the school year of 2003/2004.

Project description

DESI was the first study in Germany for which subject-related tests were designed at a national level, and it assessed receptive and productive competencies for both German and English language competencies for the first time. The DIPF held responsible for the entire process, it assessed the structure of competence areas by means of complex assessment methods, it was in charge of the field of “intercultural competence. Furthermore, the DIPF chaired the assessment of school effects and language awareness: attitude to the language and feedback to the schools. Findings from the study were presented to the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany and to the general public on March 03, 2006. We provide documents in German with an overview of the main results as well as the main findings.

School Context and Student Achievement

The DESI project provides a framework for analysing the complex conditioning factors of student language achievement by means of assessment instruments for school heads, teachers, students and parents, in order to assess the individual, family, instructional and school institutional backgrounds of student achievement. School heads provide information regarding the school context as a framework condition for instructional learning. School effectiveness research assigns an indirect influence to school features and processes on the achievement of students, mediated by the activities of teachers and students. Central constructs of school effectiveness research, such as orientation towards achievement, evaluation, school climate, co-operation and cohesion amongst colleagues or the integration of parents are assessed at the school level in order to ascertain whether they differ between the schools and to what extent they influence the achievement levels of students. Furthermore, the effects of school features and processes are assessed as regards their relative significance in relation to instructional and individual influence.


The DIPF was in charge of two publications on the DESI findings:

Bärbel Beck and Eckhard Klieme (eds.): Sprachliche Kompetenzen. Konzepte und Messung. DESI-Ergebnisse Band 1. Weinheim: Beltz Pädagogik. 2007.

DESI-Konsortium (eds.): Unterricht und Kompetenzerwerb in Deutsch und Englisch. DESI-Ergebnisse Band 2. Weinheim: Beltz Pädagogik 2008.

The German scale manual is published online here.

overview of the main results (german).

main findings (german).


Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK),
IEA Data Processing Center Hamburg

Further Information

Scientific Consortium

Prof. Dr. Eckhard Klieme (DIPF/Frankfurt am Main), Speaker

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Eichler (Oldenburg)

Prof. Dr. Andreas Helmke (Landau)

Prof. Dr. Dr. Rainer Lehmann (Berlin)

Prof. Dr. Günter Nold (Dortmund)

Prof. Dr. Hans-Günter Rolff (Dortmund)

Prof. Dr. Konrad Schröder (Augsburg)

Prof. Dr. Günther Thomé (Frankfurt am Main)

Prof. Dr. Heiner Willenberg (Hamburg)  


Project Management

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Eckhard Klieme

Project Team

Prof. Dr. Nina Jude

Project Details

Completed Projects
Department: Teacher and Teaching Quality
2001 – 2008
Contact: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Eckhard Klieme, Research Fellow