New Reading Concept for German Lessons Focuses on Education for Sustainable Development


A new reading concept has been introduced, focusing on education for sustainable development (ESD) in German lessons. This approach not only enhances students’ language skills but also raises awareness of societal challenges and global interconnections. The selected literary texts address global themes such as environmental protection and social justice, providing an excellent opportunity to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the classroom. The reading series is aimed at students in grades 8 to 11 and can be used in German classes across all types of schools.

“Education obviously plays a key role in shaping a sustainable future,” says Hendrik Funke, Managing Director of the Ernst Klett Sprachen Publishing House for the school sector. “With our offerings, we aim to help classes reflect on these topics collectively and foster awareness that sustainability encompasses many diverse aspects that make our world worth living in.”

Recognize – Evaluate – Act

The “Library of Sustainable Development” links each literary text to at least one sustainability goal. The reading series will continue to expand and is set to include five titles by 2024. This diverse selection of texts is designed to provide teachers with a wide range of topics for all types of schools. The three-step concept “Recognize – Evaluate – Act” promotes critical engagement with both the literary text and a sustainability goal. The crucial final step, however, moves from reading to action: with “Do It Yourself” prompts, students are encouraged to take responsibility and engage in active participation.

“Our goal is to provide teachers with practical tools in the form of accompanying information and materials to integrate ESD into their lessons. The appealing texts for young people, which address current questions and conflicts of our world, also foster motivation and a love of reading. The library offers opportunities for insightful discussions in German lessons, aiming to motivate and empower students to engage in conscious actions,” explains Sebastian Weber, Head of the German School Editorial Department at Ernst Klett Sprachen Publishing House. He emphasizes that the publishing house’s aim is to make a significant contribution to preparing the next generation for the challenges of a sustainable future.

Further information about the reading materials for German lessons with a focus on ESD is available on the publishing house’s website.