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Assessment of Student Achievements in German and English as a Foreign Language (DESI) - Video Study

Research Question

The DESI study assessed ninth grade students’ language achievements in German and English as a foreign language. The study was commissioned by the Standing Conference of Ministers of Cultural Affairs of federal states in Germany in 2001 - representing a national study of student achievement, supplementary to PISA.

Under the auspices of the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF), a consortium of educational researchers and experts from subject didactics developed tests for the assessment of competencies in German and English as a first foreign language, guided by the state curricula for school year 9. Written questionnaires were submitted to students, parents, teachers, teachers of German and English as well as school leaders to explore individual, family background, instructional and school conditions of language achievement. The assessment design was completed by video recordings of English lessons. In total, around 11,000 ninth year students from all secondary school types (with the exception of special schools for learning disabled) were assessed from 219 schools. In each case, two classes were assessed at the beginning and end of school year 2003/04.

Test Language


Test Period


Test Area


Population / Sample

11,000 ninth year students from all secondary school types in Germany, except for learning disabled students, from 219 schools. For the video study, 105 English classes resp. courses were drawn from overall 388 English courses drawn for DESI.

Survey Procedure and Instruments

Lesson observation (videography)

Link to the Detailed Description of the Study

Persistent Identifier

DOI: 10.7477/6:1:1 - Collection

Data Accessible via Research Data Centre (only available in German)

FDZ Bildung provides data from the video study carried out for DESI together with additional material. Besides lesson recordings (student camera and teacher camera), these encompass coding, episoding, rating and transcripts. 

Transcripts and audiovisual data were not anonymised and for reasons of data protection, they can only be inspected after registration and successful verification. This also pertains to the results linked to the analysis software, coding and created episodes. Results from ratings made by the team of experts are openly accessible. Detailed information about the user conditions can be found here: (only available in German)

Documentation of Variables (only available in German)


Doris Bambey
Co-ordination research data education
Phone: +49 69 / 247 08 - 332
Email: forschungsdaten-bildung[at]

Selection of Publications using the Data

Klieme, E. & Beck, B. (Hrsg.) (2007). Sprachliche Kompetenzen. Konzepte und Messung. DESI-Studie (Deutsch Englisch Schülerleistungen International). Weinheim: Beltz.
(in German)

DESI-Konsortium (Hrsg.) (2008). Unterricht und Kompetenzerwerb in Deutsch und Englisch. Ergebnisse der DESI-Studie. Weinheim: Beltz. (in German)

Related Data

Assessment of Student Achievements in German and English as a Foreign Language (DESI) - test tasks and questionnaires

Research Area(s)