While the range of skills and qualifications expected of foreign language teachers in Continuing Education in Germany is becoming increasingly complex, the conditions under which they work have been criticised time and again as being ‘unprofessional’. In view of this situation the article examines the question of how far and by what means in particular teacher training seminars can contribute to the professionalisation of these teachers. In order to obtain insights for teacher educators the author proposes a research design intended to explore the effects of teacher training seminars on the attitudes, thinking and behaviour of those participating in them. This study-focus is related to Research into Teacher Thinking, where teachers from the field of Continuing Education have hitherto played a rather peripheral role. In accordance with the principles of Research into Teacher Thinking, a descriptive stance towards the object of study and a cooperative relationship between researcher and teachers are fundamental for the project outlined here.
The first part of this article shows how the educational institutions in Israel deal with the ongoing changes within the various linguistic groups and the communicative needs of the country. Special attention is given to Arabic, Hebrew and English as well as to the languages having a special status like French, German and Russian. The second part of the survey reflects the manner with which empirical research tackles all these problems. It reflects the major discussions concerning class-room activities, vocabulary and dictionaries, reading strategies and trilingualism. The author concludes that the young generation of teachers has a positive attitude towards foreign language learning and that personal initiatives help to regulate the burning needs for peace in this region.
This paper presents a review of the historical development of the language situation in the German-Danish border region. It consists of two major parts. Firstly, the present language situation in this region is illustrated by a state-of-the-art survey of foreign language education in the neighbouring language on both sides of the border. Secondly, the use of language codes by the students at crossborder Danish-German studies is discussed. It is shown that the language codes used serve as a feature of group identification.
This article describes the phonetic characteristics of German vowels produced by German native speakers and Italian learners of German. Formant charts obtained with own empirical data are used to compare the two vowel productions. A contrastive formant chart of German vowels produced by German and Italian native speakers shows the deviations in German vowel production by Italian learners. Starting from the acoustic parameters which correlate with auditive judgments the data highlight the articulatory correlates responsible for the foreign accent occurring in German vowels produced by Italian.
This article introduces an empirical study with the working title: "Russian exchange students before, during and after their journey to Germany – self-perceptions and perceptions of the other within intercultural communication“. This project aims at a description of cultural perceptions in their dynamics within intercultural communication. For this purpose Geertz’ concept of “symbols” is discussed, especially their property of being "model of" and "model for" culture. First results are presented based on the analysis of two interviews with one pupil (Sascha) before and after his journey to Germany.
The article consists of a series of statements which deal with issues considered central to empirical research in the field of foreign language acquisition. The topics discussed include the relationship between qualitative and quantitative research, the adequacy of research methods for a specific object, and deficits in the use of quantitative and especially statistical methods. Suggestions are made as to how to improve the training of both students and researchers as well as the quality of empirical research.