The study is sub-divided into two main parts. In the first part we outline a theoretical framework for the description of emotions on the basis of the functional theory of emotions (Oatley & Johnson-Laird). Four central questions will be discussed. 1. Are the emotions evoked by fictions true emotions? 2. What is the object of these emotions? 3. Do readers develop feelings of sympathy or empathy? 4. Do stylistic features influence reader emotions? In the second part we describe a qualitative-empirical study conducted at the of Cologne with students reading Hanif Kureishi’s short story “My Son the Fanatic”. The study uses think-aloud method to document emotional responses during the reading process. The results of the study indicate that emotions play a vital role in constructing cognitive meaning. As a consequence we recommend a greater role for the emotions in a constructivist orientation of foreign language learning.
Advanced learners of French as a foreign language tend to turn their back on formal education in German secondary schools. Against the assumption that specific curricula are necessarily too difficult, the article develops ideas how to respond to different levels of language proficiency. Based on Bakhtin’s and Genette’s theories of intertextuality as well as on reader-centred didactical conceptions, the author tries to point out that literature can be an appropriate field for exploring individual ways of learning. By confronting and discussing subjective views, the language classroom might help to increase the acceptance of alterity and, by that means, contribute to intercultural understanding. Starting from Michel Tournier’s Vendredi ou la vie sauvage, the article offers practical teaching suggestions that open up a variety of links to other novels inspired by Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
The paper describes some early Croatian grammars and textbooks for teaching German as a foreign language. They appeared in the second half of the 18th century when Croatia was part of the Austrian monarchy. The Austrian rulers put the State in charge of schools and introduced the teaching of German as a compulsory subject. The textbooks described here were meant to serve this purpose. They are written in the ethnic languages, and intended for pupils in the lower Gymnasium or for young people generally. The bilingually printed grammar was the prescribed textbook in elementary schools, and the textbook composed in Latin was used in the Gymnasium. The first book mentioned was meant to teach soldiers who were held as prisoners of war in Prussia the German and Croatian languages. The paper also describes techniques of language teaching that were recommended at that time.
Internet communication shows specific features and functions which should be considered in learning situations in foreign-language and mother-tongue education. Its position between oral communication and literacy, between private and public sphere, between global availability and the opportunity for direct personal contact across language and cultural boundaries has far-reaching consequences for language learning in Internet projects. Not only e-mail but also the Web, chatrooms and BSCW technology provide a complex learning environment that is extremely motivating and offers language-learning potential for students of different age groups. This will be shown in five projects including primary schools, secondary schools and universities in different countries.