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The development after 1945 of foreign language teaching methodology in the German Democratic Republic is sketched out in eight paragraphs with different topical foci. Stress is laid on the constraints caused by a rigorous planning of academic activities and foreign language teaching. An overview is given subsequently of dissertation topics and Habilitationsschriften which predominantly deal with problems in applied linguistics and only rarely with problems in cultural studies (Landeskunde) and literature. The paper closes with a preview of what needs to be done in the area of foreign language research at the universities of the new eastern German states under new political conditions.
The article describes the results of an empirical project dealing with the effects of explanations of meaning on the comprehension and retention of foreign language students. The two test runs are described with German as a Foreign Language, English and French as the relevant languages. In each run, one group for each language was confronted with contextual (examples) and another with non-contextual explanations (synonyms). Both the varying results in the areas of comprehension and retention as well as the methodological aspects such as the change in design from run one to run two are presented. As far as methodological queries are concerned the research makes use of retrospective procedures in order to gain insight into learner-internal data.
The following article presents an annotated bibliography of textbook analyses which all describe the image of a nation as it is depicted either implicitly or explicitly in textbooks for foreign language learning (English, French, German, Spanish). The summarizing commentary focuses on common trends and developments which run strikingly parallel for each language and, furthermore, discusses difficulties and problems when depicting a foreign nation in textbooks.