Our Discipline

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The Department of Foreign Language Teaching and Learning Research & Intercultural Communication forms the fundamental building block of the English teaching degree program at the University of Kassel. In addition, it offers elementary study content for BA and MA students in the degree programs.

Together with the students, aspects such as the quality of foreign language performance in a factor complex of cognitively demanding teaching are examined in the  research, teaching and learning area. The focus is on various teaching and learning methods, particularly in digital learning spaces, culturally comparative approaches (human GPS model) and research into factors such as learning and thought processes that are accessible via introspection and other methods.

Foreign language teaching and learning research & Intercultural Communication is an applied science dedicated to strengthening a research-based theory-practice relationship as a basis for science-based teacher training and further education, as well as for business students interested in culture and language. 

Students engage critically and reflectively with content-related, methodological and educational policy aspects of didactic issues and implement their acquired skills in the planning, implementation and evaluation processes of their own English lessons.

The focus is on the digitalization of foreign language learning spaces, the digital support of planning, implementation and evaluation of foreign language teaching and the digitally based  research of these processes.  The operationalization of digitalization is based on specific topics such as  multilingualism and language awareness in language landscapes, skills development, heterogeneity and internal differentiation, "Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)" and "practical school studies".

Internationalization runs like a common thread through all teaching and research and is a conditio sine qua non for the department.  Courses are consistently taught in English  with recourse to various languages of origin and other foreign languages in order to create an awareness of the high value of "linguistic funds of knowledge" in heterogeneous learning communities. Partnerships with universities within and outside the EU as well as expert advice for students with regard to their possible stay abroad.

In English/American Studies: Foreign Language Teaching and Learning Research and Intercultural Communication, aspects such as the quality of foreign language performance in a factor complex of cognitively demanding teaching are examined in particular. As a result of PISA, the aim here is to investigate precisely those conditional factors that are responsible for learning success. The focus is on various learning methods, use of media, etc., as well as factors that are more accessible through introspection, such as learning and thinking processes (learning style, learning type, learning strategies), such as those investigated in ADEQUA (Finkbeiner, Knierim, Smasal, Ludwig, 2011). In addition, culturally specific processing styles are taken into account as important determining factors (Finkbeiner, 2009).

An important aspect is the qualification of students as learners, teachers and researchers (Learner-Moderator-Researcher-Plus model; Finkbeiner, 2001, 2004). To this end, they must be trained in their teaching/learning strategy, diagnostic and evaluative skills, for example by getting to know, assessing and developing survey materials, observation criteria, text analysis, lesson analysis, analysis and reconstruction of thought processes. An integrated study workshop (ISW) and a research laboratory for linguistics/applied linguistics are available for this purpose. In addition, reflection on one's own learning biography and one's own learning and study activities is an important field of research in order to build up a metacognitive awareness of one's own learning processes (Schmidt & Finkbeiner, 2006; Finkbeiner & Lazar, published 2012; Finkbeiner & Knierim, 2008; Wilden, 2008).