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Traditions and Transitions

Curricula for German Studies

John L. Plews and Barbara Schmenk, editors

WCGS German Studies Series


Order online and receive a 25% discount

$85.00 Hardcover, 414 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-431-4

Release Date: October 2013



Traditions and Transitions: Curricula for German Studies is a collection of essays by Canadian and international scholars on the topic of why and how the curriculum for post-secondary German studies should evolve. Its twenty chapters, written by international experts in the field of German as a foreign or second language, explore new perspectives on and orientations in the curriculum.

In light of shifts in the linguistic and intercultural needs of today’s global citizens, these scholars in German studies question the foundations and motivations of common curriculum goals, traditional program content, standard syllabus design, and long-standing classroom practice. Several chapters draw on a range of contemporary theories—from critical applied linguistics, second-language acquisition, curriculum theory, and cultural studies—to propose and encourage new curriculum thinking and reflective practice related to the translingual and cross-cultural subjectivities of speakers, learners, and teachers of German. Other chapters describe and analyze specific examples of emerging trends in curriculum practice for learners as users of German.

This volume will be invaluable to university and college faculty working in the discipline of German studies as well as in other modern languages and second-language education in general. Its combination of theoretical and descriptive explorations will help readers develop a critical awareness and understanding of curriculum for teaching German and to implement new approaches in the interests of their students.

John L. Plews is an associate professor of German at Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia. He researches second-language curriculum and international education for language learners and teachers, focusing on lived experience, identity, and voice. He is the co-editor of Interkulturelle Kompetenzen im Fremdsprachenunterricht, German Matters in Popular Culture, and Queering the Canon.

Barbara Schmenk is an associate professor of German at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, where she co-ordinates the German-language program and conducts graduate teaching-assistant training. Her research focuses on second/foreign-language education. She has published monographs on gender and language learning and on learner autonomy as well as articles on various aspects of language learning and teaching.