German and Beyond
for German teachers

German and Beyond

Current Narratives in the German Lesson —
Online Seminars for Teachers of German

The necessity to look beyond your own classroom is self-evident to most German teachers. In the year 2020, teaching languages is more than transmitting linguistic knowledge and communicative competences. The world language classroom, like few other subjects, serves as a perfect environment for integrating exciting content with language learning. However, it is this integration of content and language that poses the biggest challenges: For how do we include content in which we lack expert knowledge?  How do we integrate complex thoughts and debates in our lessons for beginning learners of our language?  

The Goethe-Institut Boston invites German teachers from the US to participate in our virtual seminar series ''German and Beyond: Aktuelle Diskurse im Deutschunterricht'' this fall. In 90-minute virtual seminars, experts will allow us glimpses of the great narratives and debates of our time. Together, we will look for connections of theses topics with German lessons at High Schools.

11/3/2020, 7:00 pm EST
Anti-Racism (Prof. Priscilla Layne, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Priscilla Layne © Priscilla Layne Priscilla Layne is Associate Professor of German and Adjunct Associate Professor of African, African American and Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research and teaching draws on postcolonial studies, gender studies and critical race theory to address topics like representations of blackness in literature and film, rebellion, and the concept of the Other in science fiction/fantasy.
The term race has long been taboo in Germany, due to its legacy during the Nazis’ murderous regime.  Many Germans may believe that rejecting the biological category of race would be enough to remove the problem of racism from society. But this has not been the case, in part, because for so long Germans have associated national identity with whiteness; an assumption that translates into language and behaviors which continually exclude Black people and People of Color. African American activist Angela Davis once said, “In a racist society , it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” In this presentation I will discuss what it looks like to adopt an anti-racist pedagogy in the German language classroom.

11/17/2020, 7:00 pm EST 
Intercultural Competence (Prof. Manuela Wagner, UCONN)

Manuela Wagner © Manuela Wagner
Manuela Wagner is a specialist in the integration of Intercultural Competence and Intercultural Citizenship in world language education. She is particularly interested in the interplay of theory and practice and has co-edited Teaching Intercultural Competence Across the Age Range: From Theory to Practice (2018) and Education for Intercultural Citizenship: Principles in Practice (2017). The co-authored book Teaching Intercultural Citizenship Across the Curriculum: The Role of Language Education appeared with ACTFL in 2019.

After an introduction to the concept of intercultural citizenship (Byram, 2008) I will address the following questions: 1) Why should we teach intercultural citizenship in language education and beyond?,  2) What are the connections of teaching for intercultural citizenship, anti-racism education, and decolonizing the German language and culture curriculum?, 3) What are some examples of intercultural citizenship education, and 4) What are some challenges and criticism of teaching languages through intercultural citizenship?

12/3/2020, 7:00 pm EST
Media Literacy (Prof. Anke Finger, UCONN)

Anke Finger © Anke Finger Anke Finger is Professor of German Studies, Media Studies and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut. Among other positions, she currently serves as the Director for High School Outreach (ECE) in German Studies and co-directs the dual degree EUROBIZ. Her research focuses on German modernism, media studies and intercultural communication, and she is developing a course on “Media Literacy and Data Ethics” for the General Education program at UConn.
This presentation on media literacy in the German-speaking classroom concentrates on 3 questions: what media? which data? whose ethics? We will explore these questions on the background of German cultural and media history and what students might need to know to navigate today’s media and data landscapes in German-speaking contexts. Importantly, media are directly connected to everyday cultural techniques such as writing or reading or using social media and other platforms. As such, media literacy, in the language and culture classroom and beyond, becomes a vital skill set for our multimodal and multilingual world.

12/14/2020, 7:00 pm EDT
Decolonizing the Curriculum (Prof. David Gramling, University of Arizona)

David Gramling © David Gramling David GramlingDavid Gramling (he/they) is a member of the Steering Committee of the Diversity, Decolonization, and the German Curriculum Collective (DDGC, @DDGCTweets). He is author or co-author of several books, including The Invention of Monolingualism (Bloomsbury 2016), Linguistic Disobedience (Palgrave 2019), and Germany in Transit: Nation & Migration 1955–2005 (University of California Press). He teaches at the University of Arizona, on the current and ancestral land of the Tohono O’odham Nation.
His brief talk will focus on three issues: a) the diverse places the conversation on decolonization comes from, b) the work being done currently on decolonization initiatives in German-speaking territories and the local historical rationales for doing so, and c) the implications of decolonial thinking for the teaching and learning of German and other languages. 

For teachers who attend at least three of these events, we are happy to issue certificates of professional development. 
Participation is free. To register, please send an email to Kerstin Hämmerling from the Goethe-Institut Boston: