Greetings! I’m Heike Krüsemann, a Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Reading.
I set up this blog when I did my PhD on German in the UK. My PhD explored how German is conceptualised and represented in public and private UK discourses, and the relationship with learner motivation. German in the UK is in crisis, even more so than other modern foreign languages, and if we want to find out what’s going on we need to start looking at learner motivation at school-level, when language uptake choices are first made.
The lens through which I view my data is discourse analysis. How do the UK media represent German, the Germans, and Germany? How do learners, teachers, and head teachers talk about it? How do they construct their identities as German learners and teachers? And, most importantly, is there a relationship between those public and private discourses, and again between those and the uptake of German in secondary schools? My wonderful PhD supervisors were/are Professor Suzanne Graham and Dr Melani Schröter; many thanks go to the University of Reading for supporting my project through a scholarship.
I’m hoping that this blog can also serve as an online space for collecting and sharing of information between researchers working in this field. If you’re working in the area of discourse analysis and language learning motivation, or the representation of German/ languages in the UK, please get in touch! You can email me, or follow me on twitter. I’d love to read your comments, and connect via social media or otherwise. To follow this blog or subscribe via email, just click the button on the right. Hope to hear from you!
I first came over to the UK from Germany as a Teaching Assistant, and ended up graduating with a BA and MA in English Language and Literature from Reading University. After a PGCE from Cambridge in English and German I worked as a German teacher in UK secondary schools, before returning to Reading University as a Researcher. I’m involved with the Oxford German Network, an initiative by the University of Oxford, for which I write a newsletter with updates from the world of German learning & teaching (subscribe here!). I’m also a freelance writer (hire me here!) and I dabble in fiction, poetry, and in making short films (click for a few recent pieces here!). I love reading, writing, all things culture, cycling, travelling, and making things – click here for my silversmithing blog. Ok – that’s enough soul-baring for one paragraph!