Greetings!! I’m Heike Krüsemann, a PhD researcher at the University of Reading.
My project is on German in the UK. It explores how German-learning is conceptualised and represented in public and private 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 choices are made.
Specifically, I’ll be looking at language used around German as a school subject in the UK. How do the media portray the subject of German? How do learners and teachers talk about it? How does this reflect their attitudes and beliefs, and where do those beliefs come from? 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 PhD supervisors 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 eventually this blog could 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 German-learning attitudes, motivation, and the representation of Germany, the Germans and the German language in the UK, please get in touch! You can email me, or follow me on twitter. I’d love to read your comments on my blog (below), and connect via social media or otherwise! To follow this blog or subscribe via email, just click the button on the right. Bis dann also!
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 the University as a Research Assistant and German tutor in 2012. 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 for money – please do!), and dabble in writing reviews, fiction, poetry, and in making short films. I love reading, writing, all things culture, cycling, silversmithing (click here for my jewellery blog), and green-smoothie and cocktail making (in separate glasses, mainly). Ok – that’s enough soul-baring for one paragraph!
Click on the links below for short video screencasts of some of my project talks:
- March 2015 – project overview
- March 2016 – examples of data and pilot study findings
- September 2016 – German is like a coconut: Representations of German in UK learner discourses (presentation for Association for German Studies conference, Newcastle)