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Traditions and Transitions

Curricula for German Studies

John L. Plews and Barbara Schmenk, editors

WCGS German Studies Series

Hardcover 414 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-431-4

Release Date: October 2013

Online discount: 25%

$85.00  $63.75


eBook availability

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.


“The nineteen chapters of hte volume cover a wide array of approaches to and suggestions for curricular changes of German programs outside of the German-speaking countries.... Professors seeking to reform their programs will find interesting ideas from the theoretical framework to the concrete course syllabi. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.”

— Marcel P. Rotter, University of Mary Washington, Yearbook of German American Studies

“Those teaching and those coordinating postsecondary German programs can learn from the experiences outlined in these studies. Here the argument is put forth that teachers alike profit from methodologically grounded self-reflection in the praxis of engaging other cultures, especially through the medium of a foreign language. Curricular reform efforts such as moves from ‘language’ to ‘cultural studies’ pose useful fields of study. This collection is intended to inspire institutions in Europe and North America to interact fruitfully in the future. Summing Up: Recommended

— J.M. Jeep, Miami University, CHOICE