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Ab Initio Language Teaching in British Higher Education

The Case of German

Practical guidance for teaching languages from scratch in higher education, using German as a case study.

As entries for UK school exams in modern foreign languages decrease, this book serves the urgent need for research and guidance on ab initio learning and teaching in higher education. Drawing extensively on the expertise of teachers of German in universities across the UK, the volume offers an overview of recent trends, new pedagogical approaches, and practical guidance for teaching languages at the beginners’ level in the higher education classroom that will be useful for teachers of both German and other languages.

The first chapters assess the role of ab initio provision within the wider context of modern language departments and language centers. They are followed by sections on teaching methods and approaches in the ab initio classroom, including the use of music, textbook evaluation, effective use of flipped classrooms, and the contribution of language apps. Finally, the book focuses on the learner in the ab initio context and explores issues around autonomy and learner strengths.

214 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

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Table of Contents

List of figures and tables

List of contributors
Foreword by Martin Durrell

Ulrike Bavendiek, Silke Mentchen, Christian Mossmann and Dagmar Paulus

1 Beginners German – Ja, bitte! Development and status quo of German ab initio education in degree programmes and language centres at UK universities
Martina Wallner and Elisabeth Wielander

2 German ab initio in Languages for All programmes: Student profiles and course design
Sabina Barczyk-Wozniak

3 Preparing Generation Z students for a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) through language learning
Kasia Lanucha and Alexander Bleistein

4 Reading literature in the ab initio classroom
Daniela Dora and Katharina Forster

5 Using music in ab initio courses
Kirsten Mericka

6 Grammar teaching and learning in the German ab initio classroom
Birgit Smith

7 Selecting the right resources for beginners level – A textbook evaluation
Christian Mossmann

8 Intercultural awareness in the teaching and learning of German: The case of ab initio
Eva Gossner and Dagmar Paulus

9 The ‘flipped classroom’ approach in the German beginner context
Mandy Poetzsch

10 New approaches to feedback in ab initio language classes: a case study
Ruth Winter

11 Two for the price of one: Using a cognitive theory of metaphors for vocabulary teaching and learning
Silke Mentchen

12 Effective vocabulary learning apps: What should they look like? An evaluation with a particular view to German language acquisition
Annemarie Künzl-Snodgrass, Theresa Lentfort and Maren de Vincent-Humphreys

13 Developing learner autonomy in German ab initio programmes
Thomas Jochum-Critchley

14 Individual Differences in ab initio language learning: Working with learners’ strengths
Ulrike Bavendiek


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