Changes in German Language Instruction, 1980-2010

For my Freshman Monroe Project this summer, I will be investigating the many changes that have occurred over the past three decades in the instruction of German language. My research will be done through readings of textbooks and articles, and interviews with current German-language educators. Through this research, I hope to determine the changes that have occurred in the instruction, as well as why these changes have occurred. Specifically, I hope to examine the changes in the presentation of grammatical concepts such as case and the subjunctive mood, both of which are uncommon to English-speaking students learning their first non-native language. Furthermore, I want to examine the changing emphasis on German cultural instruction in the classroom, and whether or not the current greater emphasis takes away from instruction of the grammar. In order to evaluate the several changes I plan to find, I will use the opinions I obtain in the interviews, as well as information from current articles in foreign-language pedagogy and acquisition.


  1. I have a textbook from 1967 that might be useful for this if it’s not too early.

  2. mwschilling says:

    Thanks Lisa! It may be too early, though I think I might take a look at it anyway, as it may let me see some earlier shifts that are ongoing yet more subtle in the time frames I’m researching.

  3. Mike, as a fellow German student your topic seems positively fascinating. I had never considered the ways in which our classroom experience, far from being a constant, is the product of social and political forces. I’ll look forward to seeing your final product!