SoSe 16: SI: Sprachwissenschaftliche Methoden im Englischunterricht
In this seminar, students who will be language teachers are introduced to qualitative, context-sensitive and socially grounded approaches to study language. While language teachers often-times regard ... read more
In this seminar, students who will be language teachers are introduced to qualitative, context-sensitive and socially grounded approaches to study language. While language teachers often-times regard their task to be the transmission of an uncontested standard language that is represented in grammar books and dictionaries, the qualitative study of actual language practices shows that language practices and their social consequences are far more complex, that concepts of ‘correctness’ and ‘standard’ are not value-free or neutral – which is particularly apparent in the case of the English language – and that the public institution of schooling plays a crucial role in the dissemination of particular kinds of knowledge about language.
Qualitative methods are ideal to develop an understanding of the far-ranging social functions of language beyond the transmission of referential knowledge. The seminar focuses on discourse analytic and linguistic anthropological approaches. After theoretical insights into sociolinguistics, and the distinction between qualitative and quantitative research, one building block of the seminar is concerned with theoretical views on discourse. A second one introduces how to do discourse analysis, and a third one looks into the application of linguistic anthropological method. The latter two sections acquaint with methods to study data and give access to sample studies by linguists and to studies which students will develop. Students will learn methods to evaluate their own language practices critically, to evaluate varieties of English in their socio-political context, and to understand the social embedding of their pupil’s diverse (often multilingual or non-standard) language uses. Apart from their intrinsic value, the methodological approaches introduced may be of advantage to develop qualification theses, to document and reflect on teaching practices or to develop future in-school evaluation projects.
This is a research-led seminar in which students develop research questions (also during sessions and as preparation to session – participation requires being ‘text expert’, which implies the development of research questions), collect data and learn to apply the methods that are introduced and use them to write their term paper.