Mary Snell-Hornby, still, I believe, a Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Vienna, was a  ‚Lektor’ when she wrote this classic article about the status of English language teaching in German universities. Twenty years after its publication I fear that the situation it describes will still be very recognisable – and not only in Germany.


There are some short quotations in German in the text and some longer passages in the footnotes, but I trust that does not make the article inaccessible to those who do not read German.


I have taken the trouble to tidy up this scanned version because statistics provided by the server that carries my homepage show that large numbers of people visit my site to read this article



Dennis Newson, Osnabück , 7th. May, 2002



Originally published in Neusprachliche Mitteilungen, Heft 2/1982© Mary Snell-Hornby

English language courses at German universities: Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty?

Among the Proceedings of the 13th Linguistic Colloquium in Ghent (1978) there is a contribution with an unusual title: "Cinderella, or: English language courses at German universities", a survey of courses taught in the Summer Semester 1978, followed by a critical evaluation. Having given such courses in the 1960s, I studied the article for a possible comparison of notes, and was amazed to discover that my pre-reform reminiscences corresponded closely to the reality of ten years later: the same complaint about the students' lack of fluency; low performance in oral skills, a high dropout rate in listening/speaking courses, and the tacit appraisal of spoken English as 'unimportant''; students seized by panic before the finals, and the general lack of a unified and well-defined conception of language teaching. Of crucial interest is the reason given by the author of the article, Konrad Sprengel, for this unsatisfactory situation.1

The answer, I think, has to do with attitudes towards language teaching. It does not bestow particular prestige, or a good    image, on anyone to be occupied in practical language courses: it is nothing to be proud of, it does not carry status, and therefore this business is left to people in the lower ranks of the hierarchy, mostly ,,Lektoren". 'while the staff tend to consider language courses a necessary evil (...), a great part of the students even seem to regard them as unnecessary. Classes will only be attended consistently if they are obligatory or exactly geared to examination requirements.

It is the word "attitudes" that touches the nerve of the problem of university language teaching in German-speaking countries, and precisely because attitudes are difficult to analyse and elude objective verification, they are often taken for granted and exempted from critical scrutiny. My aim here is to take a step in counteracting this deficiency, and to discuss the status accorded to language courses at German-speaking universities as against their potential within the framework of university studies and their function for the future professional lives of the students.

An important point in Sprengel's article is made with reference to the data published by university English departments in Finkenstaedt 1978, such data "being complete only for courses in linguistics and literature, not for language courses". This is not Finkenstaedt's fault, since he only co-ordinates the data provided by departments; and some, or in fact most departments do not consider practical language courses important enough to be honoured by mention (p.35). This observation is squarely borne out by the information for the present Summer Semester in Finkenstaedt 1981. The 43 universities providing for degrees in English language and literature fall, as regards their data on language courses, into four clear groups2:

(1) 8 departments provide the same detailed information on language courses as on lectures and seminars3;

(2) 3 departments specify the different types of language courses, but without indicating the number of hours involved and/or without naming the lecturers4;

(3) 14 departments simply indicate the number of hours taken up by language courses, typically in a postscript of the type: ,,Sprachpraktische Übungen 50 Stunden” [language practice exercises 50 hours]

(4) 18 departments, one must assume from the data, have ,,Lektoren" but no language courses.

In other words, of these 43 university departments, 32 do not consider language courses worthy of specific mention. There is surely no more eloquent proof needed of the status accorded to English language courses at German universities.

The deeper reason for this is of course traditional and historical. It lies in what Finkenstaedt (1974: 26) euphemistically describes as ,,das unsichere Verhaeltnis der deutschen Wissenschaft, vor allem der Philosophischen Fakultat zur Praxis, zu allem, was direkt berufsbezogen ist und nur Fertigkeit, ,Handwerkliches' zu sein scheint, dem Geist entgegengesetzt". And this is in my opinion the nucleus of the entire malaise, the position of the term praktisch on the negative side of a double dichotomy, as the antonym, not only of theoretisch, but also - and this is the fatal thing - of wissenschafilich7. This rigid dichotomization emerges clearly from the writings on the reform proposals of around 1970, as for example in Standop's model, which divides a course of studies into a Grundstufe consisting of the ,,sprachpraktische Ausbildung" beside a ,,wissenschaftliche Sprachdidaktik" and ,,Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft", and a Hauptstudium that offers a choice between a ,,didaktischen Studiengang" and a ,,neutralen (rein-wissenschaftlichen) Studiengang" (Standop 1970: 116ff.). At the time of course it was a welcome novelty for language teaching to be accorded any serious interest at all, but in retrospect one must wonder whether labels like sprachpraktisch (as against sprachwissenschaftlich), the correlation of language study with language didactics (a discipline which, despite Standop's classification, has spent much time fretting over whether or not it can be called a Wissenschaft)8, and above all the segregation, and even isolation of language teaching from the rest of the course of studies, have not been rather harmful than salutary9. The rigid distinction between praktisch and wissenschaftlich is in fact arbitrarily drawn and artificially maintained. It is an academic construct which paralyses any finer differentiation, a mere reflection of attitudes which acts in solid confirmation of the Whorfian hypothesis. This assertion is not new: Finkenstaedt (1974: 26) expresses similar views'0, and no less a scholar than J. R. Firth formulated (with reference to phonetics) the following caustic comment11:

I think the emphasis on "practical" is a constant feature of the work of the English School, certainly during the nineteenth century, and we do not take offence when Germans refer to our work with pejorative intent, as ganz praktisch, because we know that when they have borrowed its ideas, the result is wissenschaftlich.


If we study the topics of lectures, seminars and wissenschaftliche Übungen included in Finkenstaedt 1981, we see ample evidence for the theory that the concepts praktisch and wissenschaftlich are not antonymous, but rather represent complementary facets of an integrated whole. Many of the seminar topics in particular are basically inseparable from material covered in "practical" language courses. In Hanover, for example, there is a Proseminar conducted by a German-speaking professor, with the title: "Problems in German-English Translation". This is precisely what the present writer has been concerned with over the past few years in a course with the humble name "Translation (Intermediate)". In fact, the course even goes as far as to deal with ,,Linguistische Probleme der Übersetzung" (Pro-seminar in Paderborn). Similarly, there is a Hauptseminar in Duisburg with the title "Cohesion and Coherence in Spoken and Written English Discourse", a topic painfully relevant (as Halliday and Hasan themselves point out in their book on the subject12) to composition and writing courses, as well as to courses in conversation and discussion. This list could be continued much further. In fact, the general picture of linguistic seminars offered in Germany during the current semester shows a predominance of topics (such as semantics and grammar) which are inseparable from the study of language in its concrete realization. For example, there are no less than eight seminars on tense and aspect13, a particularly tricky subject in English grammar, and one which (as written Staatsexarnen papers show in abundance) many future teachers have not understood even at the end of their university studies.

The actual material covered in the seminars and the "practical" language courses therefore frequently coincides: the difference lies in the approach and the method of teaching it. The "practical" language course will be based on concrete phenomena, on texts, structures, on varied chosen topics, it is empirical in approach and offers practice in the active use of the language. The seminar will tend to be abstract in approach and will concentrate, not so much on the concrete realisation of language as on the theories that have been developed about it, on the writings of relevant linguists; hence it will depend on a copious bibliography, while the "practical" course need not have a bibliography at all. The seminar requires the writing of one lengthy paper for that ambiguous process of Scheinerwerb; "practical" language courses (at least those furthering writing skills) rather depend on shorter weekly or fortnightly assignments. The seminar is based on a process of intellectual analysis, the "practical" language course is unfortunately often assumed to exist on untrained intuition. And the most basic distinction of all: the seminar is about language (language description), the "practical' language course provides training in the command of language (language skills)'5. What seems to be overlooked is the fact that between the two extremes of abstract theorising and mechanical pattern practice there is an infinite variety of shading, whereby aspects of theory and practice can be integrated. I am not suggesting that everything should be taught at once, and I do not deny the need both for courses training the active use of language and for seminars concentrating on furthering academic research: but I would maintain that we are concerned, not with an asymmetrical dichotomy, but with the problem of where to place the focus.

And in practice, ironically enough, this insight already emerges from the academic programmes published by German universities, as is mainly seen in the uncertainty and arbitrariness with which "practical" topics are classified16. Cologne, for example, includes a course in "Advanced Pronunciation: Reading Aloud and Discussion of Texts" as well as ,,Übungen zur Staatsexamens Übersetzungsklausur" (Finkenstaedt 1981), but no other language courses. May it be that the advanced character of the two courses concerned qualifies them for entry into scholarly society? The question is by no means irrelevant. It is bound up with a factor that is consistently overlooked in discussions on university language teaching: that its declared ultimate aim is "nearnativeness"17, and the more closely a course tries to approach this ideal, the less it will be concerned with the didactic methods of basic language teaching, and the more it will be involved with the scientific study of language.

There is an abundance of literature on teaching English as a foreign language (EFL), but it does not normally focus on a level beyond that of the Cambridge Proficiency Examination18, which, generally speaking, the university student should have reached at the Zwischenprufung. And while research is far advanced on language acquisition (both of native and foreign languages), very little attention has to my knowledge been devoted to the cognitive and psychological process of "perfecting" language competence; in fact, in the case of foreign languages, contrastive linguistics has not yet progressed far enough to provide a basis for such study. In other words, we are concerned with an area which probably few people know much about except those engaged in teaching in it. This vacuum of knowledge has led to the blurring of some important distinctions: while agreeing that university departments should aim at the perfecting (Vervollkomnung) of language competence to the level of near-nativeness (niuttersprachenänhliche Beherrschung), reformers of the early 1970s still expressed themselves in terms of ,,Sprachvermittlung" and ,,Fertigkeiten", whereby the student is ,,rezeptiv" or ,,produktiv"19. This terminology suggests that the student is largely a passive recipient, or that when he is active, he is engaged in a purely mechanical process. I would rather maintain that advanced language teaching begins at a stage when the four basic skills have already merged into an overall competence, and that it is concerned, not merely with ,,Vermittlung", but rather with a complex process of guided activity involving constant revision and refinement, whereby the student is required to be at the same time critical and creative. At all events it is a process no less intellectual than that involved in acquiring academic skills, and it can by no means be described as purely practical.20.

At present however near-nativeness remains largely an illusion, although (supported by evidence produced below) I would dispute the contention that it is a hopelessly unrealistic aim21. The language competence of the normal student, especially in oral skills, is rather a direct product of his own attitudes and the attitude of the universities. In both cases this is often ambivalent and highly complicated: on the one hand the university still sees itself as an ,,Ort der Wissenschaft" where "practical" language work is peripheral and inferior, but on the other hand it makes the new student aware that his language competence is inadequate. The student is soon overcome by complexes and inhibitions, which however he can happily repress by concentrating on his "real" studies (reinforced by time-pressure and the interests of his academic teachers), whereby his language skills continue to retrogress and his motivation to decrease; and, as Speight (1973: 21) observes of PHs, the more help a student needs, the less likely he is to look for it, for fear of showing how weak his English is. The next step is to dismiss language skills as unimportant, and it is not far to the conclusion that perfection is a hopeless aim anyway, so why not adjust one's expectations to reality (Toth 1979)? This last argument is applied to language work only (for academic papers the standards remain exacting and unchanged), and already there is a suspiciously high tolerance threshold for language errors (whereby the corrector of Staatsexamen papers cannot help wondering what would happen to future doctors, for example, if they made as many basic errors as future teachers do). The tendency is clear: if expectations are further adjusted to reality, competence levels will only continue to spiral downwards.

The academic scorn for language work is not limited to teacher training, and it is not irrelevant to take our argument a stage further. Translating is an occupation subjected to similar disdain, an attitude which can also be observed to extend generally to language in its concrete realization, even in the writings of linguists themselves. In other words, while language is respected in its function as material for analysis and as a phenomenon for research, it meets with less reverence as a concrete means of expression and communication. I am here not only referring to the jargonistic fog through which linguists seem especially prone to torturing themselves into expression, but more especially to the disregard for idiom and other basic language principles found even in authoritative writings on language24. That this can extend to conscious indifference is shown in the following sentences introducing a collection of essays on text-linguistics, which were written, mainly by non-native speakers, in English25:

Responsibility for English style is with the single authors, although I have introduced some corrections. But, in distinction to other editors, I have not aimed at the task of complete englishing. In the age of increasing computer-generated English texts and of English becoming the major international language of linguistics, a volume presumably written for a majority of non-English readers by a majority of non-English authors does not need to contain only contributions in fully idiomatic English, particularly because in certain countries it is rather difficult to produce texts in such a perfect English (sic).


The argument in the last few lines is hardly convincing: precisely because English has come to be the lingua franca of linguistics, and in particular because linguistics is concerned with extremely difficult subject-matter (which computers as yet come nowhere near being able to express), the linguist may reasonably be expected at least to take the trouble to achieve competence in English and to express himself lucidly and idiomatically. Some of the essays in the collection mentioned above indeed justify the warning made by the editor, and might earn the very same comment frequently made of students' essays: they are literal translations from the language of the author concerned, and the reader most competent to unravel the meaning is the one who can first translate them back into that language.

Here again we come up against the familiar ambivalent attitude: on the one hand disdain for language in its concrete realization, on the other capitulation in the face of the very real difficulties which mastery of a language involves. At this point we may ask if anything can be done about it. At the end of his article, Sprengel suggests three concrete remedies for the grievances he has discussed:

1. An obligatory diagnostic test for all beginners in English.

2. A considerable increase in practical language courses; in particular, an increase in listening/ speaking courses, and a regulation that makes them obligatory.

3. A changeover to English as the teaching language in all courses, seminars and lectures.

(p. 354f.)

Already the horizon begins to brighten, for a glance across the border into Swiss universities shows us that there such remedies have long been in effect, except perhaps for a regulation that makes listening/speaking courses obligatory, and that does not appear to be necessary. After facing the same problems as those portrayed in Sprengel's article, the English language teacher coming to a Swiss university is struck by the high language competence of the students, although English is in effect their third foreign language27, and most of them have had only four years' English at school. This can of course be dismissed as a mere subjective impression, but it is strong enough to invite empirical tests. Most striking of all is the attitude of the Swiss students towards language learning: they are in general highly motivated, and have a marked enthusiasm above all for speaking foreign languages: English is the language used in courses and many lectures and seminars (frequently even for writing seminar and Lizentiat papers), while conversation with an English-speaking lecturer naturally takes place in English - and in some cases one is hardly aware that one is talking to a foreigner. This would indicate that near-nativeness is not a hopelessly unrealistic ideal, but can be seen to represent a very high level of language competence which, given intensive training and adequate motivation, indeed lies within the reach of many university students.

With this basically positive attitude towards the ultimate aim of near-nativeness. it is now easier to make a few tentative suggestions as to how the ground might be prepared for approaching it.

Firstly, the concept of near-nativeness needs more precise and detailed definition than it has yet been given28. The Saalbach proposals of 1969 are disappointing in this respect, because in the long run they leave the criteria open29, and yet still name absolute ideals30; with such basic guidelines there is small wonder that the concept of near-nativeness has been questioned. Moreover, the experienced language teacher will notice that they leave serious loop-holes; they leave room, for example, for what has been mentioned above as a typical student failing: the habit of literal translation from the native language, avoiding actual errors but yet ignoring the idiom and the structural principles inherent in the foreign language.

Secondly, while one is reluctant to add to the voices who try and put all the blame on the schools, a glance in that direction is inevitable. I am referring to Sprengel's point that the average German school-leaver "is sadly unable to speak the language, to make himself understood". (p.353) This means that he arrives at university, not only with handicaps difficult to remedy in an adult learner, but worse still, with deeply rooted inhibitions which often prevent him from even trying to develop oral skills. School teachers should be given more chance to forget their fixation on error and put their marking books aside, and to let their pupils express themselves freely in the foreign language on subjects of their own choice, to experiment with the language without fear or inhibition, and above all to enjoy doing so31; and here, as Finkenstaedt (1974: 33 f.) indicates, the most suitable teacher would be a young native speaker assistant in the role still assumed to be occupied by the ,,Lektor" at universities. In this way, the new student might at least be positively motivated, with some enthusiasm for language and confidence in his own abilities.

Thirdly, university language courses must be fully integrated into and coordinated with the remaining academic programme32; they should be given the same importance as the lecture or seminar, and the students should be motivated to attend them - in the realization that here they will be provided with the basic material crucial for their future profession. University language teachers (mainly ,,Lektoren") must be given more scope and responsibility in developing their sadly neglected field; and their teaching load should leave them enough time to be able to do so. Such work would involve both the vast amount of research there is to be done, and more immediate concerns such as the development of a unified conception of language teaching, from the initial remedial stage still necessary for the school-leaver to the advanced stage approaching near-nativeness.

Finally, and most basic of all: the universities must overcome their traditional prejudice against language in its concrete realization as being a mere medium for expressing "content", whereby the usage of language is ,,Handwerk", ,,dem Geist entgegengesetzt". On the contrary, training in the subtleties of a foreign language can be as intellectually challenging, as scientific and as scholarly as training in literary criticism or theoretical linguistics. In pleading for a change in attitudes towards language courses at the close of his article, Sprengel uses similar arguments: "Language teaching must be recognized for what it is: necessary, important, and just as prestigious as research work done in linguistics or literature." (p.355) The adjective "prestigious" represents the one point in his article with which I would disagree: prestige comes from outside, irrespective of actual merit, and it is something that has not yet been granted to university language courses - but they are certainly worthy of it.


1 Cf. Sprengel 1979: 352-354.

2 The list excludes PHs, also Bayreuth and Passau, where relevant teaching posts are still vacant.

3 Aachen, Augsburg, Berlin, Bielefeld, Oldenburg, Stuttgart, Tübingen, Wuppertal.

4 Bochum, Kassel, Münster.

5 Braunschweig, Darmstadt, Düsseldorf, Erlangen, Essen, Gießen, Göttingen, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Kiel, Konstanz, Mannheim, Saarbrücken, Siegen.

6 Bamberg, Bonn, Bremen, Cologne, Dortmund, Duisburg, Eichstatt, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Hannover, Mainz, Marburg, Munich, Osnabrück, Paderborn, Regensburg, Trier, Würzburg.

7 This division is pointed out explicitly by Leisi (1974: 9), though with specific reference to the 195Os:

,,Damals litt die kontinentale, zumal die deutschsprachige Anglistik, von wenigen Ausnahmen abgesehen an  einer Scheidung zwischen historisch-wissenschaftlicher und gegenwartsbezogen-praktischer Erschließung ihres Gegenstandes. An unseren Universitäten werderden wissenschaftlich und durch wissenschaftliche Kräfte meist nur die älteren Sprachstufen behandelt; das heutige Englisch überließ man den Lektoren. welche gemäß ihrer Aufgabe nicht wissenschaftlich, sondern rein praktisch vorgingen. So drohte der akademische Englischunterricht Weiterum zu zerfallen in einen wissenschaftlich-unkpraktischen und einen praktisch-uzwissenschaftlichen Teil; die vorhandene Literatur spiegelte diesen Bruch wider, indem sie zwar vortreffliche geschichtliche Werke, aber fast nur auf einzelne Details gerichtete oder unwissenschaftliche Gegenwartsdarstellungen anbot." With the growing interest in modern linguistics, scholarship is no longer restricted to purely historical subjects, but the division into praktisch and wissenschafilich has remained. Cf. Denninghaus/Bonnekamp 1970:151.

8 See Jungblut 1974, and cf. Schröder (1973: 9ff.), who (in my opinion rightly) considers language didactics an ,,,angewandte' Wissenschaft" (1973:11). Walter (1973: 55) gives a remarkable account of the conflict that can arise from the division between Wissenschafi and Praxis: ,,Als sich die Padagogischen Rochschulen den wissenschaftlichen Status erkämpften, ergab sich jedoch hinsichtlich der Einstellung zur Schulpraxis eine merkwürdige Verschiebung: wollte man als wissenschaftlich anerkannt werden, so mußte man sich möglichst ,wissenschaftlich' gebärden, das war man seinem Selbstverständnis schuldig. Die Niederungen der Praxis paßten schlecht zum neuen Status. So konnte es auch vorkommen, daß bei Berufungsverfahren an Pädagogischen Hochschulen einem jüngeren Bewerber mit Promotion und Schulerfahrung ,Wissenschaftsferneß vorgeworfen wurde, und zwar von Leuten, deren Praxisferne außer Studenten niemanden störte."

9 This problem was already envisaged before the founding of language centres. Cf. Finkenstaedt 1970 a:

93 f. It is of course aggravated by other factors: "The existing centres are frequently hampered by conflicts of delimitation with the departments, which have grown, at some places, into wars of attrition. The issue at stake is the centres' claim to a substantial research activity of their own, beyond a mere service function in teaching." (Sprengel 1979: 353) See also Voiti 1970: 30.

10 die gegenwärtigen, vielfach unfruchtbaren, Auseinandersetzungen um anwendungsbezogene Studiengange gegenüber den forschungsbezogenen sind nur die vorläufig letzte Formulierung des alten Problems, und ganz der deutschen Hochschultradition entsprechend nimmt man weiterhin an, daß es sich um einen natürlichen Gegensatz handelt, (...), nicht aber um die Pole eines Kontinuums." (emphasis added)

11 Firth 1957: 94 f., from "The English School of Phonetics", in Transactions of the Philological Society,1946.

12 Halliday and Hasan 1976:1.

13 Aachen SESD, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Freiburg, Hannover, Mainz, Marburg, Tübingen.

14 This also extends to literary material: hence in the WS 80/81 the topic "Shakespeare Interpretation" was in Konstanz graded as a Sprachübung (Finkenstaedt 1980); on the other hand, "The Savoy operas of Gilbert & Sullivan" (Paderborn, SS 81), material particularly suited for language analysis, was the subject of a Hauptseminar.

15 This distinction is expressed in various ways, as e.g. Kennen and Können (Standop 1970:117).

16 On the positive side, "practical" topics seem particularly well integrated into the programme where there is an English-speaking professor or AOR in the department; e.g. Osnabrück-Vechta, under ,,Veranstaltungen zur englischen Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft": "English Grammar I", held jointly by a professor and a Lektor. (SS 81)

17 As formulated in the Saalbach proposals of September 1969 (see Finkenstaedt 1970 b: 111 and our comment below).

18 Most of the discussions aiming beyond this level (e.g. Channell 1981) are concerned in some way with problems of linguistics, and hence support our observation.
19  Cf. Standop 1972: 7. In Standop’s discussion however, language teaching focuses on the Grundstudium.

20 Cf. Strevens 1977: 7

21 Cf. Toth 1979: 339: ,,Das Idealziel einer jeden fremdsprachlichen Ausbildung wird auf diese Weise mit dem Ausbildungsziel unter realistischen Ausbildungsumstanden und mit eninem realistischen Berufsziel vermengt; mit ganz wenigen Ausnahmen wird es von keinem Studierenden erreicht." Toth is however referring to nativeness (as against near-nativeness), and he bases his argument on the lack of a ,,sorgfaltig konzipierten und begrundeten Kriterienkatalog". Cf. our comment on the Saalbach proposals.

22 It should be pointed out that the disdain for language teaching is not limited to Germany; cf. Strevens 1977: 12: "For two decades, language teachers have had their profession 'put down', either by implication or directly, through invidious comparisons with linguistics and psychology, disciplines which have undergone intense theoretical ferment during the same period; in consequence, language teachers have often been made to feel inferior to linguists and cognitive psychologists."

23 This emerges clearly from a number of comments in Italiaander 1965, e.g.: ,,Aber warum halt man das Übersetzen so oft für eine Beschäftigung, die nur an der Peripherie der künstlerischen Sphäre kreist und gar an ihr parasitiert? (...) Woher kommt nun diese bedauernswerte Übersetzerverachtung?" (Bösser 1965: 74)

24 Typical examples are often English abstracts or summaries of dissertations, which may often be shown to a native speaker, but at a stage when the sentences are fully formulated and the structures are difficult to correct.

25 Dressier 1977: 4.

26 Lack of idiomatic expression even extends to the overnominalized style of some English-speaking linguists, as has been taken over from the technical language of the natural sciences and now forms the bulk of linguists' jargon. It should however be pointed out that a nominalized style is more suited to sciences focussing on concrete phenomena of the material world, but less so for studies depending on argumentation.

27 Due to the special role of dialect in German-speaking Switzerland (it is even the teaching language for the first year at primary school), the first foreign language may be seen to be Standard German, and French would then be the second.

28 It is based on proposals made by the Council of Europe in Saalbach, Austria in September 1969, suggesting 5 criteria for "near-nativeness"; see Finkenstaedt 1970b: 111.

28 As in 3. "A vocabulary adequate to educated converse..." and 4. "A command of the formal and colloquial registers." (emphasis added), whereby the words here underlined are open to subjective interpretation.

30 As in 2. "Freedom from morphological and syntactic errors in all classroom contexts and in writing." (emphasis added), an ideal which seems far removed from present reality.

31 Cf. Speight (1973: 32): "My favourite definition of good teaching has always been, 'a sharing of enthusiasms'." Speight describes the motivating effect of "real play" lessons on the pupils (1973: 37): "When we discussed the reasons for this reaction afterwards, we decided that the children normally kept the outside world and the world of school separate in their minds. Actually being allowed to eat breakfast in school was a most exciting experience for them." At the other end of the scale is Reuer's account of error analysis (if versus when) as emerges from repetition drills based on the sentence "He will be pleased if you can go to it" (referring to a birthday party). (Heuer 1976:12 f.) The sentence is stilted and unrealistic for children of that age (6th class), when the confusion of if and when is minor compared to the loss of motivation risked in labouring it.

32 Judging from the data in Finkenstaedt 1981, a good example of such integration seems to be Stuttgart. Cf. Prof. Ernst Leisi in an interview with Zurich students: ,,Positiv gesagt suche ich immer noch nach Möglichkeiten, die praktischen Sprachkurse der Lektoren und die sprachwissenschaftlichen Vorlesungen der andern Dozenten starker aneinander anzubinden'. Ich bemerke bei vielen Studenten, daß sie meinen, Englisch können sie ja, und jetzt gehe es ihnen um die ’höhere’ Wissenschaft. In Wirklichkeit hört man natürlich mit dem praktischen Sprachenlernen nie auf." (Anglisten-Kurier, July 1979)

33 Cf. Finkenstaedt 1971: 53: ,,Wenn weiterhin das Englische in fast allen Schulen als erste Fremdsprache gelehrt werden wird, dann ist damit bereits etwas über die innerfachliche Struktur gesagt: Die Sprache muß im Mittelpunkt des Studiums stehen. Sprache ist hier sowohl Gegenstand der Fertigkeit als auch Gegenstand der Reflexion. Die Literatur ist in diesem System dann eine Erscheinungsform der Sprache."

[ This article was scanned and the footnotes have been a beast to proof read. I apologise for any mistakes that remain.  D.J.N ]



Bösser, Bedrich, 1965: ,,Die Übersetzer und ihre Kritiker", in R. Italiaander (ed.), Ubersetzen, pp. 74-76.

Channell, Joanna, 1981: "Applying Semantic Theory to Vocabulary Teaching", in English Language Teaching Journal 35, pp. 115-122.

Denninghaus, Friedhelm and Udo Bonnekamp, 1970: ,,Zur Griindung von Fremdspracheninstituten", in E. Standop (ed.), Anglistische Studienreforn:, pp. 151-162.

Dressier, Wolfgang (ed.), 1977: Current Trends in Textlinguistics. Berlin, de Gruyter.

Finkenstaedt, Thomas, 1970 a: ,,Zur Statistik der Lehre", in T. Finkenstaedt and M. Redelberger (eds.), Anglistik - 1970, Ausbildungskapazitat - Lehrkorper -Forschung - Lehre. Weinheim, Beltz, pp. 90-99. (ed.),

- 1970b: Englische Philologie - Informationen  für das SS 1970. Saarbrücken (phototyped).

- 1971: ,,Englisch als Zielsprache: Elemente einer Theorie der Anglistik im politischen Raum", in T. Finkenstaedt and K. Schr6der (eds.), Quo vadis? -Englisch als Zieisprache. Hamburg, Arbeitskreis für Hochschuldidaktik, pp. 2-63.

- 1974: ,,Die Rolle des Lektors als Sprach- und Kulturmittler im Wandel der Zeit", in 0. Kuhn (ed.), Großibritannien und Deutschland. Festschrift für John W. P. Bourke. München, Goldmann, pp. 25-37

- (ed.), 1978: Englische Philologie - Infornationen für das WS  1978. Augsburg (phototyped).

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