I am a lecturer in German in the Department of Languages, at the Open University.
I am currently investigating modern foreign languages in mainstream schooling. I am particularly interested in the status of German language teaching.
Since joining the Open University I have focussed on a range of research questions investigating adult language learners. I have looked at the integration of computer-based German teaching into residential language courses. I have studied how distance language learners choose to engage with the distance learning materials they are provided with.
I was a founding member of the Interaction Study Group involved in investigating oral interaction in tutorials. We researched oral interaction in both face-to-face and online tutorials, looking at the quantity of interaction taking place in the different media. This interactionwas then analysed according to its function within the tutorial.
I am currently investigating moern foreign languages in mainstream schooling. I am particularly interested in the status of German language teaching.
I have worked on all levels of Open University German courses from beginners' (L193) through to advanced (L313). I have been involved recently in re-writing the second edition of L193 Rundblick: beginners' German.
In the past I was responsible for the re-make of L130 Auftakt: get ahead in German. This is a level 1 German language course. The course is the first in the department to develop an interactive DVD-ROM designed to teach speaking and listening skills to students. The course has course books, a website, and assessment materials. Students can take part in online and face-to-face tutorials. I was a course writer on L231 Motive. I have taught on Open University residential schools for level 1 courses Kapriolen, level 2 Motive, and Variationen (L213). I was part of the University's award winning team in 2001, which produced teaching materials for the first online tutorials attached to a course.
I am interested in how cultural knowledge can be taught at all levels through authentic target language materials.