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  • Teaching English

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
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On this page you can find an introduction to Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in our department, as well as links to resources for students, prospective students, and anyone else interested in learning about our department, the team that keeps it running and the services we provide. 

Our Teaching

TEFL students in Bielefeld learn a variety of teaching topics and methods, and gain access to an array of experiences that support the transition from student to teacher. They learn not only how to teach the mechanics of language, like grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, but also how to support and develop communicative skills (like listening and speaking, reading and writing, as well as mediation), how to teach through and about media, including film, literature and digital applications, and how to critically reflect on culture and society. Students are also provided with a 'toolbox' assortment of teaching and learning methods, including (but not limited to) communicative and collaborative language teaching, task-based language learning, drama pedagogy, inclusive teaching in heterogeneous classrooms and teaching with textbooks. Incoming students can expect to gain experience with task design, evaluation and assessment that follows the guidelines and goals of relevant educational policies (like the Common European Framework of Reference, the Bildungsstandards and Kernlehrplan of North Rhine-Westphalia). They also gain school experience via internships for which they receive expert preparation, support and post-processing. Beyond this, TEFL students can expect professional support with their BA and MA theses, as they gain the skills, competences, experiences and qualifications that help them transition into the profession of professional 

English language teaching. 

Our Research

The TEFL department is involved in cutting-edge research, which is important because our research not only improves the subject of foreign language pedagogy, but it also informs our teaching here at the university.  Below you can find an overview of the research projects that influence the courses and topics we teach. The broad range of topics and methodologies ensures that students not only receive an extensive insight into developments in the field, but also can choose amongst course topics that are most interesting and relevant to them. The current research projects focus on:

  • how our diversified idea of culture affects the way we think and teach cultural categories, e.g. gender, class, race, religion etc. (Lotta König),
  • how English as a Global Language affects views on teaching English at school (Carolin Zehne, Peter Schildhauer),
  • what happens in the classroom when cooperative learning is put into practice (Peter Schildhauer),
  • how big data and algorithms can and should be addressed and used in ELT (Peter Schildhauer),
  • how a portfolio can be developed and integrated to chart children’s language-learning progress, to foster self-assessment skills and to help children transition from a bilingual primary to a secondary school (Manon Greenyer-Schüler, Patricia Skorge and Carolin Zehne),
  • what obstacles stand in the way of more learner-centred English teaching and how we can overcome those in schools and teacher education (Christine Gardemann),
  • how teachers understand the definition and implementation of critical literacies in their language classrooms (Eleni Louloudi),
  • how to combine analog (e.g. picturebooks) and digital (e.g. social media) materials to work towards (student-centered) social justice practices with prospective English teachers (Eleni Louloudi),
  • how young adult dystopian TV series and films can facilitate bilingual teaching in pedagogics (Sandra Winkelmann),
  • how secondary level 1 English textbooks represent global poverty and which learning processes and goals they engage learners in (Roger Dale Jones). 

Collectively, our team focuses on researching and teaching linguistic aspects related to language acquisition, as well as content specific to the institutionalized EFL context, such as literature and culture. We make use of a variety of research methods (e.g., statistical analysis, content analysis, Grounded Theory, discourse analysis, focused and critical ethnography, ethno-videographic interaction analysis and Documentary Method) and instruments (e.g., questionnaires, interviews, participant observations, video studies, teaching material and pupils’ products).

We hope this provides you with an introduction to EFL education and research in our department. More information and resources will soon be available on our related web pages. 

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