Diversity and Social (In)Justice in German as a Foreign Language

2AATG, in conjunction with interDaF at the Herder Institute of the Universität Leipzig, is pleased to announce this upcoming funded project (2023 - 2025), focused on the training and professional development of teachers of German at all levels on the topic of diversity and social (in)justice. In particular, this project will focus on the development of pedagogical and methodological frameworks in the transatlantic context. 

The project aims at empowering educators:

  • To explore the topic of Diversity and Social (In)Justice with its social relevance/risks from a social-theoretically founded perspective and apply what they learn to their pedagogy
  • To critically select materials for their target audiences (college students, high school and middle school students, and elementary schools)  
  • To learn about and try out new teaching methods/techniques 
  • To research and didacticize materials critically 
  • To strengthen and refresh their German language skills  
  • To gain current cultural experience in Germany (in general and on the seminar topics) 
  • To participate in the development of a topic-specific network

Year One (2023): Applications now closed

The first phase of the project will be a transatlantic expert-seminar in the summer of 2023, scheduled for July 17-19, 2023 at the Universität Leipzig. The in-person seminar will consist of twenty invited experts (ten each from the US and Germany) who receive grant funded support*.

*The seminar materials will be available in an asynchronous hybrid format to a wider audience. Additionally, some participants may be able to attend in person at their own expense. Registration for online asynchronous access to materials and discussions, as well as self-funded in-person participation, is available through this link.

The application below was specifically for the grant funded expert seminar. Questions regarding logistics of this program may be directed to mike@aatg.org.

About the 2023 Leipzig Seminar:

Qualifications: Year one in-person participants must have made a significant contribution to research and/or professional engagement on Diversity and Social (In)Justice in foreign language teaching and its pedagogy. Participants funded through the AATG must have been members for at least one year uninterrupted, and per grant specifications, must currently be teaching/active at an institution in the United States. US citizenship is not a requirement for participation. Since the seminar will be conducted entirely in German, participants need to have at least a B2 proficiency level or higher. 

The 2023 seminar will focus on:

      • Assessment of the current situation in university courses in the German-speaking countries and the USA 
      • Discussion of empirical studies and methods for target-group and subject-appropriate language description with regard to the linguistic competencies of listening, reading, speaking, and writing
      • Presentation of projects in which empirical results have been didacticized and used to optimize teaching materials and language teaching in this area
      • Development of curricular proposals and concepts for the training of DaF teachers and the establishment and expansion of a topic-specific network 
      • Development of the basis for the training seminars (summer academies) in 2024 and 2025 

Dates: July 17-19, 2023 at the Universität Leipzig (Arrival on July 16, departure on July 20).
Hotel costs for supported participants will be covered for those dates only. 

Financials: Participation in the seminar includes the following: 

      • Travel stipend of 1200 EUR (Participants are expected to cover travel expenses and fees beyond this amount)
      • Local transportation 
      • Housing in Leipzig in a single room (not shared)
      • Program costs
      • Some meals (Participants are expected to cover most meal expenses)
      • Participants will pay a $200 non-refundable deposit which includes administrative fees and international health insurance in Germany

Apply here for the funded Expertenseminar (member login required)
You will need to upload a CV or resume and a copy of the first page of your passport.

Applications are closed.  

Years Two and Three (Summer Seminars in 2024-2025):
Applications open January each year.

The target group for the summer seminars are American teachers of German as a foreign language at schools and universities, especially multipliers with tasks in teacher training, mentoring, professional development or in the supervision of other teachers. Advanced graduate students may also qualify for participation depending on their research focus. In years two and three, participants who already have some experience with this focus or would like to develop such a focus are encouraged to apply. The goal is to offer special training in order to be able to offer up-to-date instruction and thus also to secure the next generation of multilingual teachers.

In addition to working on the topic and developing teaching units, participants also work on individual language development. An additional option is to earn three postgraduate ECTS credits (equivalent to three American graduate credits) with the successful completion of a project approved by the Universität Leipzig.

Seminar participants are expected to act as multipliers in their cities and regions, sharing their skills and knowledge with other teachers of German. 

Participant Selection

Target Groups: 

      • Year One: DaF experts from the US at all levels of instruction with a focus on Diversity and Social (In)Justice in German Studies.
      • Years Two and Three: teachers of German as a foreign language in the US at all levels of instruction, especially multipliers with tasks in teacher training, mentoring, professional development or in the supervision of other teachers.  

Participants will be selected by an AATG selection committee based on the following criteria: 

Year One: Letter of interest outlining professional experience and interest in Diversity and Social (In)Justice in DaF/German Studies. 

Years Two and Three: Letter of motivation in German including how the seminar topic will be incorporated into professional development personally and for others through outreach, engagement, and training/mentoring of others. 

All Years:

      • Proof of activity as or in-training as a German teacher or post-secondary instructor in DaF/German Studies in the United States
      • Uninterrupted membership with AATG for at least one year 
      • Demonstrate oral proficiency at least at the ACTFL Intermediate High/Advanced Low level (roughly equivalent to GER B1+/B2)
      • Adherence to AATG code of conduct and program terms as outlined on the web page
      • Must be legally able to travel to Germany and return to the USA 

Financials: Participation in the seminar includes the following: 

      • Travel stipend of 1200 EUR (Participants are expected to cover travel expenses and fees beyond this amount)
      • Local transportation 
      • Housing in Leipzig 
      • Program costs, including most excursions 
      • Some meals (Participants are expected to cover most meal expenses)
      • *additional on-site expenses covered by the Herder Institut  

Project Implementation leads: 

Michael R. Shaughnessy, Ph.D., Executive Director of the AATG 
112 Haddontowne Ct #104, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034 mike@aatg.org 

Jun.-Prof.in Dr.in Nina Simon, Universität Leipzig 
Herder-Institut, Beethovenstraße 15, 04107 Leipzig nina.simon@uni-leipzig.de

Project Sponsor:

This project is supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany, funded by the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)