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

AATG, 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

Years Two and Three (Summer Seminars in 2024-2025):
AATG has 20 funded spots annually for US-based educators


Arrival in Leipzig on June 30 -- Departure from Leipzig July 20 2024

Deadline for Application: February 15, 2024

Apply here for the funded DivDaf Summer Seminar in 2024 

Note: In addition to answering the application questions in German and English, you will need to upload a CV or resume and a copy of the first page of your passport.

The target group for the summer seminars are US-based 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 educators. Interest in the topic is a given and hopefully an obvious prerequisite for the seminar. Expertise in the subject is not. The seminar is conducted in German and the seminar will provide ample opportunity to practice and improve German at the advanced level as well as have meaningful exchanges with colleagues on the subject. We imagine that early and mid-career educators will find this seminar particularly useful for career development. Advanced graduate students may qualify for participation depending on their research focus. The goal is to be able to enable instructors to offer up-to-date instruction and thus also to secure the next generation of multilingual teachers. This seminar is not meant to cover all aspects of Diversity in DaF, but will attempt to provide access points representing many aspects of the field. For an overview, see the tentative Lehrplan (Änderungen vorbehalten natürlich!)

Note: Seminar participants are expected to act as multipliers in their cities and regions, sharing their skills and knowledge with other teachers of German. An outcome of this seminar will be a project that the participants can develop after their time in Leipzig that will be used directly in the classroom, or offered to others to improve instruction. 

Participant Selection

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

  1. Application response in German detailing how the seminar topic will be incorporated into professional development personally and for others through outreach, engagement, and training/mentoring of others. 
  2. Indication that the seminar will benefit others in years to come, through a self-developed project and/or through professional development offered by the participant in subsequent years
  3. Activity as or in-training as a German teacher or post-secondary instructor in DaF/German Studies in the United States
  4. Uninterrupted membership with AATG for at least one year 
  5. Demonstrated oral proficiency at least at the ACTFL Intermediate High/Advanced Low level (roughly equivalent to GER B1+/B2)
  6. Adherence to AATG code of conduct and program terms as outlined on the web page
  7. 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

Participants will pay a $200 non-refundable deposit which includes administrative fees and international health insurance in Germany.

Apply here for the funded DivDaf Summer Seminar in 2024 

Past DivDaf Seminars:

Year One (2023): 

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 the 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. 

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 (2023 Curricular lead)
Herder-Institut, Beethovenstraße 15, 04107 Leipzig nina.simon@uni-leipzig.de

Years 2024 and 2025 conducted with our partners at interDaF e. V. am Herder-Institut
der Universität Leipzig
Lumumbastraße 4, 04105 Leipzig. interdaf@uni-leipzig.de

Project Sponsors:

In addition to the AATG and the Universität Leipzig: 

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)