Research Group Foreign Language Education
The command of foreign languages is important in our diverse society. It is also important for the intercultural and communicative development of our students. The research group studies the challenges people are faced with when learning a foreign language, as well as what guidance teachers can provide during this process.
Lines of research within the research group
Didactics is an essential part of teacher-training. In many instances, however, there is limited coherence between the methodologies used during training and what is done in practice at the workplace or school. The research group seeks to strengthen this coherence by conducting design, evaluation and effect research, thereby also contributing to the quality and future of foreign language education in all sectors. Basing its work on subject-specific didactic observation and inventory studies, the research group conducts design-oriented research, with a focus on the coherence between training principles and professional practice.
Meaningful language education views language proficiency as a means to communicate, to learn and to function in an international and intercultural society. In this line of research, the research group places emphasis on content. Which subjects and teaching materials are most appropriate for developing language skills and preparing learners for the functional use of foreign languages in society?
Didactics is an essential part of teacher-training: the art of teaching. In many cases, there is a lack of coherence between the teacher-training and what is done in practice at the workplace or school. Our work is aimed at strengthening this coherence and, by doing so, to improve the quality and future of language education in all sectors.
“Language is a means of transport that takes you to the places you want to go. You see more when you enjoy the ride; you enjoy more when you are well prepared”Rick de Graaff Professor of Foreign Language Education
“Language is a means of transport that takes you to the places you want to go. You see more when you enjoy the ride; you enjoy more when you are well prepared” Rick de Graaff Professor of Foreign Language Education
“A lot has changed in foreign language education over the past fifty years. And yet there is also much that has not changed. Most schools still use textbooks with rules, lists of words, fill-in exercises and illustrative texts. There is still little actual communication in the foreign language, either between the students or with the teacher. Many people only fully realise the limitations of this training when their mind has to scroll down a list words when they find themselves in a French bakery, Austrian ski resort or in the London metro. Perhaps that isn’t surprising, because if you want to learn how to swim well, swimming laps will get you further than knowing Archimedes' law by heart.”
Rick de Graaff
The research group works together with various regional and national parties to strengthen a communicative, intercultural and content-oriented approach to foreign language education.