This summer, I’m studying abroad with funding from the German Academic Exchange Service and the Texas Language Center. (Thank you! We spent all our money on building a house.) For my dissertation, I needed to put together a workshop on drama-based instruction for doctoral students who teach German. I have some great people in my committee for both German and for drama-based pedagogy, but no one combines the two. Elmar got summer funding to put together an online course, which he could do from anywhere thanks to the wonders of technology. So here we are in OWL.
Dr. Susanne Horstmann, a specialist in DaF (German as a foreign language) and drama at the University of Bielefeld, generously agreed to host me. We’ve had productive discussions and she’s given direct feedback on my workshop drafts. I also got to do some participatory observation in her linguistics and theater courses, which has been helpful in seeing how to facilitate and time activities. Additionally, she set aside some books in the library that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. So far, so good.
I also hope to try out a lesson plan I created that highlights several types of drama techniques for use in the German as a foreign language classroom. I’m meeting with the director of the PunktUm summer course tomorrow to iron out the details. It’s great that I can try it out here since I would have very limited participants this time of year in Austin.
Perhaps most importantly, I’ve been street-skating on long distance bicycle paths and doing a Backpraktikum (baking internship) with my mother-in-law. Overall, I’d say this is a pretty productive summer.