M.A., Universität Essen, 1992; PhD, University of Alberta, 2000

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it made me a researcher and teacher. Born and raised in Luxembourg – a trilingual country – I was curious about anything and everything related to languages from a very early age. This inquisitive fascination was a fruitful companion throughout my school and university years, bearing an M.A. thesis on First Language Acquisition and a PhD thesis on Conversations of English-German Bilinguals. With increased knowledge, my inquisitiveness has also grown. More than anything else, I still enjoy learning new details on any aspect of languages, especially languages in use and how they shape humanity and the human experience (cognition, communication, communities, cultures) – whether through my own research, colleagues’ projects or in the classroom with and from students.

I enjoy sharing my discoveries – from my own data, from scholarly readings or from conversations with like-minded people – therefore I take pleasure in teaching. My goals as a teacher are closely linked to my personal experience and a constructivist approach to learning. I want to meet students where they are, strengthen their curiosity, encourage them to ask questions, and facilitate the collection, evaluation and discussion of potential answers.

Recent Publications

(forthcoming). Analyzing online postings as social behavior for L2 instruction of (im)politeness: Sensitizing advanced learners of German or English. Journal of Politeness Research.

(forthcoming). “I Want a Real Apology”: A Discursive Pragmatics Perspective on Apologies. Pragmatics.

Two-Stage Collaborative Translation in Language Learning and Assessment. In John L. Plews and Diana Spokiene (Eds.), Translation and Translating in German Studies. A Festschrift for Raleigh Whitinger Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016, pp. 279–299

(forthcoming). Miniporträt Luxemburgisch (Portrait of the Luxembourgish Language). In Janet Duke (Ed.) EuroComGerm — Die sieben Siebe: Germanische Sprachen lesen lernen. Band 2. [EuroComGerm – Seven Layers: Learning to Read Germanic Languages. Volume 2]. Aachen: Shaker.

Von interkultureller Literatur zu inter-/transkulturellen und symbolischen Kompetenzen: Yoko Tawada im DaF-Unterricht [From intercultural literature to inter-/transcultural and symbolic competence: Yoko Tawada in German-as-a-foreign-language learning]. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, Vol. 49, No2, 2016, pp. 113-121.

(Im)politeness and L2 Socialization: Using Reactions from Online Fora to a World Leader’s ‘Impolite’ Behavior. In Barbara Pizziconi and Miriam A. Locher (Eds.), Teaching and Learning (Im)Politeness. Series: Trends in Applied Linguistics. Volume 22 Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2015, pp. 79–111.

Comparing same-gender and opposite-gender conversations: a laughing matter? In: Gaby Pailer, Andreas Böhn, Stefan Horlacher, Ulrich Scheck (Eds.). Gender and Laughter: Comic Affirmation and Subversion in Traditional and Modern Media. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009, pp. 355-370.

Kooperative Kommunikations- und Konversationsübungen im Fremdsprachenunterricht. Fremdsprache Deutsch, Vol. 41, 2009, pp. 35 – 41.

Kooperative Sprachspiele im Zeitalter von Wikipedia und Reality TV. Forum Deutsch Online 2009 [http://www.forumdeutsch.ca/ Unterrichtsforum/Dokumente/ Kooperative _Sprachspiele_im_Zeitalter_von_Wikipedia _und_Reality_TV]

Interkulturelle Kompetenzen im Fremdsprachenunterricht. Intercultural Literacies and German in the Classroom. Festschrift für Manfred Prokop. Giessener Beiträge zur Fremdsprachendidaktik. Tübingen: Narr, 2007. Co-edited with Christoph Lorey and John L. Plews.

Artificial Versus Authentic Textbook Dialogues: Reviewing Conversation in the Intercultural Foreign Language Classroom. In: Christoph Lorey, John L. Plews, Caroline L. Rieger (Eds.). Intercultural Literacies and German in theClassroom. Festschrift für Manfred Prokop. Giessener Beiträge zurFremdsprachendidaktik. Tübingen: Narr, 2007, pp. 249-278.

Interkulturelle Kompetenzen im Fremdsprachenunterricht: Eine kurze Einleitung. In: Christoph Lorey, John L. Plews, Caroline L. Rieger (Eds.). Intercultural Literacies and German in the Classroom. Festschrift für Manfred Prokop. Giessener Beiträge zur Fremdsprachendidaktik. Tübingen: Narr, 2007, pp. xv-xx.

Shopping Is Not for Conversation— or Is It? Intra-Culturally Different Perceptions of Small Talk at the Supermarket Checkout. In: Thomas Salumets and Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz (Eds.). A Transatlantic Gathering. Essays in Honour of Peter Stenberg. München: Iudicium, 2007, pp. 208-223.

Disfluencies and Hesitation Strategies in Oral L2 Tests, Gothenburg Papers in Theoretical Linguistics, No 89, 2003, pp. 39-43.

Repetitions as Self-Repair Strategies in English and German Conversations, Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 35, No1, 2003, pp. 47-69.

Some Conversational Strategies and Suggestions for Teaching Them, Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, Vol 36, No 2, 2003, pp. 164-175.
Visual Aids and the Acquisition of German Two-Case Prepositions, Forum Deutsch, Vol 11, Fall 2003, pp. 30-35.

“Unfortunately, We Learn Nothing About Sign Language”: Medical Students’ Attitudes Toward American Sign Language,” University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics, Vol 13, December 2003, pp. 111-124.

Mehrsprachigkeit und Tertiärsprachen. (Cenoz, Jasone, Hufeisen, Britta & Jessner, Ulrike (Eds.), Looking beyond Second Language Acquisition. Studies in Tri- and Multilingualism. (Tertiärsprachen, Band 6). Tübingen: Stauffenburg 2001, and Herdina, Philip & Jessner, Ulrike, A Dynamic Model of Multilingualism. Perspectives of Change in Psycholinguistics. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters 2002.) Zeitschrift für Fremdsprachenforschung Vol 14, No 2, 2003, pp. 345-351.

Idiosyncratic fillers in the speech of bilinguals, Proceedings of DiSS ’01: Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech, 2001 in Edinburgh, pp. 81-85.

The Perception of Hesitation Pauses in American Sign Language Conversation, RASK, International Journal of Linguistics and Communication, Vol. 14, 2001, pp. 33-48.

Lernstrategien im Unterricht ‘Deutsch als zweite Fremdsprache’, Fremdsprache Deutsch, Vol. 20, April 1999, pp. 12-15.

Visualisierungen in modernen DaF-Lehrbüchern, Die Unterrichtspraxis, Vol 32, No 2, 1999, pp. 174-181.

I have taught undergraduate courses in German Language (all levels), Business German, Conversational German, Applied Linguistics, Intercultural Communications, German Translation, German Linguistics as well as graduate seminars on Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, on Intercultural Competence, on Translation, and on Research Methodologies.

 

 

Courses currently teaching

Winter 2016

GERM318 Introduction to German Linguistics Sections

Basic theories and methodologies of modern German linguistics.

Winter 2016

GERM410 Advanced German II Sections

Development of capabilities to deal with a variety of authentic texts from and about Germany, Austria and Switzerland; fostering of communicative skills, cross-cultural analysis and critical thinking; effective and accurate communication in both spoken and written German.

Winter 2016

GERM400 Advanced German I Sections

Near-native competence and thorough understanding of critical contemporary topics in a limited number of areas fostering study skills. All skills will be fostered but the course focuses on accurate writing and conversation in particular.

Winter 2016

GERM325 German Translation Sections

Theory, methodology, and practice of translation from German into English.

My research focuses on language in use in the following disciplines and sub-disciplines, Pragmatics, Interactional Sociolinguistics, Interlanguage Pragmatics, Conversation and Discourse Analysis, Translation Studies, Language Acquisition and Instruction. I have also worked and published on Sign Language and Intercomprehension.

Research Projects

Current research projects include:

  • politeness studies
  • a small-scale project on translation
  • a small-scale project on political discourse

Invited Presentations

“I want a real apology”: A discursive pragmatic perspective on apologies. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Department of Linguistics, January 15, 2016.

Designing computer-delivered language tests with beneficial washback on learning: a student-faculty collaborative approach, together with Heather Pottinger, Rebecca Reed and Travis Sanders. UBC, Vancouver The TLEF Showcase at Celebrate Learning Week, October 29, 2012. [Presentation and Poster]

Talking about Speaking: Multiple Perspectives. Keynote Panel of the 7th Annual Research Symposium of the Centre for Intercultural Language Studies (CILS), UBC, Vancouver, May 13, 2011.

Gender, Xenophobia, Cultural Stereotypes and the Teaching of Languages. Ziegler Lecture and Keynote for the 2010 Professional Development for German Teachers organized by British Columbia Council of Teachers of German, the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies, UBC and the Goethe-Institut, Toronto. University of British Columbia, October 1, 2010.

Conversation Analysis, Intercultural Communication and Foreign Language Teaching. University of Waterloo, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, December 4, 2008.

The Co-Construction of Knowledge and Skills in the Foreign-Language University Classroom. University of Calgary Language Research Centre and Department of Germanic Slavic and East Asian Studies, October 21, 2002.

Sprechende Hände: Von der Gebärde zum Gespräch. [Talking hands: From sign to conversation.] Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, July 21, 1997.

Recent Presentations

(accepted for presentation at the 15th International Pragmatics Conference, 16-21 July 2017, Belfast, Northern Ireland) Racism, lies, and narcissism: ignorance or program? A critical analysis of Donald Trump’s interaction with media and voters.

From a language of testimony to the language of the perpetrator: Analyzing the German translation of Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus. Calgary, AB: Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German, May 29, 2016.

How (Not) to Be Rude: Promoting the Acquisition of (Im)Polite Behavior in an Additional Language. Antwerp, Belgium: 14th International Pragmatics Conference, July 26 to 31, 2015.

Closing the Gap Between Learning and Testing Practices: Two-Stage Collaborative Language Assessment. Toronto, Ontario: AAAL (The American Association for Applied Linguistics) Annual Conference, March 24, 2015.

Laughter, Homophobia and the Performance of sexual orientation in Sitcoms: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Laughter in Interaction. Dallas, Texas: AAAL (The American Association for Applied Linguistics) Annual Conference, March 16, 2013.

Online language assessment with beneficial learner washback. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: AATG (American Association of Teachers of German)/ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) 46th Annual Conference, November 17, 2012.

Talk in Interaction and Oral Language Education. Vancouver, BC: 7th Annual Research Symposium of the Centre for Intercultural Language Studies (CILS), May 13, 2011.

Creating beneficial learner washback: An innovative approach to German language test design, together with Heather Pottinger, Rebecca Reed and Travis Sanders. Waterloo, ON: Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German, May 28, 2012.

Generating Beneficial Learner Washback and Reducing Language Assessment Anxiety: An Innovative Approach to Test Design, together with Heather Pottinger, Rebecca Reed and Travis Sanders. Waterloo, ON: 43rd Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics, May 28, 2012.

Queer Laughter or Queering Laughter? The performance of gender and sexual orientation in American situation comedies. Manchester, UK: 12th International Pragmatics Conference, July 2011

Language learners’ attitude and discourse on global citizenship: A case study. Chicago, Illinois: AAAL (The American Association For Applied Linguistics) Annual Conference, March 27, 2010.