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For all of these years: John Tailby. Richard Byrn. Sydney Donald (HoD: 1993-99). Fred Bridgham. Helen Chambers.

For a period: Michael Beddow (Professor: 1987-98, and HoD: 1987-92). Raymond Hargreaves. Hugh Rorrison. Douglas Cossar. Ingo Cornils. Ingrid Sharp. Diane Milburn. Beth Linklater. Susanne Stark. Carol Tully. Andrew Fineron.

LektorInnen: Christa Hartwig. Ann Heilmann. Maria Seissl. Dieter Kerl. Angelika Bergien. Johanna Mayr (Angus). Dagmar Flinspach. Ulrike Bolkart. Lela-Rose Engler. Annette Haberstock. Iris Lamparter. Elke Rühl. Irene Janker. Gerti Billes. Ulrike Stiens. Sibylle Metzger. Verena Jung.


1987 Michael Beddow, Goethe "Faust I". A Critical Guide
1990 Translation by Hugh Rorrison, Pavel Kohout, "The Maple Tree Game"
1990 Sydney Donald, Dürrenmatt: "Der Besuch der alten Dame"
1991 Conference papers edited by Helen Chambers, Co-existent contradictions: Joseph Roth in Retrospect
1992 Collection of essays edited by R.F.M.Byrn and K.G.Knight, Anglo-German Studies
1992 Fred Bridgham, Germany from Unification to Reunification
1993 Ingo Cornils, "Seers and Sayers". Zum Gefühls- und Wahrnehmungswandel von der englischen Romantik zur englischen ‘Science Fiction’. Die ‘Science-Fiction’-Welten von Richard Cowper
1994 Michael Beddow, Thomas Mann, "Doktor Faustus"
1995 Translation by Hugh Rorrison and Helen Chambers, Theodor Fontane, "Effi Briest"
1995 Conference papers edited by Helen Chambers, Alan Bance et.al., Theodor Fontane
1995 Translation by Fred Bridgham, Hans Werner Henze, "The Prince of Homburg"
1996 Fred Bridgham, The Friendly German-English Dictionary. A Guide to German Language, Culture and Society through Faux Amis, Literary Illustration and Other Diversions
1997 Translation by Fred Bridgham, Immanuel Geis, "The Question of German Unification"
1997 Helen Chambers, The Changing World of Theodor Fontane
1998 Collection of essays edited by Richard Byrn, Cousins at one Remove. Anglo-German Studies 2
1999 Susanne Stark, "Behind Inverted Commas". Translation and Anglo-German Cultural Relations in the Nineteenth Century

Sample Graduation numbers:





Single Honours + Major German:





Joint Honours German:





Language component (+Oral) in Finals:



Single Hons German + Major German:

~33% (350/1050)

~25% (60/240 cr.)

Jt Hons Ger+Manag.Studies or Economics:
~46% (300/650)
~80% (80/~100 cr.)

German in other JH programmes:

~40% (200/500)

~33% (40/~120 cr.)

also available at various times: courses in Fortgeschrittene Verständnisübungen, Commercial German, Literary Translation, German Language of Computing & Engineering, and, from 1998, Advanced Translation (10 cr.)

From the Departmental Core Language Final Year Coursebook, 1998-9:

Course materials on the Departmental Webserver
You are a member of the only German Department in the world that operates its own World Wide Web server […] optimised for connections to German sites and which also provides local indexing and retrieval software to help you find relevant passages in well over 20 million words of contemporary German stored in our archive. […] The final year core course aims to foster, not just knowledge of vocabulary and constructions, but the skills needed to acquire and analyse information; to assess and discuss opinions; and to form, present and defend judgements, working through the medium of German at a level of functional performance comparable to that of an articulate native speaker.

For Teachers of German generally, the transition from the late ’80s into the ’90s is memorable above all for the watershed transformation in Germany brought about by Reunification. With walls coming down elsewhere in Europe too, the Cold War ended. Everything was now different – and wonderfully so.
For us Teachers of German at Leeds University, the same years brought about so many changes that the break with the past seemed total: Computers. Satellite TV. ‘Out’ with Prose Comp., Trans. & Essay, ‘In’ with ‘German for Special Purposes’. WWW. Semesterisation. Modularisation. RAE. TQA. — It is hardly surprising that, in the next contribution "Thirty years of German at Leeds, 1960-89", the 1960s and ’70s would seem, in retrospect, like a Golden Age.

Computers, as much as anything else, mark these years – thanks to the introduction of genuine computing expertise into the Department with the arrival of Michael Beddow (HoD 1987-92). He immediately set about converting us from PCWs to IBM-compatibles (even having the knowhow to convert our Locoscript files), then periodically upgrading us through generations of Amstrads and Escoms. The present departmental computer network is his creation but, more spectacularly, so too is the design and development of the network in the School of Modern Languages & Cultures’ flagship Electronic Resources & Information Centre (ERIC), housed in the former Modern Languages Library – this particular change of usage: electronic resources in place of books, is as vivid a symbol of the changed times as any.

Not only computers, Beddow also brought satellite TV to the department. Now, ready access to German news broadcasts, current affairs programmes and stockmarket updates are a boon to colleagues and students who need to keep abreast of the latest developments. And many colleagues, both within the Department and elsewhere, also owe their domestic access to satellite TV to his exceptional expertise.

The introduction of semesterisation and modularisation by the mid-1990s effected a move away from traditionally prescribed ‘schemes of study’. In their place came ‘programmes’ made up of modules with standard credit-values which allowed students significantly greater freedom to ‘pick-and-mix’ from modules provided elsewhere in the university. A reflection of this freedom can be seen in the varying proportion of ‘language-skills’ modules taken by different groups of students at Finals. This is particularly striking in the JH program with Management Studies, where ‘German for Business’ provides 40 credits over two years in addition to 40 credits for the Core (language) Course, making up 80 credits out of the minimum 100 German credit requirement for this programme (max.120/240).

These were also the years of successive Research Assessment Exercises (verdict: ‘low average’) and, in 1997, our first Teaching Quality Assessment – in this respect, to our continuing satisfaction, we were judged ‘excellent’.

As regards language-teaching policy and practice, these years also saw a very big shift in the Final language examination when the papers in Prose Composition, Unseen Translation & Essay were phased out. Thus, ‘translation’ was jettisoned as the staple teaching method, and out, too, went Besinnungsaufsätze – at a stroke the LektorInnen teaching programme was revolutionized. Now, instead of ‘just translation’, our students found themselves committed to practising different sorts of language competency including the arts of summarising and writing ‘guided essays’ – pioneered in an experimental course: Fortgeschrittene Verständnisübungen. And Single Honours students were now also required in their final year to write a German language Dissertation.

In the same spirit, instead of continuing to use commercial publications or a private selection of passages, we now introduced our own departmentally-written Language Coursebooks for each year group (now called Levels). Much of our teaching material was accessed direct from WWW sources. And language classes now were all taught (in principle) through the medium of German. The net effect of these changes is that Finals language papers now consist mostly of tasks which exercise a student’s command of German, with only a relatively small element of traditional ‘translation into English’. – And one consequence of this shift is that we no longer allow native speakers of German to take BA degrees within the Department, because they would have too great an advantage in the language papers.

An Assistantship remained the staple ‘year abroad’ occupation, but increasingly our students sought a job on the pattern of the Management Studies work placements.

The development of our students’ language competence brought about by these changes has earned compliments from External Examiners ever since.

Annette Haberstock’s contribution below honours another very significant development, i.e. the introduction during the middle of the decade of the University’s splendid new Language Centre, located on the second floor of the Parkinson Building. This was a fusion of the former (self-funding) English Language Teaching Unit with the former (service-based) Foreign Language Teaching Unit housed in the old Language Labs. A quarter of a million pounds was invested in this new Centre – the best possible evidence for the University’s declared commitment to ‘languages for all’. Between direct classes and self-tuition courses, the Centre offers over forty languages. And thanks to the Language Centre’s post-GCSE German modules, several Science Faculty students who have come up to Leeds without an A-level in German have been able to raise their knowledge sufficiently during the first year to be allowed to join the mainstream German classes at Level Two.

Another major development in the second half of the decade was the School of Modern Languages & Cultures’ MA in Applied Translation Studies. The technology available in ERIC contributed to making this programme the leader in the country. Recruitment for the past couple of years has been around 50, with some 8-10 taking German as one of their languages.