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1999 to the present [2000]

Frank J. Finlay (Professor and HoD: 1999 –). John Tailby. Richard Byrn. Sydney Donald. Fred Bridgham. Ingo Cornils. Ingrid Sharp. Susanne Stark. Andrew Fineron (to 31.12.99). Stuart Taberner (from 2000).

LektorInnen: Verena Jung. Sibylle Metzger. Friedemann Holder (from 2000)


1999 Collection of essays edited by Frank Finlay and Ralf Jeutter, Centre Stage: Contemporary Drama in Austria
2000 Conference papers edited by Susanne Stark, The Novel in Anglo-German Context. Cultural Cross-Currents and Affinities

Sample Graduation numbers:


Single Honours + Major German:


Joint Honours German:


Language component (+Oral) in Finals:


Single Hons German + Major German:

~25% (60/240 credits)

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

German in other JH programmes:

~33% (40/~120 cr.)

also available: modules in Advanced Translation (10 cr) and Interpreting (20 cr)

As for the current state of war and peace […] there are positive signs in the development of a transnational community with common values and a common language, English. (THES, 30.06.2000)

The situation is greatly complicated by the global role of English, now essentially the language of international science, aviation, banking, technology and much else. Our partners, whether in Europe or East Asia, have moved fast to recognise this. A dry analysis might say that we could rest on that. But, in a complex and disparate world in which modern communications have transformed personal contact across boundaries, is English really enough? In our view it is not. Capability in other languages – a much broader range than hitherto and in greater depth – is crucially important for a flourishing UK. (Nuffield Report on Modern Languages, London, 2000)

New Professor, new competencies: Frank Finlay has brought with him a focus on ‘New[est] German Writing’ and also the skills of Interpreting. We have also started an exchange with Heidelberg University. And the mould of Tübingen Lektorinnen has finally been broken: for session 2000-1 we shall have our first Lektor: Friedemann Holder.

Following the spectacular success of MA ATS, the School of Modern Languages is now also introducing an MA in Professional Language Studies, led by Ingo Cornils, starting next session.

On the examining front: another, newly-introduced, major shift towards uniformity of practice across the Faculties now dictates that all Level Two exams must count towards Finals – thus we (and the rest of the SMLC) have lost the battle for the principle that language-attainment should be treated as a summative exercise, i.e. measured only at the end of the degree course.


Meanwhile the debate on how to teach German at university level continues.

  • What varieties of ‘authentic material’ should we be using?
  • How do we teach students to enjoy using the subjunctive?
  • How do we teach them to express themselves in writing accurately and with subtlety when they appear to have learnt very little grammar at school (where they are admittedly learning valuable oral communication skills)?
  • How do we spot and encourage originality in a context where, essentially, we are teaching conventional forms of expression?
  • How much time can we afford to devote to marking individual essays?
  • What is the best way to use computers in language-learning?
  • How do we, as teachers of German Language, also foster the values of scholarship which may not be those of Aktualität or ‘relevance’? Or, indeed, convey spiritual values generally (besides social, moral and cultural ones)?

and so on.


But we do still have a job! – exploring and expounding the immensely rich linguistic and cultural traditions of continental Europe’s most populous, powerful and politically diverse language-block: the German-speaking lands (at least until such time as English/American really does take over the world).