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Director of Foreign Language Centre Reappointed

Prof. Dr. Winfried Thielmann, holder of the professorship Professorship of German as a Foreign and Second Language at the Faculty of Humanities, continues to contribute his expertise to this position

Prof. Dr. Winfried Thielmann, holder of the Professorship of German as a Foreign and Second Language at the Faculty of Humanities, has been appointed to another five-year term as Director of the Foreign Language Centre (German ZFS) at Chemnitz University of Technology by the President’s Office. The Chemnitz University of Technology Senate had previously agreed to this.

Thielmann is very keen to contribute results relevant to teaching from the linguistics and second language acquisition research of his professorship to the work of the ZFS, especially in the context of additional training for teachers. Thielmann works closely with the managing director of the Foreign Language Centre, Dr. Angela Minogue, and the lecturers. Together, they are allowing the first students in the Chemnitz Master's program in Intercultural German Studies with a focus on German as a Foreign and Second Language to complete their internship at the ZFS. "This enables, among other things, empirical research to accompany the teaching process, which ultimately helps the ZFS team to move forward," says Thielmann.

In the next five years, Thielmann and the ZFS team would like to continue orienting the didactics of the language courses even more closely to the original English version of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: "The fact that the Framework of Reference has been translated into German in central places in a grossly distorted manner results in a distortion of the requirements during its implementation, which are too high in levels up to B2, but too low in levels C1 and C2. In the original document, for example, it is stated that learners at level B2 should understand 'technical discussions.' In English, everything that goes beyond the common sense is 'technical.' And 'discussions' are conversations. So 'technical discussions' are simple business conversations. The German translation turns this into 'technical discussions,' i.e. a requirement beyond C1. We have already taken such things into account to some extent and are now going into the fine tuning," explains the Director of the ZFS.

Looking back: Thielmann gave interesting insights into the Foreign Language Centre’s work and into his work as Director in TUCtalk Episode 6.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Winfried Thielmann, telephone 0371 531-37354, e-mail

(Author: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes

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