Research profile

Research interests

The research questions addressed in intercultural German studies are comparative-interculturally conceived and combine academic disciplines concerned with literature, language and culture. The geographical focuses are East Asia and Eastern Europe but also Western Europe and the USA.

The research focuses lie in the areas of intercultural communication (eg everyday communication, communication in the sciences and business, the language of consultant-client meetings), contrastive semantics, grammar and linguistic pragmatics.

Further focuses include issues in cultural studies, comparative study of communication in the sciences (scientific articles, meta-communication in lectures and argument), and the comparative examination of questions in literature studies (modernity discourses and trauma in literature). Of particular interest are research of the classroom environment (E-Learning; evaluation of courses for migrants) and the scientific monitoring and steering of structural reform of study in the area of German as a Foreign Language / Intercultural German Studies.

International partners and projects

The Department of Intercultural German Studies is part of a strong international network. Reflecting this, a German-Chinese Institute for Intercultural German Studies has been founded together with the German Department of the University of Nanjing and a joint Double-Degree program established. The exchange of students and teaching staff is also actively promoted.

Contracts of cooperation exist with Beijing Foreign Studies University and Anhui University (Peoples' Republic of China), the University of Edinburgh (UK), the Jagiellonen University in Krakau (Poland), and Szeged University (Poland).

A project to develop teaching material operates within the framework of the partnership with the German Studies Institute in the Czernowitz University (Ukraine). Furthermore, the department is tightly integrated into the TEMPUS-ERASMUS network.

Cooperation within the German-speaking world

The Department of Intercultural German Studies is a member of the "Consortium for German as a Second Language", consisting of the Universities of Goettingen, Nuremberg-Erlangen and Vienna, and the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich.

The department is active in numerous associations, but above all in the Professional Association for German as a Foreign Language (FaDaF). Joint projects include the development of Bachelor and Master structures and of core curricula for study programs in the area German as a Foreign Language, as well as the implementation of a comparative study on language testing and the development of the examination format for the German Language Proficiency Test for Higher Education Entry for Foreign Students (DSH).

Within the framework of the "Expert Group for Examination Questions of the Ministry of Education" the department works closely with the TestDAF Institute, the Goethe Institute, the Preparatory Colleges for Foreign Students in Germany ("Studienkollege") and the Central Office for German Schools in Foreign Countries (Zfa) on quality assurance for language exams for admission to higher education.

Cooperation within the University of Goettingen

The Intercultural German Studies Department works closely together with the Institute for Intercultural Communication at the university as well as with the Language Centre German as a Foreign Language (Lektorat Deutsch als Fremdsprache ).

It also maintains contact with the Linguistics and Literary Studies areas in the Seminar for German Philology, for example within the framework of the planned Research Training Group (Graduiertenkolleg).

The cooperation with other philology departments in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Goettingen takes place within the framework of the recently founded Centre for Theory and Praxis in the Cultural Sciences. Closer cooperation exists with China Studies and Slavic Studies as well as with the Faculty of Social Science, within the framework of the Euroculture Master’s Program.