The Handbook of Methods in Foreign Language Learning is out now. The first copies were delivered just in time for Christmas 2020. For Hélène Martinez and me, this was a special and also emotional moment: We started our work of conceiving the volume, contacting the authors, and writing our own contributions as early as in 2017, all of this together with our Marburg colleague, language teaching researcher and scholar of foreign language didactics Frank G. Königs. We had already made great progress when, literally in the middle of our work on the extensive volume (527 pages), in April 2019, Frank Königs passed away. This was a distressing and difficult moment for us. When you sit together so often to work on such a project, the human loss is all the more painful. Therefore, the publication of this handbook is a beautiful and a sad moment at the same time: We are pleased to see that the volume has now appeared, but each of its pages brings home to us that Frank G. Königs was not able to live to see this moment. The chapter structure of the entire volume, the topics and issues as well as his own contributions and those co-authored with us bear witness to his great share in this book.
Mapping the methodologies of foreign language learning
Of course, there are numerous books, teacher manuals, and anthologies available that present methods for foreign language learning, but also beyond the foreign language classroom in the field of general pedagogy. However, it is probably not wrong to say that in this handbook, with its 18 major chapters, the entire field of foreign language methods has been mapped for the first time. Chapters on methods of classical language learning can be found as well as those on comparatively young methodological fields such as learning in digital environments, on differentiation, heterogeneity and inclusion, or on methods of multilingual learning. The complete table of contents provides an overview of the 18 major chapters and all 153 contributions.
A plural and diversified repertoire of methods
In their entirety, they provide an overview of the rich and in many ways differentiated repertoire of methods in foreign language learning and teaching. Our intention was to create a great openness to methods of the most diverse kind, a reflexivity with regard to the appropriate methods and a varied plurality of their application in foreign language teaching in teacher education at university, teacher training and the foreign language classroom. In this respect, this handbook is a resource that should find its direct way into our young people’s ways of learning foreign languages.
Wolfgang Hallet, Hélène Martinez & Frank G. Königs (2020). Handbuch Methoden im Fremdsprachenunterricht. Hannover: Friedrich-Klett Kallmeyer.