A collection of articles and selected
press releases

Book chapters and academic articles

What’s (in) a digital classroom?

Digitalization is a buzzword and a very abstract term, both in cultural and in pedagogical discourses. Therefore, it seems advisable to define as clearly as possible the aspects or phenomena that we mean to address whenever we talk about ‘digitalization’ in pedagogical contexts. Since ‘digitalization’ is, of course, not limited to the classroom itself, but is part of enormous changes in the lifeworld and its communicative practices, it seems mandatory to systematize and define precisely which aspects we are addressing and discussing whenever we negotiate ‘digitalization’. The present essay proposes to distinguish between different levels of digitalization.

What’s a digital classroom?

Working with key passages from novels and other long literary texts

Working with key passages or excerpts is an important way of teaching novels and other long literary texts (including films) in the FL classroom. A long literary text as a whole cannot be read and discussed in class; often, working with excerpts only is one of the methods of working with literary texts, and in written or oral exams using excerpts from longer texts is the only way of referring to more extended textual work in the classroom. Therefore, one of the challenges when teaching long literary texts is identifying and selecting representative excerpts or key passages that can lead to understanding the thematic and aesthetic core of the literary text in question. Since teaching such a methodology is often not part of teacher education, the sketch in the download document is an attempt to devise a systematic, criteria-based approach to identifying and selecting key passages and excerpts for teachers of literature.

Working with key passages from long literary texts

Two types of learning and two types of classroom

One of the standard questions when discussing Content and Language Integrated Learning concerns the actual difference between the foreign language classroom and teaching content subjects in a foreign language. This is a fundamental pedagogical question indeed, the thorough reflection of which helps avoid pedagogical misconceptions in either classroom. The document provides a more or less self-explanatory table which juxtaposes the two types of classroom systematically. On the publications page of this blog there are two essays listed under Bilingualer Unterricht / Content and Language Integrated Learning which consider the differences between these two types classroom systematically, i.e. Hallet 2002 („Auf dem Weg zu einer bilingualen Sachfachdidaktik …“) and 2005 („Bilingualer Unterricht. Fremdsprachig denken …“).

Two types of learning and two types of classroom

Self-determined personalities in digital environments (in German)

This short essay, originally published in the 2017 annual report of the German educational foundation Bildung & Begabung e.V., considers the fundamental changes that have come with digitalization for individuals and tries to redefine the global goal of school education in light of the challenges of a digitalized lifeworld.

Selbstbestimmte Persönlichkeiten in digitalen Umgebungen
(Jahresbericht 2016/2017, Bildung und Begabung)

Competence Task Model

The model of the complex competence task is a structured task approach to foreign language learning and the classroom processes. The model is rather self-explanatory and is supposed to be a model for lesson and materials design as well as for process management. For further information, there is a whole chapter in my book “Lernen fördern” (in German, chapter 5) and an essay in English (Tasks Revisited, special issue of Fremdsprachen Lehren und Lernen, 2013; for more see the subcategory of Kompetenzaufgaben / competence tasks on the publications page of this blog). The German version serves to explain how the model offers options for differentiation in the language classroom.

Die komplexe Kompetenzaufgabe – Differenzierungsoptionen in den Aufgabenkomponenten

Competence Task Model

Competence task – Planning grid

Semiotic Translation

All scientific disciplines and the corresponding school subjects have developed and conventionalized a range of symbolic languages such as charts, cartographic maps or formulaic languages that serve to shape and communicate scientific and academic knowledge. The capacity to translate discipline-specific languages including various types of symbolization and a range of symbolic languages into everyday communication is therefore crucial to literacy learning in terms of Bildung. In teacher education, this semiotic dimension of content subject learning is much-neglected. This essay argues that in teacher education as much as in content subject classrooms semiotic translation is pivotal for literacy learning and the general objectives of school education and must therefore be an integrated part of content subject learning.

More on semiotic translation in my essays:

Semiotic Translation and Literacy Learning in CLIL. In: Marsh, David & Meyer, Oliver (eds.). Quality Interfaces: Examining Evidence & Exploring Solutions in CLIL. Eichstaett: Eichstaett Academic Press, 2012. 191 – 201.

The multiple languages of digital communication. In: Bündgens-Kosten & Elsner, Daniela (eds.). CALL in multilingual settings. Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 2018. [in press].

   Semiotic Translation, Literacy Learning and Teacher Development

Learning to Write with Hypertexts

Working with a multiplicity of findings of a textual, visual or other kind in digital environments presents users with the challenge of deciding, with regard to the large variety of text and medial artefacts present in a hypertext, what the informational core of the findings is. A rather confusing informational situation can make it difficult to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information and to select what really corresponds with one’s research interests. This article makes a methodological proposal of how bringing together diverse pieces of information can lead to the production of one coherent text and can thus be used as a part of teaching writing in the language classroom.

Schreiben lernen mit dem Hypertext? Hypertextualität und generische Kohärenz in der Schreiberziehung
(Zeitschrift für interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 1.4.2008)

Conference Programmes

unterricht_kultur_theorie. Kulturvermittlung gemeinsam neu denken. Göttingen, 1.3. Juli 2019

Press releases

  Kick-off conference of the research cluster “Excellence in School Education” in Hesse (in German)
(Schloss Hansenberg, 21st February 2018)

Immersionsmethode führt zu natürlicher Sprachkompetenz
(Interview Swiss International School, 2017)

Bestseller-Lesung im Graduiertenzentrum der Universität Gießen 
(Gießener Anzeiger, 18.06.2015)
Doktorandenausbildung am Graduiertenzentrum  der Universität Gießen
(Spiegel der Forschung, 2007)


“The train trip”: a story of migration

“The train trip” (title added by Jesse Jacovini) is part of Jesse Jacovini’s guest article “Transmigration and English language learning”. It is an autobiographical story from a Syrian refugee which illustrates the experience of fleeing by train to Frankfurt, Germany when a life-changing dialogue with an English-speaking couple ensues. The individual first brought Jesse Jacovini the story for his research in transmigration and English language learning after being involved in local collaborative social projects in Giessen, Germany. A word-for-word transcription of the hand-written original has been conducted in order to preserve the confidentiality of the individual and to enhance readability.

“The train trip”: a story of migration


Copyright © 2018 Wolfgang Hallet