Saarland University of Applied Sciences

(Saarbrücken, Germany)

Third Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching 2015

Language Teaching between Aspiration and Reality -
Approaches - Methods - Objectives
(October 29th to 31st, 2015)

In the domain of language teaching, one important objective consists in enabling learners to adequately master the respective foreign language within a reasonable lapse of time. In doing their utmost to achieve this objective, researchers and instructors aim at the highest possible efficiency and functionality of language teaching and language learning. However, experience shows that reality, i.e. the outcome achieved, does not always correspond to the formers’ aspirations and desires.

Within this framework, the following dimensions are of importance:
  • language instruction at schools and universities
    • its various types,
    • the preview and review of classes by teachers and students,
    • the various forms of teacher training,
  • language teaching in the context of supplementary adult education
  • autonomous language teaching, i.e. the various forms of language learning independently from any teacher,
  • further forms of language instruction which go beyond the framework described above.

All these dimensions of language instruction have the above mentioned objective, i.e. to lead language learners to the best possible outcome, in common, with aspirations from pupils, students and, last but not least, the society as a whole to be responded to. It is rather rarely observed that language learners obtain a high level of language proficiency up to a (near-)native competence. They may reach such a level by means of the methods employed and with the help of their teachers as well as textbook authors. In the majority of cases, however, learners hardly reach any level above the B1 or B2 bands of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. In these cases, there exists a considerable discrepancy between the aspirations of language methodology and the hopes it creates on the one hand and the facts of reality on the other. This discrepancy represents the overall topic of the Third Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching which will be held from October 29th to 31st, 2015, at Saarland University of Applied Sciences in Saarbrücken, Germany. Researcher, language instructors and are cordially invited to participate in this conference.

The discrepancy between the different aspirations and the reality of language teaching will be examined with respect to traditional and innovative approaches and methods, i.e.
  • linguistics and its (traditional or newly defined) role in language teaching,
  • the role and importance of methodology in view of the complexity of factors described,
  • the language to be taught and its general as well as specific dimensions (i.e. administrative, legal, or medical language),
  • the role of traditional and new media and the necessity of their adaptation to reality, and
  • the role of intercultural differences and conflict.

The Third Saarbrücken Conference of Foreign Language Teaching will be closely documented on the Internet and is available there under its title.


Section 2: Objectives and Methods in Foreign Language Teaching

Section 3: Objectives and Methods in Language Teaching for Specific Purposes

Section 5: Intercultural Competences