Lehrveranstaltungen von Prof. Dr. Susanne Göpferich
an der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen


Wintersemester 2017/18
Forschungssemester

Sommersemester 2017
Vorlesung "Applied Linguistics: Perspectives on a Multifaceted Field of Study"

Applied Linguistics comprises all fields of scholarly research, education and training that focus on the analysis and solution of language- and communication-related problems in all areas of human life and social interaction. As in any other applied science, doing Applied Linguistics means problem solving. For this purpose, applied linguists ideally follow a six-step approach that Knapp (2011) described as follows:

  • Identification of a real-world problem related to language and/or communication
  • Reformulation of the problem to make it fit into one or more scientific paradigms
  • Problem analysis, in some cases by means of basic research that may lead to new theories and methods
  • Development and testing of potential problem solutions
  • Assessment of ethical and ecological implications as well as cost-benefit analyses
  • Presentation of the problem solution to the real world and enabling those who need the solution to make use of it
  • The extent to which this six-step ideal is adhered to by individual researches differs considerably. This may be due to the problem at hand, which may be tackled with existing linguistic theories and methods or which may require the development of new theories and methodologies, at times borrowed from disciplines other than linguistics. These different approaches mirror Widdowson's (1980) well known distinction between linguistics applied and applied linguistics.

    This lecture provides insight into the research questions and methods of selected fields of Applied Linguistics ranging from lexicography and terminography via language planning, writing instruction, technical communication, translation and interpretation to critical discourse analysis and communication optimization.


    Hauptseminar (MA) "Writing in a Second or Foreign Language"

    This seminar provides an overview of the research into L2 writing that has been conducted to date and its results. The seminar participants will have the opportunity to engage in both collaborative writing and the investigation and reflection of their own writing processes. For this purpose, the seminar also provides a hands-on introduction to research methods used in L2 writing research. The objectives of the seminar are two-fold: a) obtaining an overview of second language writing research that allows students to develop their own research projects; b) improving one's own academic writing skills. This seminar is highly recommended for students who wish to write their MA thesis under my supervision or would like to work as a paid peer tutor or writing fellow in our writing centre. Students interested in L2 writing are encouraged to attend the 4th Symposium on L2 Writing Support in Higher Education, which will take place at the University of Giessen on 6/7 April 2017.



    Wintersemester 2016/17
    Hauptseminar (BA and L3) "Translation: Between Mediation, Manipulation and Optimization"

    What is a good translation? What roles do translators have in interlingual and cross-cultural communication? What do users of translations expect of them? Can translators manipulate the world? - These are some of the questions that we will address in this translation-intensive seminar. Based on an overview of the development of translation studies from World War II until today, we will analyze and assess translations, optimize them and also translate texts ourselves for various purposes. Those who attended the lecture "Translation and Transfer Studies" will have a chance to put the knowledge acquired in this lecture into practice. The seminar focuses on students' self-assessment of their language and translation proficiency and equips them with strategies to improve both their translation processes and products.


    Hauptseminar (MA) "Developing Academic Literacy"

    How do competent writers go about the task of producing texts? In what respects do inexperienced writers' text production processes differ from those of experienced writers? How can we gain insights into what happens in writers' minds while they are writing? And how can the extremely complex process of producing texts that fulfil their function be taught and practised? Is translating a useful tool for teaching writing skills? - These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this seminar. It provides an overview of the models and findings of writing (process) research, assists its participants in analyzing their own writing processes and in improving their text production competence, and equips them with basic knowledge and skills to conduct their own writing process experiments. This seminar is highly recommended for students who wish to write their MA thesis under my supervision or would like to work as a paid peer tutor or writing fellow in our writing centre.



    Sommersemester 2016
    Vorlesung "Text Competence: Comprehension - Production - Instruction"

    Text competence comprises the abilities to read and understand texts, to produce texts and to learn from texts. After a short introduction to the basic concepts of text linguistics as the study of meaningful linguistic units beyond the sentence level, this lecture provides a comprehensive survey of theories and models of text comprehension and text comprehensibility, text production, writing competence development and writing instruction. Participants will develop an awareness of their own cognitive and metacognitive processes during text reception and text production, both in their L1 and their L2, and will obtain guidance on how to improve their own critical reading and writing skills. Special emphasis will be placed on writing as a reflective practice and thus as a means to take a more critical stance to one's own and other texts, to develop one's own position on controversial issues and to generate new ideas. The lecture will conclude with didactical implications for writing instruction in secondary and tertiary education.


    Hauptseminar "Globalization and Migration as Challenges for Applied Linguistics"

    Globalization and migration have led to multilingual societies and increasing demands on our abilities to communicate across languages and cultures. On the one hand, these developments call for plurilingualism. On the other hand, there is a tendency to circumvent the cost end effort involved in developing plurilingualism among individuals and multilingualism in societies and institutions and resort to English as the lingua franca of international communication instead. Language, however, is not only a means of communication but also a means of individual knowledge construction, of gaining insights and of critical assessment. In these cognitive processes, our mother tongue (or L1) plays a crucial role. Whenever the use of a foreign language seems to overburden our cognitive systems, we naturally resort to our L1. Against this background, this seminar will explore the linguistic challenges our societies are faced with through globalization and migration in all areas. Special emphasis will be placed on language policies in supranational institutions and in educational systems.

    Participants are invited to develop their own research questions within this thematic range. Questions that can be addressed in the seminar comprise, but are not limited to, the following: Multilingualism in European institutions: Cost and benefits; Are educational policies in European countries in conformance with expectations raised by the European Commission? Is English-Medium Instruction (EMI) the best strategy to cater for international students and foster student mobility? What should EMI ideally look like from a didactical perspective? What is the relationship between EMI and different forms of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)? What empirical evidence has been provided for the usefulness of different forms of CLIL for language development on the one hand and the acquisition of subject-domain knowledge on the other hand? What language(s) should be used in multilingual classrooms? What role does children's L1 play for their academic development? What language policies are needed in schools and universities to best foster migrants' and their children's scholastic and academic development? Should literacy in several languages be fostered in parallel or in a sequential order, e.g., in such a manner that skills acquired in the stronger language(s) can subsequently be transferred to weaker languages?

    Participants are encouraged to also conduct their own empirical studies, e.g., by interviewing refugees on the language and cultural barriers they have encountered, their experience with language courses and their suggestions for improvement of current practices.



    Wintersemester 2015/16
    Vorlesung "Applied Linguistics: Perspectives on a Multifaceted Field of Study"

    Applied Linguistics comprises all fields of scholarly research, education and training that focus on the analysis and solution of language- and communication-related problems in all areas of human life and social interaction. As in any other applied science, doing Applied Linguistics means problem solving. For this purpose, applied linguists ideally follow a six-step approach that Knapp (2011) described as follows:

  • Identification of a real-world problem related to language and/or communication
  • Reformulation of the problem to make it fit into one or more scientific paradigms
  • Problem analysis, in some cases by means of basic research that may lead to new theories and methods
  • Development and testing of potential problem solutions
  • Assessment of ethical and ecological implications as well as cost-benefit analyses
  • Presentation of the problem solution to the real world and enabling those who need the solution to make use of it
  • The extent to which this six-step ideal is adhered to by individual researches differs considerably. This may be due to the problem at hand, which may be tackled with existing linguistic theories and methods or which may require the development of new theories and methodologies, at times borrowed from disciplines other than linguistics. These different approaches mirror Widdowson's (1980) well known distinction between linguistics applied and applied linguistics.

    This lecture provides insight into the research questions and methods of selected fields of Applied Linguistics ranging from lexicography and terminography via language planning, writing instruction, technical communication, translation and interpretation to critical discourse analysis and communication optimization.


    Hauptseminar "Translation Studies: Looking into the Black Box of the Translator's Mind"

    What is going on in a translator's mind while translating? - Hans Peter Krings (1986) was among the first to investigate not only the products of translation but also the cognitive processes in translators' minds while transferring texts from one language into another. In the meantime, translation process research has enjoyed a boom. Numerous methods have been applied to get access to the black box of the translator's mind: think-aloud, dialogue protocols and retrospective interviews, screen recording, keystroke logging and eye-tracking. This seminar provides an overview of the research into cognitive translation processes that has been conducted so far and the models that have been developed. Furthermore, it provides a hands-on introduction to the research methods used and enables its participants to conduct their own little investigations into translation processes. The seminar will be taught as a so-called writing-intensive seminar, in which a portfolio comprising a number of smaller writing assignments which build on each other prepares its participants step by step for conducting their Master Thesis research and the academic writing that goes with it.


    Sommersemester 2015
    Vorlesung "Translation and Transfer Studies"

    This lecture provides an introduction to Translation Studies (German Übersetzungswissenschaft). Starting out with the concept of translation as one form of mediation, it illustrates how this concept has gradually been extended in the different paradigms of Translation Studies towards the concept of transfer, which encompasses all forms of mediation: mediation between languages, between cultures, between disciplines and between persons with different competence levels. It demonstrates the implications this development has for the assessment of translation and transfer quality, the problems that are inherent in the concept of equivalence between source text and target text, and the shifts or transformations that are necessary in transfer processes. Special emphasis will also be placed on the cognitive processes involved in translation and on the development of translation competence.


    Hauptseminar "Developing Academic Literacy"

    How do competent writers go about the task of producing texts? In what respects do inexperienced writers' text production processes differ from those of experienced writers? How can we gain insights into what happens in writers' minds while they are writing? And how can the extremely complex process of producing texts that fulfil their function be taught and practised? Is translating a useful tool for teaching writing skills? - These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this seminar. It provides an overview of the models and findings of writing (process) research, assists its participants in analyzing their own writing processes and in improving their text production competence, and equips them with basic knowledge and skills to conduct their own writing process experiments.


    Wintersemester 2014/15
    Vorlesung "Applied Linguistics: Perspectives on a Multifaceted Field of Study"

    Applied Linguistics comprises all fields of scholarly research, education and training that focus on the analysis and solution of language- and communication-related problems in all areas of human life and social interaction. As in any other applied science, doing Applied Linguistics means problem solving. For this purpose, applied linguists ideally follow a six-step approach that Knapp (2011 described as follows:

  • Identification of a real-world problem related to language and/or communication
  • Reformulation of the problem to make it fit into one or more scientific paradigms
  • Problem analysis, in some cases by means of basic research that may lead to new theories and methods
  • Development and testing of potential problem solutions
  • Assessment of ethical and ecological implications as well as cost-benefit analyses
  • Presentation of the problem solution to the real world and enabling those who need the solution to make use of it
  • The extent to which this six-step ideal is adhered to by individual researches differs considerably. This may be due to the problem at hand, which may be tackled with existing linguistic theories and methods or which may require the development of new theories and methodologies, at times borrowed from disciplines other than linguistics. These different approaches mirror Widdowson's (1980) well known distinction between linguistics applied and applied linguistics.

    This lecture provides insight into the research questions and methods of selected fields of Applied Linguistics ranging from lexicography and terminography via language planning, writing instruction, technical communication, translation and interpretation to critical discourse analysis and communication optimization.


    Hauptseminar "Writing in a Second or Foreign Language"

    This seminar addresses the specificities of composing in an L2 as compared with composing in an L1. The few existing studies into the differences between L1 and L2 text production have indicated that L2 text production processes, aside from the additional lexical and grammatical challenges associated with foreign language production in general, are strikingly similar to L1 text production processes once writers have achieved a certain threshold proficiency level in their L2. Below this threshold level, writers' L2 proficiency seems to have a major impact on their L2 writing ability. It has also been observed that difficulties with lexis and grammar as well as interference between the L1 and L2 can be so cognitively demanding that not only the form but also the content of L2 written work, and thus the epistemic function of writing, suffer. Such findings support the assumption that the epistemic benefits of writing are less pronounced when this writing takes place in the L2. Other factors that have been found to have an impact on L2 writing processes include the language in which knowledge required for completing a writing assignment has been acquired, intelligence, the type of L2 acquisition, the type of the writer's bilinguality, metaknowledge of L2 writing, and translation competence.

    Although translation from the L1 has been seen rather negatively in most foreign language instruction paradigms from the humanistic approach until today and has more or less been banned from L2 teaching, empirical investigations of L2 writing processes have revealed that translating from the L1 is a process that occurs naturally in L2 writing. Moreover, not only negative transfer from L1 to L2 composing processes has been observed but also positive transfer, especially at the stages prior to formulating the actual text, such as idea generation, organization and elaboration.

    This seminar provides an overview of the research into L2 writing that has been conducted to date and the L2 writing models that have been developed on the basis of this research. Furthermore, it provides a hands-on introduction to the research methods used in L2 writing research and thus enables its participants to conduct their own investigations into L2 writing processes. The findings will contribute to answering questions such as the following: Does the requirement to write academic texts in the L2, before students have mastered this skill in their L1, overburden them? Does it hamper the epistemic function of writing? Should translation during L2 composition be fostered or avoided? Is translation a useful tool for writing pedagogy?


    Sommersemester 2014
    Vorlesung "Text Competence: Comprehension - Production - Instruction"

    Text competence comprises the abilities to read and understand texts, to produce texts and to learn from texts. After a short introduction to the basic concepts of text linguistics as the study of meaningful linguistic units beyond the sentence level, this lecture provides a comprehensive survey of theories and models of text comprehension and text comprehensibility, text production, writing competence development and writing instruction. Participants will develop an awareness of their own cognitive and metacognitive processes during text reception and text production, both in their L1 and their L2, and will obtain guidance on how to improve their own critical reading and writing skills. Special emphasis will be placed on writing as a reflective practice and thus as a means to take a more critical stance to one's own and other texts, to develop one's own position on controversial issues and to generate new ideas. The lecture will conclude with didactical implications for writing instruction in secondary and tertiary education.


    Hauptseminar "Translation: Between Mediation, Manipulation and Optimization"

    What is a good translation? What roles do translators play in interlingual and cross-cultural communication? What do users of translations expect of them? Can translators manipulate the world? Are they allowed to do so? Do translators have to be invisible? Does translation competence comprise more than proficiency in two languages? - These are some of the questions that we will address in this translation-intensive seminar. Based on an overview of the development of translation studies from World War II until today, we will analyze and assess translations, optimize them and also translate texts ourselves for various purposes. Those who attended the lecture "Translation and Transfer Studies" will have a chance to put the knowledge acquired in this lecture into practice.


    Wintersemester 2013/14
    Forschungssemester

    Sommersemester 2013
    Vorlesung "Text Linguistics"

    This lecture provides a comprehensive survey of text linguistics as the study of meaningful linguistic units beyond the sentence level. It starts out with the notion of textuality, i.e., the properties that sequences of words, sentences and nonverbal representations must possess in order to be perceived as a meaningful whole rather than a mere agglomerate of unrelated units. Special emphasis will be placed on text comprehension, text comprehensibility and text production and the models that have been presented in these areas of research. Participants will develop an awareness of defects in texts and how they affect text comprehensibility, gain insights into successful and unsuccessful text planning, writing and revision processes and thereby get inspiration for improving their own text production competence.


    Hauptseminar "The Science of Writing"

    How do competent writers go about the task of producing texts? In what respects do inexperienced writers' text production processes differ from those of experienced writers? How can we gain insights into what happens in writers' minds while they are writing? And how can the extremely complex process of producing texts that fulfil their function be taught and practised? Is translating a useful tool for teaching writing skills? - These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this seminar. It provides an overview of findings from the 'science of writing', assists its participants in analyzing their own writing processes and in improving their text production competence, and equips them with basic knowledge and skills to conduct their own writing process experiments.


    Wintersemester 2012/13
    Vorlesung "Communication in Professional Environments"

    This lecture provides insight into the flow of information in companies and international organizations as well as between them and their environment including their customers. It gives an overview of oral and written genres involved in this flow of information, such as press releases, technical documentation and annual reports. Since languages for specific purposes (LSP) play an important role in these documents, the lecture also addresses central issues of LSP research. These include questions such as the following: How can the concept of 'language(s) for specific purposes' (LSP) be separated from the concept of 'language for general purposes' (LGP). How can languages for specific purposes be classified? How can languages for specific purposes be described at different linguistic levels (morphology and word formation, terminology, phraseology, syntax, genres).


    Hauptseminar "Translation: Between Mediation, Manipulation and Optimization"

    In a world that is characterized by globalization, by the need to cooperate across disciplinary boundaries and by the necessity to bridge the gap between specialists and laypersons, the ability to mediate is a central requirement for professional success. Based on an overview of the development of translation theory and translation practice from World War II until today, we will analyze and assess translations, optimize them and also translate texts ourselves for various purposes. Those who attended the lecture Translation and Transfer Studies will have a chance to put the knowledge acquired in this lecture into practice.


    Sommersemester 2012
    Vorlesung "Translation and Transfer Studies"

    In a world that is characterized by globalization, by the need to cooperate across disciplinary boundaries and by the necessity to bridge the gap between specialists and laypersons, the ability to mediate is a central requirement for professional success. This lecture provides an introduction to Translation Studies. It starts out with the concept of translation, as one form of mediation, and illustrates how it has gradually been extended in the different paradigms of translation theory towards the concept of transfer, which encompasses all forms of mediation: mediation between languages, between cultures, between disciplines and between persons with different competence levels. It demonstrates the implications this development has for the assessment of translation and transfer quality, the problems that are inherent in the concept of equivalence between source text and target text, and the shifts or transformations that are necessary in transfer processes.


    Hauptseminar "Process-oriented Research Methods"

    How can we gain insights into what happens in a reader's mind while reading a text, in a writer's mind while producing a text or in a translator's mind while transferring a text from one language to another? What are the differences in the cognitive processes between novices and experts who perform these tasks? This seminar familiarizes its participants with research methods that can be applied to answer these questions. These methods include think-aloud, dialogue protocols and retrospective interviews, screen recording, keystroke logging and eye-tracking. Apart from the advantages and disadvantages these methods of data collection have, the documentation, transcription and publication of process data in electronic media, approaches of data analysis and interpretation, process models and a selection of studies conducted using these methods will be discussed.


    Wintersemester 2011/12
    Vorlesung "From Novice to Expert: Language Competences and their Development"

    Language competences play a decisive role in our society and are indispensable for professional success. They include receptive and productive competences, both in our mother tongue and in our foreign languages. Since these competences are so important, questions arise such as: How do they develop? Can they be taught, and, if yes, how can this be done most effectively? Can they be measured? Can they be split up into sub-competences? And, if yes, do these sub-competences interact and develop at the same pace? These are central questions that will be addressed in this lecture. It draws on findings from psycho-linguistics, the cognitive sciences and expertise research, a branch of cognitive psychology, which is interested in how people become experts in a specific domain and what expertise, the highest level of competence that a person can achieve in a domain, involves.


    Hauptseminar "Developing Writing Skills"

    How do competent writers go about the task of producing texts? In what respects do inexperienced writers' text production processes differ from those of experienced writers? How can we gain insights into what happens in writers' minds while they are writing? And how can the extremely complex process of producing texts that fulfil their function be taught and practised? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this seminar. It provides an overview of findings from the "science of writing", assists its participants in analyzing their own writing processes and in improving their text production competence, and equips them with basic knowledge and skills to conduct their own writing process experiments.


    Sommersemester 2011
    Vorlesung "Textlinguistics"

    This lecture provides a comprehensive survey of text linguistics as the study of meaningful linguistic units beyond the sentence level. It starts out with the notion of textuality, i.e. the properties that sequences of words, sentences and nonverbal representations must possess in order to be perceived as a meaningful whole rather than a mere agglomerate of unrelated units. Special emphasis will be placed on text comprehension, text comprehensibility and text production and the models that have been presented in these areas of research. Participants will develop an awareness of defects in texts and how they affect text comprehensibility, gain insights into successful and unsuccessful text planning, writing and revision processes and thereby get inspiration for improving their own text production competence.


    Hauptseminar "Terminology Management"

    This seminar familiarizes its participants with the fundamentals of terminology science and the principles of computer-based terminology work. Hands-on workshop sessions using a state-of-the-art terminology management system equip the participants with the insights and practical skills needed to define termbases to customer specifications, standardize terminology and compile specialized dictionaries. Special emphasis will be placed on problems involved in multilingual terminology work, such as conceptual incongruencies and terminological lacunae (lexical gaps).


    Wintersemester 2010/11
    Vorlesung "Language for Specific Purposes and Specialized Communication"

    This lecture starts out with the concept of 'language(s) for specific purposes' (LSP) and how it can be separated from the concept of 'language for general purposes' (LGP). It provides an overview of various approaches to the subclassification of languages for specific purposes taking account of both horizontal classifications (i.e. with regard to disciplines or domains) and vertical classifications (i.e. with regard to registers). Languages for specific purposes will then be described at different linguistic levels (morphology and word formation, terminology, phraseology, syntax, genres). Special emphasis will be placed on terminology work, questions of standardization, translation and comprehensibility.


    Hauptseminar "Metaphors: Theory - Functions - Translation"

    What are metaphors? What are their functions? How do we recognize them? How and why are we able to interpret them? What cognitive processes are involved in metaphor comprehension? Do they help us to understand the world? Are they obstructions in the channel of communication? Are metaphors culture-specific? Can they be translated and, if yes, how? These are questions that will be answered in the course of this seminar. It provides an overview of the development of metaphor theories from Aristotle to Lakoff & Johnson.


    Sommersemester 2010
    Vorlesung "Translation and Transfer Studies"

    In a world that is characterized by globalization, by the need to cooperate across disciplinary boundaries and by the necessity to bridge the gap between specialists and laypersons, the ability to mediate is a central requirement for professional success. This lecture starts out with the concept of translation, as one form of mediation, and illustrates how it has gradually been extended in the different paradigms of translation theory towards the concept of transfer, which encompasses all forms of mediation: mediation between languages, between cultures, between disciplines and between persons with different competence levels. It demonstrates the implications this development has for the assessment of translation and transfer quality, the problems that are inherent in the concept of equivalence between source text and target text, and the shifts or transformations that are necessary in transfer processes.


    Hauptseminar "Process-oriented Research Methods"

    How can we gain insights into what happens in a reader's mind while reading a text, in a writer's mind while producing a text or in translator's mind while transferring a text from one language to another? What are the differences in the cognitive processes between novices and experts who perform these tasks? This seminar familiarizes its participants with research methods that can be applied to answer these questions. These methods include think-aloud, dialogue protocols and retrospective interviews, screen recording, keystroke logging and eye-tracking. Apart from the advantages and disadvantages these methods of data collection have, the documentation, transcription and publication of process data in electronic media, approaches of data analysis and interpretation, process models and a selection of studies conducted using these methods will be discussed.


    Zuletzt aktualisiert am 20.02.2017.