Professional Development

Each semester, the German Department hosts Professional Development Conferences for teachers of German. The conferences, open to German instructors from the New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania areas, seek to enhance German curriculum at the middle and high school levels, so as to increase general interest in continued study of German language and literature.

By bringing different groups together, the conference furthers contacts and connections between teachers and curricula. To further promote this communication, teachers are invited to bring colleagues from different disciplines or departments. All attendees are provided with Professional Development certificates at the conclusion of the conference.


Fall 2018 Professional Development Day 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Academic Building, West Wing, Room 4052
15 Seminary Place

9:00 am - 1:15 pm


Featuring two great speakers:

Markus Kupferblum, Fall 2018 Craig-Kade Scholar in Residence
will speak on “Geschichten erzählen im Unterricht - theaterpädagogische Konzepte zur Konfliktbewältigung im Klassenzimmer”

This presentation will discuss and demonstrate skills and techniques to develop short scenes with pupils in order to cope with conflicts that might occur in their everyday lives. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate to the students that there are various strategies to face a specific problem and that each of these possibilities will lead to a different solution. It is always the decision of the people involved how a conflict develop.


and Jennifer Redmann, Associate Professor of German, Franklin & Marshall College
will speak on "Reading and genre-based writing in a multiliteracies collegiate foreign language curriculum"

A multiliteracies-based foreign language curriculum places texts, along with level-appropriate tasks, at the center of every course at every level. I will briefly present a theoretical framework for a multiliteracies-based approach to reading and writing (Kern 2000; Paesani, Allen & Dupuy 2015), along with issues surrounding text selection for the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of an integrated curriculum. This will be followed by examples and suggestions for how text-based activities can be integrated into classroom work at all levels. These include approaches to reading through the use of a reading journal and work on writing through a model-based, process-oriented, genre-focused (MPG) approach. In the MPG approach, analysis of model texts provides students with insights into the culturally specific characteristics of written texts in various genres. By working with various types of model texts, students have the opportunity to practice vocabulary, idiomatic phrases, and grammatical structures particular to certain genres and to adopt them for their own writing. This structured and scaffolded approach to writing allows students to successfully author texts that exceed what one would expect of L2 learners at various levels of proficiency. 


Light breakfast will be served at 8:45 am, and opening remarks will commence at 9:15am. After our morning talks, we will break as lunch is served. The conference is expected to end by 1:15 pm, when certificates for New Jersey Professional Development hours will be distributed to participants.
We will also be hosting an exciting Translation Workshop: "Ha-ha! Ooh! Ah! - A Translator's Challenge in Conveying Humor, the Surreal and the Ineffable Across Linguistic and Cultural Borders" on the same date, and you are welcome to stay for that following the Professional Development Day events! The Translation Workshop will run from approximately 1:30pm-3:30pm and will feature translator Peter Wortsman. If you choose to stay for this event, you will be eligible for two additional hours of Professional Development credits.


Rutgers now uses an electronic parking permit for special events. When you have submitted your registration for our event, we will email you a link to register your car to park on campus, with directions to the lots where you can park.


Registration for this event is $40 per participant. Please send a check made payable to "Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey" to the address below:

German Department, attn: Elizabeth deWolfe 
Rutgers University
15 Seminary Place, Room 4131
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

If your institution is paying for your registration and requires an invoice, please contact Elizabeth deWolfe (

Click here to register for professional development!

Registration is due by Wednesday, November 28th.

Drama and Poetry Declamation Contest

As part of the High School and Community Outreach program, the Department also coordinates an annual Drama and Poetry Declamation Contest for middle and high school students. This event is usually held in April or early May. Click here for more information!

Recent Professional Development Conferences

Fall 2017

Ester Eichler, AATG / Abington Jr. & Sr. High School, Philadelphia, PA
"Teaching art through four modes of Communication"

and Olga Liamkina, Goethe Institute
"Creating Supportive Learning Environments through Differentiated Instruction".

Spring 2016

Eckhard Kuhn-Osius, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Hunter College, CUNY
"Language Teaching as a Higher Order Thinking Activity"

Olga Liamkina, Ph.D., Educational Liaison, Goethe-Institut New York
"Learning German in a 'Community': Goethe-Institut projects, apps, and materials to reach students in the classroom and beyond"

Spring 2015

Andrea Pfeil, Director of Language Courses, Goethe-Institut New York
"Web-based and Mobile Apps for Teaching German"

Dr. Mohamed Esa, President of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)
"Fairytales in the German Classroom: Creative, Innovative, and Multimedia Approach"

Spring 2014

Keith Cothrun, Executive Director of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)
"Connecting German to the Common Core Standards"

Dr. Alexander E. Pichugin
"Digital Technology and Time Management in a Language Classroom"

Professor Azzan Yadin
"German-English Cognates and German Lexical Enrichment"

Spring 2012

Dr. Olga Liamkina
"Beyond the Textbook: Selecting and Using Authentic Materials to Teach Vocabulary, Grammar, and Elements of Culture"

Mareen Fuchs and Veronika Jeltsch
"Language Lab Rediscovered: Creative Ways to Utilize and Integrate the Lab in your Class"

Fall 2011

Dr. Helene Zimmer-Loew
"ProDeutsch: Maintaining and Enhancing German Enrollments!"

Dr. Christophe Fricker "Cartoons in the Classroom"

Fall 2010

Dr. Jamie Rankin
“Nip it in the bud? Dealing with learner errors in the foreign language classroom.”

Dr. Silke Wehner-Franco
“Germans as foreigners/ foreigners in Germany: The dynamics of German immigration in language and culture.”

Fall 2009

Professor Richard Alan Korb
"Berlin: 20 Years after the Wall"

Michael Stavarič
"Experiences with the End of Communism from a Czech-Austrian Perspective"

Spring 2009

Dr. Irene Motyl-Mudretzkyj
"Teaching Cultural Awareness through the Integration of the Arts"

Professor Christopher M. Clark
"Gegen/Kulturen: Teaching German Culture against the Grain"

Fall 2008

Dr. Andrea Dortmann
"Get Started and Keep Going"

Professor Fatima Naqvi
"Multicultural Europe on Film"

Spring 2008

Alfredo Franco, Curator
"Art for Language Teachers: How Art Can Improve Writing Skills and Language Acquisition"

Professor Michael G. Levine
"Kafka for Beginners"

Fall 2007

Professor Eckhard Kuhn-Osius
"Grammar Without Tears: Part II"

Professor Azzan Yaddin
"Intuitive German: English Cognates and German Vocabulary Enhancement"

Spring 2007

Professor Eckhard Kuhn-Osius
"Grammar Without Tears: Part I"

Fall 2006

Thomas Meinecke
"Popular Music in Germany"

Federica Franze and Juljana Gjata
"World Cup 2006 in Germany"

Spring 2006

Professor Ingeborg Walther
"Drama in the German Language Classroom"

Professor Lynne Tatlock
" 'Iconoclasm and Memory' in relation to monuments and memorials in Germany today"

Fall 2005

Dr. Daniela Strigl
"Von Thomas Bernhard bis Elfriede Jelinek: Streiflichter auf die oesterreichische Gegenwartsliteratur”

Kai Diers
“Die Parteien: woher sie kommen, wohin sie gehen.”