DAAD’s Language Assistant Program (Sprachassistentenprogramm) aims to provide graduates from German universities with an opportunity for professional development in the field of academic instruction in German through a teaching assignment abroad following their studies. Around 150 young graduates per year are placed at various universities worldwide and gain practical experience in teaching German as a foreign language via this program. The host universities are selected by DAAD, but individual placement requests are taken into account as far as circumstances allow.

General Information

Who is the Language Assistant Program for?

The scholarships are intended for young graduates from German universities, primarily in the fields of German as a foreign language or Germanistik. Participation in the Language Assistant Program, usually for nine or ten months, is seen by many alumni as valuable preparation for future work as a lecturer. Indeed, one in four language assistants then goes on to assume a DAAD Lecturer position.

What does a Language Assistant do?

Language Assistants typically teach two courses per semester, often one beginner’s course in German as a foreign language and one reading/conversation course for advanced (second-year) students with texts covering topics such as politics, business, history, or technology, or even a language pedagogy course aimed at undergraduate and graduate students. Prior teaching experience in the area of German as a foreign language with a focus on terminology and intercultural communication is desired, as are knowledge of or open-mindedness for computer-assisted foreign language teaching. Language Assistants also have sufficient knowledge to combine German cultural studies with the educational pathways of students whose focus is often on other disciplines. Courses are taught independently, although pedagogical support and professional guidance are naturally provided. Language Assistants are also prepared for their teaching abroad stay by attending a two-day seminar held by DAAD Bonn prior to their departure.

Testimonials

Check out the first-hand experiences of two of our Language Assistants in North America, Anna-Sophie and Dominik.

Language Assistants in North America

Anna Pfeifer - Binghamton University

Anna Pfeifer
Department of German and Russian Studies
Binghamton University
Library Tower 1405
P.O. Box 6000
Binghamton, NY 13902
Email: apfeifer@binghamton.edu

Zeineb Bahri - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Zeineb Bahri
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2090 Foreign Languages Building, M/C 178
707 S. Mathews Ave
Urbana, IL 61801
Email: zbahri@illinois.edu

Birgitta Friebe - Ohio State University

Birgitta Friebe
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Ohio State University
340 Hagerty Hall
1775 South College Road
Columbus, OH 43210
Email: friebe.2@osu.edu

Anna-Sophie Berges - University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Anna-Sophie Berges
Department of Languages and Culture Studies
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Boulevard, COED 421
Charlotte, NC 28223
Email: a.berges@uncc.edu

Dominik Winkel - University of Washington

Dominik Winkel
Department of Germanics
University of Washington
400K Denny Hall, Box 353130
Seattle, WA 98195
Email: dwinke@uw.edu

Jana Gärtner - University of Victoria

Jana Gärtner
Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies
University of Victoria
Clearihue Building, Room D250A
3800 Finnerty Rd.
Victoria, BC V8P 5C2
Canada
Email: janagaertner@uvic.ca

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