Philosophy

I have been involved in third-level teaching since 1999. I have taught in a range of programmes from within and outside the humanities and covered practically all areas in linguistics / applied linguistics at undergraduate level. At graduate level, I have foucsed on themes closer to my research area, such as linguistic social psychology, sociology of language, discourse analysis. Although I started out as a quantitative corpus linguist, today I am particularly interested in working qualitatively. I like to teach research methods in the social sciences such as interviews, focus groups, observation techniques and surveys.

I enjoy working in direct response to the needs of students by offering them guidance in the development of knowledge about language and language use. For me, success in teaching means to get students to adopt fresh perspectives and to be able to solve problems independently, rather than to elicit theories and reproduce the thoughts of others. I do not see myself as a lecturer who delivers knowledge to a passive audience but as a mediator of knowledge who needs to understand the thinking of his audience in order to perform his job successfully. In this sense, no class is similar to another and no lecture can be repeated identically, as they are made of unique constellations and personalities. In terms of the theory that I teach, I tend to highlight the practical value of analytic concepts and try to avoid the discussion of theory if it is not directly relevant to the subject matter. I find teaching very rewarding as it adds a “soft” element to the intellectual side of academia.


Current Teaching

Teaching takes approximately 25% of my workload. Currently I teach on the BA Applied Languages and MA Applied Linguistics at the ZHAW School of Applied Linguistics. I also teach on the Swiss cooperation programme MSc in Engineering (MSE). I further supervise Bachelor's and Master's theses and offer themed seminars. Occasionally I teach adult education classes (communication, communication psychology).


Expert Teaching Roles

I have occupied various external expert roles in secondary schools and institutions of higher education. In 2011, I was appointed coordinating expert of professional leaving certificate examinations in German (first language) in the Canton of Bern.