DLT 07: Anke Stoever-Blahak and Silja Weber

My two guests in this episode are Anke Stoever-Blahak from the University of Hannover in Germany and Silja Weber, from Columbia University in the US.

  • Anke and Silja share their experiences with including “sensitive” topics in their language classes
  • Anke talks about her collaboration with the federal theater (Staatstheater)
  • we discuss how different teaching contexts influence how far a teacher might include controversial topics: a) teaching a “regular” language class in comparison to an explicitly theatre-based language class b) teaching German as a foreign language in the US vs. teaching German as a second language in Germany
  • we talk about the risks of doing simulations in class around topics such as immigration or other topics that include power differentials
  • if it is at all advisable to ask students to engage with critical topics in a language class
  • we realize that we have probably more open questions than ready answers