After years as a teacher, administrator, and initiator of the first American Junior Year Abroad in Austria, I came to Georgetown University to pursue graduate studies in Linguistics and German (Ph.D.,1975). I was first drawn to the study of the complex process of language acquisition when I guided first graders (in a one-room school with grades one through eight) from their Austrian dialect to speak, read, and write in Standard High German.
My research focuses on the connectivity between theoretical and applied linguistic approaches and language acquisition and teaching. At the present time, I am fascinated by current findings in neurolinguistics and semantics that show the intricate network of mental representation of concepts, words, and images. I am pursuing research on aspects of cultural/linguistic identity in the writings of some Alemannic authors such as M.Walser, P.Bichsel, and R.Schneider.
As initiator and co-author of intermediate level German language programs ("Wendepunkt", "Spiralen"; Heinle & Heinle Publishers, Boston), I developed a multi-competency approach to the study of another language. I found that learning a foreign language becomes more accessible and meaningful by integrating listening and reading to authentic materials with topic-based speaking and writing.
Over the past four decades, I have been teaching language courses at all levels, undergraduate linguistics and culture courses as well as graduate linguistic seminars. From 1993-1996 I chaired the German Department. I have directed Georgetown's Summer Program in Trier, Germany, seven times. As a Fulbright alumnus I have experienced the lifelong benefits of studying and teaching abroad and encourage my students to seek similar enriching experiences.
My other activities include lecturing for Smithsonian study tours in Europe on Austrian culture, history, and art. I am involved in community and environmental affairs. I enjoy skiing, trout fishing and hiking with my wife and friends in the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico.
Ph.D. Georgetown University (Applied Linguistics with emphasis in German)
M.S. Georgetown University (Applied Linguistics, German)
B.S. in Education, Feldkirch, Austria (German, English)
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