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Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kurtz

Contact Information

English Department / Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10B, Room 435

D-35394 Giessen, Germany

Tel.: +49 641 99 30330

Email: Juergen.Kurtz@anglistik.uni-giessen.de

Blog: https://juergenkurtz.wordpress.com/


Office Hours

Tue. 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. during lecture periods

** prior registration required via StudIP **

Contact Information Secretary

Nadine Traughber

Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10B, Room 436

D-35394 Giessen, Germany

Tel.: +49 641 99 30331

Fax: +49 641 99 30339

Email: Nadine.Traughber@anglistik.uni-giessen.de


Office Hours

Mon., Wed., Thu. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. / Tue. 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. /

Fri. 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Bio

Bio

Bio

Jürgen Kurtz studied English as a foreign language, psychology, and physical education at the University of Dortmund (now TU Dortmund University) (1981-1986). In 1986 and 1988, he passed the first and second state examination for secondary school teachers in Germany with distinction (comparable to MA TESOL and MA Physical Education). In 1989, he obtained his doctorate (Dr. phil.) in cognitive psychology and first language acquisition (1989, summa cum laude), and in the year 2000, he received his habilitation degree in TEFL, i.e. the formal qualification to independently teach and examine the subject at university level, both from Dortmund University (venia legendi: “Englische Sprache und ihre Didaktik” (lit. ‘English Language and its Didactics’).

 

Dr. Kurtz taught English as a foreign language and physical education at different types of school and levels of instruction in the German cities of Bergkamen and Dortmund (1986-2000). During this professional period, he also served as an adjunct EFL curriculum advisor for the Ministry of Culture and Science of the federal German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Apart from this, he mentored student teachers in their TEFL practicum, and worked as a textbook consultant for EFL publishing houses in Germany. Furthermore, he gave TEFL courses as an adjunct lecturer and as a part-time seconded English teacher and TEFL research assistant at Dortmund University (1996-2000).  

 

Dr. Kurtz has been a full professor of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) at JLU Giessen since 2011, after moving from Karlsruhe University of Education where he held a full professorship in English and foreign language teaching research (2001-2011). While there, he served as dean and associate dean, as founding director of the Institute for Foreign Language Teaching Research, and as chair of the English department. From 2008-2010, he also taught as an adjunct course lecturer at Dortmund University again. In 2011 and 2012, he was a visiting professor to Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. At JLU Giessen, he chaired the English Department from 2013 to 2015.

Research

Research

Research

Based on his experience as an EFL teacher, teacher educator, curriculum advisor and textbook consultant in Germany, Professor Kurtz’s research interests lie in the interface of theory and practice, placing strong emphasis on issues and questions related to teaching and learning English as a foreign language in school contexts. Within this nexus, he focuses in particular on the role of improvisation and creativity in enhancing oral proficiency in EFL classrooms, and on EFL textbook analysis, use and innovation in the digital age.

Key publications reflecting major research interests

 

Creativity and improvisation in structured learning environments

  • Kurtz, Jürgen (2015). “Fostering and building upon oral creativity in the EFL classroom”. In: Maley, Alan & Peachey, Nik (Eds.). Creativity in the English Language Classroom. London: British Council, 73-83. (for the online version, please click here).
  • Kurtz, Jürgen (2014). “Promoting oral proficiency in the foreign language class: Improvisation in structured learning environments”. In: Antonio Chenoll, Bernd Sieberg, Mario Franco & Verena Lindemann (Eds.) Falar: A Competência Oral no Ensino de uma Língua Estrangeira; Speaking: Teaching Oral Communication Skills in Foreign Languages. Lisboa: Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Cultura, 18-53. (online version available here)
  • Kurtz, Jürgen (2011): “Breaking through the communicative cocoon: Improvisation in secondary school EFL classrooms”. In: Sawyer, R. Keith (Ed.) (2011). Structure and Improvisation in Creative Teaching. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press, 131-160.

Textbook analysis, development and consumption

  • Kurtz, Jürgen (2019). „Lehrwerkgestütztes Fremdsprachenlernen im digitalen Wandel“. In: Burwitz-Melzer, Eva; Riemer, Claudia & Schmelter, Lars (Hrsg.) (2019). Das Lehren und Lernen von Fremd- und Zweitsprachen im digitalen Wandel. Arbeitspapiere der 39. Frühjahrskonferenz zur Erforschung des Fremdsprachenunterrichts. Tübingen: Narr, 114-125.
  • Kurtz, Jürgen (2019). „Lehrwerkbasierte Unterrichtsgestaltung: Herausforderung für die sprachpraktische Englischlehrerbildung an Universitäten und Pädagogischen Hochschulen.“ In: Ruisz, Dorottya; Rauschers, Petra & Thaler, Engelbert (Hrsg.) (2019). Living Language Teaching: Lehrwerke und Unterrichtsmaterialien im Fremdsprachenunterricht. Tübingen: Narr, 173-190.
  • Kurtz, Jürgen (2018). “Adopting Augmented Reality for Task-Oriented EFL Textbook Development, Instruction and Learning”. Fremdsprachen Lehren und Lernen, 2, 45-63. (for an adapted online version, please click here).

Teacher education

Teacher education

Teacher education (pre-service)

Conceiving of pre-service EFL teacher education as a complex, non-linear transformative process, Professor Kurtz offers a broad spectrum of research-driven and practice-oriented undergraduate and graduate TEFL courses, including, for instance, Vocabulary Instruction and Learning, Teaching Grammar, Textbook Analysis and Use, Exploring Mobile Apps for TEFL, Internal Differentiation and Inclusion, Motivation and Motivating, and Creative Teaching and Learning.

 

More recently, he has initiated an innovative hybrid learning course project designed to combine online and in-person student learning in systematic ways. In this context, he has piloted seminars for advanced TEFL students on Promoting Vocabulary Learning in Theme-based EFL Sequences, Enhancing Fluency through Creative Practice, and Fostering Language and Culture Education in the EFL Classroom. For detailed information about the project, referred to as TEFLhybrid@JLU, please click here. For an interview with Professor Kurtz on hybrid learning in EFL teacher education, please follow this link.

Teacher development

Teacher development

Teacher training and professional development (in-service)

Professor Kurtz has been involved in in-service EFL teacher training and professional development since 1995. At present, especially in his capacity as speaker of TEA – The English Academy, he provides hands-on teacher training sessions all over Germany, covering a broad spectrum of learner, language-, and learning-related themes and issues. Among his most recent courses are, e.g., Analyzing and Using EFL Materials and Media, Promoting Holistic Vocabulary Learning, Teaching English in the Age of Standards-based Instruction, and Teaching English in the Digital AgeThe ZOOM App.

Professor Kurtz discussing the potentials of augmented reality for TEFL at didacta, the world’s largest education fair (2018)

Publications

Publications

Publications

Professor Kurtz has published books, edited volumes, book chapters, book reviews, and research papers, especially in the following areas of TEFL: creativity and improvisation in structured EFL learning environments; EFL materials analysis, development and consumption; differentiated instruction and inclusive EFL pedagogy; project-based learning and EFL in all-day schools; EFL pre-service teacher education; EFL research methodology; multilingual education, culture and identity; EFL corpus compilation and research.


Professor Kurtz has held editorial, co-editorial, and advisory responsibilities for several scholarly journals in Germany, including, for instance, Zeitschrift für Fremdsprachenforschung (ZFF), the official journal of the German Association of Foreign Language Research (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Fremdsprachenforschung, DGFF), and Fremdsprachen Lehren und Lernen (FLuL). As an external reviewer, he has evaluated research papers for various national and international journals, most recently for Language Teaching: Surveys and Studies (Cambridge) and the Electronic Journal for Foreign Language Teaching (Singapore). In parallel to this, he served on the editorial boards of two journals for EFL teachers, i.e. Englisch and Grundschulmagazin Englisch.

 

Professor Kurtz is also the current speaker of the editorial board of Gießener Beiträge zur Fremdsprachendidaktik (GBF) [Giessen Contributions to Foreign Language Education]. Founded in 1984 by Lothar Bredella, Herbert Christ and Hans-Eberhard Piepho, the series, which now numbers well over one hundred and sixty volumes, covers all thematic areas of the science of teaching and learning foreign languages. It publishes doctoral dissertations, postdoctoral theses, edited collections of original research papers, and conference proceedings, for instance, those of the annual German Frühjahrskonferenz zur Erforschung des Fremdsprachenunterrichts (Annual Spring Conference for the Study of Foreign Language Teaching). Since Professor Kurtz assumed the position as GBF speaker in 2013, more than 50 books have been added to the series.