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Understanding and Teaching TV: Sitcoms in the Foreign Language Classroom

November 25th, 2013

In the first part of the lecture, an introduction into the format of sitcoms will be presented to the students. Based on Robert J. Thompson’s criteria for Quality TV, we will look at the way sitcoms are made as well as the topics they address. In doing so, a variety of examples will be presented.
The second part of the lecture focuses on the integration of sitcoms into the foreign language classroom. We will talk about the concept of literacies and the current ‘hot topic’ competences, and finally, we will provide the students with some concrete teaching ideas.

Wolfgang Hallet is professor for Teaching English Literature and Culture and a member of the Executive Board of the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), and Head of its Teaching Centre at Justus Liebig University Giessen. He is co-editor of a series of handbooks on teaching literature and culture, of the Giessen Contributions to Foreign Language Research (Tübingen, Narr), the Giessen Contributions to the Study of Culture (Trier, WVT) and Concepts for the Study of Culture (Berlin & New York, de Gruyter). His research and publications, including several monographs, comprise study of culture-based theories of teaching literature and culture, cognition and literature, the methodology of the contextualization of literary texts, contemporary novels and narratology.

Judith Hofmann is a doctoral researcher at Justus Liebig University Giessen. Her PhD thesis deals with the integration of animated films into English language teaching. Before having taken up her research at the GCSC, she studied English and German. Judith Hofmann is also a member of the International PhD Programme Literary and Cultural Studies (IPP) and works as a research assistant at the GCSC.