Department of European Languages and Cultures
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Dr Birgit Smith

Dr Birgit Smith

Head of Department, Director of Language Studies

Bowland North
Lancaster University
Bailrigg
Lancaster
United Kingdom
LA1 4YN


Tel: +44 1524 592466
Location: B71, Bowland North

PhD Supervision Interests

I am currently co-supervising a student working on the cultural impact of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the English and German-speaking world.

Current Teaching

  • GERM 100: German Language/grammar
  • GERM 101:German Language/grammar
  • GERM 200: German Language: oral and aural skills
  • GERM 300: German Language: oral and aural skills
  • DELC 214: Economic and Social Change in France, Germany and Spain since 1945
  • DELC215: Language and Identity in France, Germany and Spain
  • DELC 310: Year Abroad
  • DELC 320: Dissertations

Profile

Head of Department (September 2013 - present)

Acting Head of Department (Jan-July 2011)

Director of Language Studies

Chair of DELC Language Committee

Co-ordinator for German Language;

Residence Abroad Tutor (German);

Events

European Year of Remembrance 2014 - taster day for sixth form students of modern languages

Date: 23 September 2014 Time: 9.45-14.00

 

Languages Enrichment Event (9th January 2014) and (1st July 2014)

Aimed at year 8 pupils, the event is designed to motivate language learners and encourage them to carry on with their languages to GCSE level. Research shows that the events improve uptake at GCSE by 24%. We will use language tasters and cultural activities in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese languages to encourage the learning of languages generally.

Date: 9th January + 1st July 2014 Cost per pupil: £4 / Free for Widening Participation (WP) schools.

The event is only open to schools where languages are not compulsory. Priority will be given to schools who have not attended a Language  Enrichment Event in previous years.

Please see the Routes into Languages Day for more details: https://www.routesintolanguages.ac.uk/north-west/events/3380

 

Languages NoW! 

Languages NoW events have now been replaced by Language Enrichments Events under the Routes into Languages umbrella.

Events:

13th January 2013

19th December 2011

The Universities of Bolton, Central Lancashire, Chester, Edge Hill, Lancaster, Liverpool, Liverpool John Mores, Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and Salford have recently formed the North West University Language Alliance (NWULA), with the support of the Regional Languages Network North West. The purpose of the group is to cooperate with regard to outreach work to schools in areas which are not directly linked to our own recruitment, but which are focussed on general promotion of language learning to young people in the region. We realise that we are often duplicating each others' efforts and that working together we have more possibility of creating an impact regionally.

We are staging events, entitled Language NoW! for Year 8/9 pupils. The first NWULA Languages NoW event took place at Chester University, the second one at Lancaster University in December 2007 followed by an event on July 2010 hosted by the University of Salford. Events also took place on 19th December 2011 at Chester University and 13th January 2012 at Edge Hill University.

The events are workshops including taster classes in new languages,andcommunicative classesin the languages that the pupils are learningand workshops on employability including meeting university alumni to hear of their experiences with languages. There will also be a market place where pupils can enjoy different cultural activities ranging from Samba dancing to Calligraphy.

31. March 2011

Language and Culture Day! The purpose of this event is to encourage year 8 and 9 pupils to use Modern Languages in a fun way, with the hope that it will inspire them to carry on learning languages to a higher level. The event should give pupils the opportunity to use the language skills they have learnt whilst at school, whilst also introducing them to new languages. Pupils will also get the opportunity to meet Lancaster University languages students whilst visiting . As well as focusing on language elements of the culture will also be explored.

Additional Information

Recent publications/papers:

Tackling German Gramar - Fehlerschwerpunkte bei englischsprachigen Studenten, DAAD Jahrestagung, 9-11 December 2009, Cumberland Lodge.

Intercultural learning across the net, CILT, Languages in Higher Education conference: transitions and connections, 8-9 July 2008, York.

Lancaster-Graz Intercultural web project: a preliminary report, Smith, B. & Mercer, S. (2005) ELT News Number 52 , pp.21-25.

Review of Altendorfer, O. (2004) Das Mediensystem der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, vol. 2 . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, in Debatte, 2005 , vol 12 , No. 2.

Research Issues in the Year Abroad, P.Payne and B. Smith (eds), (1998) Crile Working Papers.

'Presse in der ehemaligen DDR', 'Werbung', 'Medien im Wandel' in J.P. Payne, (1997, 2001) Zeitungen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland , German Studies 'Vorsprung' Series.

'Cy-Tor German: Computer corpora in language teaching' in Lancaster Companion to German Language Learning , (1999) German Studies.

2005

Lancaster-Graz intercultural web project: a preliminary report.

Smith, B. & Mercer, S. 2005 In: ELT News. 52, p. 21-25 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2004

Review of Altendorfer, O. (2004) 'Das Mediensystem der Bundersrepublik Deutschland (Volume 2)'.

Smith, B. 2004 In: Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe. 12, 2, p. 184-185 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • How important is differentiation in language teaching?

    14/05/2014
    While differentiation isn't essential for primary students, teachers need a more holistic approach for secondary pupils, who learn as much about culture as language     ... Read more»
  • Year Abroad - more than a gap year

    31/10/2013
    The Year Abroad is an integral part of a language studies degree, but few other British students make use of studying or working abroad during their degree course.  In 2013, some 40,000 British citiz ... Read more»
  • Radio Lancashire Interview

    28/08/2013
    Dr Birgit Smith was interviewed by Gary Hickson on BBC Radio Lancashire 'Comprehensively rounding up the day's news' programme on the 28th August (16.50-17.00) about German trading laws. ... Read more»
  • The longest word in German

    07/07/2013
    Interview by Gareth Lewis and Nelli Bird on BBC Radio Wales on the Good Evening Wales Drivetime programme 4 about a decision to declare Germany's longest word defunct. Listen to the interview (Window ... Read more»
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