Posted on August 27, 2008 by Dylan Anderson

The UofA�s Arts Faculty is pleased to kick off the 2008-09 school year with a lecture from Daniel Feldhendler, professor of languages from Goethe Uni.

The University of Alberta’s Arts Faculty is pleased to kick off the 2008-2009 school year with a special lecture from guest Daniel Feldhendler, esteemed professor of languages from Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

Mr. Feldhendler will be sharing some of his own perspectives on the subject of language pedagogy, a subject to which he has dedicated thirty years of his life. His lecture will highlight some of the more unorthodox methods of language pedagogy that he has practiced, including those that incorporate the schools of drama pedagogy and psychodrama pedagogy into second-language learning.

Kim Fordham, Head of the Humanities department at the U of A’s Augustana Campus, and one of the people responsible for Daniel Fendhendler’s coming to Alberta, was able to first observe his methods during a sabbatical in 2004. She says Mr. Feldhendler’s technique of incorporating second language teaching and dramatic scenarios involve not only the minds of students, but their whole physical being and all of their senses. This is a far cry from the usual memorization of verb tables, words and phrases that students usually rely on to get them through their second language courses (a plan of action that most language teachers discourage). Not only do Mr. Fendhendler’s methods promise to be more effective, but their influence on the students is likely to be one that lasts much longer.

Feldhendler’s theories, methods and techniques have been well documented in several of his books and journal submissions, but also through participation in such groups as the IPTN (International Playback Theatre Network), ASIHVIF (International Association for Research in Life Stories in Education) and other national and international organizations that specialize in group psychotherapy, theatre research and intercultural research. He is also the co-founder of the Centre de Psychodramaturgie in Germany.

Mr. Feldhendler’s arrival will be a result of the joint effort of the Office of the Provost, the U of A’s Faculty of Arts, Campus Saint-Jean and Augustana Campus in Camrose, all of whom have extensive second language programs, especially in the language of French. The three institutions hope that collaboration like this will lead to further cooperation in the future, and substantial growth in the area of language pedagogy.

The lecture will be open to the public and held on Wednesday, September 10th at 4pm in the Senate Chamber (326 Arts Building), with a reception to follow. Anyone interested in the fields of language teaching, dramatic studies, or teaching methods in general, is encouraged to attend.


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