University of Bremen



University of Bremen

 The University of Bremen is a public institution founded in 1971, which hosts approximately 19,000 students and 2,300 researchers from 115 countries, working and study in 12 faculties. While the university offers a total of 118 degree programs, including various teacher education programs in 9 out of the 12 faculties, as a research institution it concentrates its efforts on six interdisciplinary high profile areas (marine, polar and climate research; social change, social policy, and the state; materials science and production engineering; minds media machines; logistics and health sciences). Along with fellow 10 German universities, the University of Bremen became a part of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation, which aimed at promoting cutting-edge research, creating outstanding conditions for young scholars at universities, deepening cooperation between disciplines and institutions, and strengthening international cooperation of research. In addition, the University of Bremen is a member of the Association of North German Universities, which is committed to quality assurance of studying and teaching at higher education institutions.
The Faculty of Language and Literary Studies at the University of Bremen is home to a cluster of academic staff, who explore various aspects of English-speaking cultures, both in their teaching (Bachelor and Master programmes) and research. They concentrate their efforts on the areas of literary studies, linguistics, cultural studies and teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL)/English didactics. The study programs offered include a Bachelor’s degree (“English-Speaking Cultures”) as well as Master of Arts/ Education degrees, which form the basic prerequisite to becoming nationally certified teachers. The department of TEFL/English didactics was a part of the above-mentioned Excellence Initiative as a part of the “Creative Unit” project. The Faculty of Education Sciences and Pedagogy at the University of Bremen is currently developing and implementing Bachelor and Master programs focused on inclusive education and teacher training.
The University of Bremen also hosts the Center for Teachers, Teacher Education and Education Research (Zentrum für Lehrerinnen- /Lehrerbildung und Bildungsforschung), which is responsible for the university-wide coordination of teacher education programs and for the communication with further institutions vital to the professionalization of teachers in the state of Bremen.

The present project will be coordinated by staff members of the research/teaching department “TEFL/English didactics” (Faculty of Language and Literary Studies) as well as “Inclusive Pedagogy” (Faculty of Education Sciences and Pedagogy):

The key persons involved are:

Dr. Joanna Pfingsthorn

Researcher at the department of Foreign Language Education

Dr. Joanna Pfingsthorn holds the position of a Researcher at the department of Foreign Language Education at the University of Bremen. Her main research efforts concentrate on the intersection between inclusive education and foreign language teaching and focus on finding ways to provide better access to foreign language education to all students, and especially the ones with individual learning needs. She is interested in the cognitive foundations of foreign language learning/teaching, intercultural/plurilingual education as well as affective states of agents involved in (inclusive) FL education.
Joanna Pfingsthorn’s work at the University of Bremen includes the conceptual development and implementation of teaching modules for undergraduate and graduate teacher trainees with a focus on inclusion. From 2007-2019 Joanna Pfingsthorn worked as a lecturer and research associate at the Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Oldenburg, where she trained prospective EFL teachers. She holds a PhD in Foreign Language Education from the University of Oldenburg, a M.Sc. in Cognitive Science from the University of Amsterdam and B.A. in Psychology from Jacobs University Bremen.

Dr. Julia Weltgen

Researcher at the University of Bremen in the Department of Educational Sciences

Dr. Julia Weltgen has been a researcher at the University of Bremen in the Department of Educational Sciences since 2019. In the field of Inclusive Education with a focus on teaching and didactics in secondary schools, she researches how teaching can be adapted to the needs of students in terms of inclusion. In answering this question, particular attention is paid to the perspective and role of teachers, who play a key part in the concept and implementation of inclusive education. A particular interest of hers is the inclusive design of teaching materials that are adapted to the needs of learners of different educational backgrounds. Until 2019 Julia Weltgen worked as a doctoral student and research associate at the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in the Department of English Didactics, which is why research into the best possible way of teaching foreign language skills to learners is a major concern of hers. As a trained teacher, Julia Weltgen passed both the first and second state examinations in Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) for the teaching profession at high schools. Furthermore, she obtained the academic degree of Dr. Phil. in the field of English didactics through her doctoral thesis “Inclusive English teaching – a study on the status quo in secondary school I”.