Faculty of Modern LanguagesGerman as a Second Language – Master

Students of the Master’s degree programme in German as a Second Language explore the following fundamental questions: How do humans learn language(s)? What are the cognitive prerequisites to learning a language? How can we measure a person’s competence in German as a second language? What concrete measures can be used to support language acquisition?

Facts & Formalities

DegreeMaster of Arts
Type of programmeConsecutive
Start of programmeWinter semester only
Standard period of study4 semesters
Language(s) of instructionGerman
Fees and contributions169.25 € / Semester
Application procedureConsecutive master’s programmes with access restriction
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
Part-time optionYes
May be studied as a minor subjectYes

Course Content

The Master’s degree programme in German as a Second Language is a consecutive academic course within German linguistics. It may be studied as a major or minor subject. The degree programme focusses on diagnostic and didactic issues relating to the acquisition and use of German as a second language by children and young people in pre-school and school settings.  

Students develop specialist skills in the fields of pyscholinguistics, sociolinguistics and theories of language acquisition. This serves as a basis for research and practice relating to German as a second language. In addition, the degree programme explores questions relating to diagnostic and didactic aspects of language learning in relation to German. This enables students to reflect on the teachability of the language.  

The Master’s degree programme in German as a Second Language is suitable for graduates of a Bachelor’s degree programme in philological and pedagogical subjects. Students from Germany or abroad may complete the degree programme, but they should be intending to pursue their career in Germany. 

As a minor subject, German as a second language offers students an insight into the varied areas of research and diverse applications of the subject. The degree programme considers linguistic, didactic and diagnostic dimensions of German as a second language which are of relevance for research and practice in relation to German as a second language.

Course Structure

Where it is studied as a major subject, German as a second language consists in the following modules:  

Subject-specific compulsory module 

  • Language structure and comparative linguistics:  This module considers the similarities and differences between languages from a typological and psycholinguistic perspective; comparison also considers the diachronic perspective  
  • Principles of German as a second language:  This basic module provides students with insight into the varied areas of research and diverse applications of German as a second language. Focussing on multilingualism/interculturality, research into language acquisition, linguistic assessment and didactics, the module covers all the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject.   
  • Language acquisition and intervention: This module explores the linguistic, sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic elements covered in the previous module in more detail and considers didactic implications for the planning of measures designed to improve language acquisition. This informs the development of age-appropriate measures. 
  • Colloquium: This module prepares students for the Master’s thesis and Master’s examination.   

Subject-specific supplementary qualifications

Students have the opportunity to learn a relevant contrast language, e.g. Arabic or Russian, attend advanced lectures and courses in language didactics for German as a foreign language, or complete a work placement abroad. 

Examination modules

  • Master’s thesis 
  • Final oral examination 

Where it is studied as a minor subject, students complete the basic module in German as a foreign language.

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