Professor John Klapper BA, MLitt, PGCE, PhD, NTF, FHEA

 

Professor of Foreign Language Pedagogy

Department of Modern Languages: German Studies

Photograph of Professor John Klapper

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Qualifications

  • BA Combined German & Russian (First Class Honours) (Birmingham)
  • M Litt (Oxon)
  • PGCE (Oxon)
  • PhD (Birmingham)

Biography

John Klapper took a degree in German and Russian at the University of Birmingham. After three years’ postgraduate work at St John’s College, Oxford, he took a PGCE to qualify as a teacher of modern languages and taught in a secondary school for three years. Following a further three years as Lecturer in Russian and German at Wolverhampton Polytechnic, he returned to Birmingham in 1990 as a Lecturer in German and helped to set up and subsequently became Director of the Centre for Modern Languages (formerly the Modern Languages Unit). In 2000 he was made a HEFCE National Teaching Fellow. He was briefly Co-Director of the newly established Centre for European Languages and Cultures, from 2006–08 served as Deputy Head of the School of Humanities, and from 2009-2012 was Head of the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music.

Teaching

John has experience of teaching a wide range of language and translation courses in both German and Russian, modules on Soviet society, on the history, politics and economy of post-war Germany, on post-war German literature, oppositional writing in Nazi Germany and language teacher training.

Postgraduate supervision

  • Language pedagogy
  • Instructed second language acquisition
  • German inner emigrant writers
  • National Socialism and literature

Research

John has interests across the field of foreign language learning and teaching, has worked on content-based language learning, pedagogical grammar and language teacher development, and has conducted quantitative and qualitative research into the development of foreign language proficiency, including the role of residence abroad. He also has interests in the field of twentieth-century German literature, in particular the work of oppositional writers in Nazi Germany (Andres, Wiechert, Bergengruen, le Fort, Reck-Malleczewen, Schneider, Jünger), as well as post-war literature of the Adenauer era and the 1960s. He is currently working on the so-called literary ‘inner emigration’, 1933–1945.

Other activities

From 2001–2003, as part of his National Teaching Fellowship, John designed and co-ordinated the DELPHI project, a national collaborative online training materials initiative.  He has held over 25 external examinerships, has been a reviewer for senior academic posts at numerous institutions and has conducted several reviews or audits for other universities. He has also been a critical reader for various academic publishers, including OUP, Stanley Thorne, Collets, Hodder & Stoughton, Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan.

Publications

Monographs

  • (Forthcoming): Non-conformist writing in Nazi Germany: The Literature of Inner Emigration (New York: Camden House). 480 pp.
  • 2006: Understanding and Developing Good Practice: Teaching Languages in Higher Education (London: CILT). 490 pp.
  • 1998: Stefan Andres. Der christliche Humanist als Kritiker seiner Zeit. (Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang). 216 pp.
  • 1996: Foreign-Language Learning Through Immersion: Germany’s Bilingual-Wing Schools (Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press). 266 pp.
  • 1995: Stefan Andres. The Christian Humanist as a Critic of his Times (Bern / Berlin / Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang). 188 pp.

Other authored books

  • 2011: Modern German Grammar: A Practical Guide. Third revised edition (London: Routledge) with R. Whittle and K. Glöckel. 475 pp.
  • 2011: Modern German Grammar Workbook. Third revised edition (London: Routledge) with H. Zojer and R. Whittle. 172 pp.
  • 2008: Die moderne deutsche Grammatik. Chinese language version of Modern German Grammar. (Routledge/Dalian University of Technology Press) with B. Dodd, C. Eckhard-Black and R. Whittle. 453 pp.
  • 2008: Edexcel German Grammar for A Level (London: Hodder Educational) with T. McMahon. 334 pp.2006: Aktion Grammatik! A new German grammar. Third revised edition (London: Hodder & Stoughton) with T. McMahon. 334 pp.
  • 2006: Aktion Grammatik! A new German grammar. Third revised edition (London: Hodder & Stoughton) with T. McMahon. 334 pp.
  • 2003: Modern German Grammar: A Practical Guide. Second revised edition (London: Routledge) with B. Dodd, C. Eckhard-Black and R. Whittle. 454 pp.
  • 2003: Modern German Grammar Workbook. Second revised edition (London: Routledge) with H. Zojer, W.J. Dodd, C. Eckhard-Black and R. Whittle. 144 pp.
  • 2000: Aktion Grammatik! A new German grammar. Second revised edition (London: Hodder & Stoughton) with T. McMahon. 367 pp.
  • 1998: Neue kommunikative Grammatik. A Communicative Grammar Worktext with Written and Oral Practice (Lincolnwood, Illinois: National Textbook Company) with T. McMahon. 354 pp.
  • 1996: Aktion Grammatik! A new German grammar. (London: Hodder & Stoughton) with T. McMahon. 360 pp.
  • 1996: Modern German Grammar: A Practical Guide. (London: Routledge) with B. Dodd, C. Eckhard-Black and R. Whittle. 492 pp.
  • 1996: Modern German Grammar Workbook (London: Routledge) with W.J. Dodd, C. Eckhard-Black and R. Whittle. 105 pp.
  • 1990: Russian for Everyone. CALL materials for ab-initio and intermediate learners of Russian (Wolverhampton Polytechnic/Collets), with M-P. Detraz, N. Malcolm, P. Rooney. 8 disks.
  • 1988: Russian in Dialogues and Interviews. A video course for GCSE Russian (Wolverhampton Polytechnic/Collets). Video cassette (70 mins.), audio cassette (55 mins.), pupils’ book (110 pp.), teacher’s book (50 pp.)

Edited books/collections

  • 2011:  Stefan Andres-Bibliographie, available at: http://stefan-andres-gesellschaft.de/?page_id=25  (52 pp.)
  • 2007: Stefan Andres. Die Sintflut. Neue Ausgabe. (Göttingen: Wallstein). 950 pp.
  • 2005: Effective Learning and Teaching in Modern Languages (London: Routledge) with J. Coleman. 236 pp.
  • 2003: DELPHI Language Training Materials, HEFCE National Teaching Fellowship, 15 peer-reviewed modules (c. 300,000 words)
  • 2001: Teaching  Languages in Higher Education. Issues in Training and Continuing Professional Development (London: CILT). 221 pp.
  • 2000: DOPLA Teacher Training Materials (University of Birmingham) with P. Gravestock, C. Gray, R. McCulloch. 356 pp. With accompanying video and audio tapes.
  • 1992: Heinrich Böll’s Best Stories (London: Bristol Classical Press). 95 pp.
  • 1992: Temy. Olympus Satellite Russian Programme II (Language Teaching Centre, University of Oxford; broadcast on Olympus satellite), with T. Stableford. Video cassette (1 hour), booklet (32 pp.)
  • 1990: Temy. Olympus Satellite Russian Programme I (Language Teaching Centre, University of Oxford; broadcast on Olympus satellite), with P. Corness, C. Marsh, D. Martin, T. Stableford. Video cassette (1 hour), booklet (50 pp.)
  • 1989: Glasnost’: Word and Picture. An Intermediate Russian Reader (Wolverhampton Polytechnic/Collets). 239 pp.

Articles

  • 2014: ‘Categories of the Non-Conformist: The Historical Fiction of Inner Emigration’, German Life and Letters 67 (2014), 2, 158-81. 
  • 2012: ‘Differential foreign language performance during residence abroad: a review of possible explanations’, Language Learning Journal 40 (2012), 3, 335-58 (with J. Rees).
  • 2010: ‘Rediscovering the “other Germany”: A new edition of the works of Stefan Andres’, Review article, Seminar 47 (2011), 3, 379-388. Also online at: http://stefan-andres-gesellschaft.de/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Seminar-review-article.pdf.
  • 2010: ‘Ante- and post-diluvian reflections of an “inner emigrant”: Stefan Andres’ trilogy Die Sintflut (1949­­­–1959/2007)’, Seminar 46, 1, 26-49
  • 2010:  ‘Disputed non-conformist and ‘Zwischenreichautor’: A re-assessment of Ernst Wiechert’s life and work in Nazi Germany’, Oxford German Studies 39, 3, 250–70.
  • 2009: ‘Cultural ‘Diskontinuität’ and thematic continuity: Ernst Wiechert after 1945’, German Life and Letters 62, 4, 430–47.
  • 2009: „Rückgratstärkung“ für das „andere Deutschland“? Stefan Andres’ Veröffentlichungen in der Krakauer Zeitung 1940–1943’, Mitteilungen der Stefan-Andres-Gesellschaft 30, 29–37.
  • 2008: ‘Schriftstellerische Selbstkritik und erneute Auseinandersetzung mit der Zeit: Zu den Kürzungen in der gestrichenen Fassung der Sintflut-Trilogie’, Mitteilungen der Stefan-Andres-Gesellschaft 29, 52–66.
  • 2007: ‘Analysing and evaluating the linguistic benefit of residence abroad for foreign language students’, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 32, 3, 331–353 (with J. Rees). 
  • 2004: ‘Marks, get set, go: an evaluation of entry levels and progress rates on a university foreign language programme’, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 29, 1, 21–39 (with J. Rees).
  • 2003: ‘Reviewing the case for explicit grammar instruction in the university foreign language learning context’, Language Teaching Research 7, 3, 285–314 (with J. Rees).
  • 2003: ‘Taking communication to task? A critical review of recent trends in language teaching’, Language Learning Journal 27, 33–42.
  • 2002: ‘Training the trainer: language teaching assistants, Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies Good Practice Guide
  • 2002: ‘Training the trainer: staff development for language teaching, Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies Good Practice Guide
  • 1998: ‘Language learning at school and university: the great grammar debate continues (II)’, Language Learning Journal 18, 22–8.
  • 1997: ‘Language learning at school and university: the great grammar debate continues (I)’, Language Learning Journal 16, 22–7.
  • 1997: ‘Stefan Andres’ mythisch-religiöse Auseinandersetzung mit seiner Zeit: Die Sintflut-Trilogie im Spiegel des Gesamtwerks’, Mitteilungen der Stefan-Andres-Gesellschaft 17, 45–63.
  • 1995: ‘German spelling and punctuation: The proposed reforms’, German Teaching 12, 61–3.
  • 1994: ‘Germany’s Bilinguale Züge’, German Teaching 10, 31–5.
  • 1994: ‘Zur Arbeit mit Videoaufzeichnungen von Lernerleistungen im Fremdsprachen-unterricht’, Fremdsprachenunterricht (FRG) 38, 2, 88–92.
  • 1993: ‘Fleeting prepositional ‘o’ in the contemporary Russian language’, Russian Language Journal (USA) 48, 17–33.
  • 1993: ‘More new place names in the former Soviet Union’, Rusistika 7, 45–9.
  • 1993: ‘New approaches to foreign-language teaching in Europe: the dual-language secondary school’, Compare 23, 3, 247–62.
  • 1993: ‘Practicable skills and practical constraints in FL reading’, Language Learning Journal 7, 50–4.
  • 1992: ‘German unification and the teaching of modern languages: the methodological legacy of the GDR’, Comparative Education 28, 3, 235–47.
  • 1992: ‘Heinrich Böll: Doktor Murkes gesammeltes Schweigen’, German Teaching 5, 30–5.
  • 1992: ‘Phoneme–grapheme confusion in basic (and not so basic) Russian writing’, Rusistika 5, 2–6.
  • 1992: ‘Preliminary considerations for the teaching of FL reading’, Language Learning Journal 6, 53–6.
  • 1992: ‘Reading in a foreign language: theoretical issues’, Language Learning Journal 5, 27–30.
  • 1992: ‘Theoretical models of foreign language teaching in Germany’, German Teaching 6, 20–4.
  • 1992: ‘The search for synthesis: religion and myth in the work of Stefan Andres’, German Life and Letters 45, 2, 149–57.
  • 1991: ‘Existence, authenticity and the limit situation: existentialist influences in the work of Stefan Andres’, New German Studies 16, 3, 143–58.
  • 1991: ‘The role of the video camera in communicative language teaching and evaluation’, Language Learning Journal 4, 12–15. 
  • 1991: ‘Video in the classroom: a progress report’, Rusistika 4, 30–4.
  • 1990: ‘Stefan Andres: a reassessment’, German Life and Letters 43, 3, 234–45.
  • 1989: ‘Die Krise der Menschwerdung: Christliche Existenzphilosophie bei Stefan Andres’, Mitteilungen der Stefan-Andres-Gesellschaft 10, 14–21.
  • 1989: ‘Teaching Russian from the sky’, Britain–USSR. Bulletin of the Great Britain–USSR Association 84, 4, 6–7.
  • 1988: ‘“Der Mörderbock” — ein literarisches Kunstwerk als Indiz für die Desillusionierung eines Schriftstellers’, Mitteilungen der Stefan-Andres-Gesellschaft 9, 33–43.
  • 1986: ‘Der Mensch, Christus und Dionysos. Einige Gedanken zu Stefan Andres’ christlichem Humanismus’, Mitteilungen der Stefan-Andres-Gesellschaft 7, 23–31.
  • 1985: ‘“Die Reise nach Portiuncula” und die Schuld–Sühne-Problematik im Erzählwerk von Stefan Andres’, Mitteilungen der Stefan-Andres-Gesellschaft 6, 41–8.
  • 1983: ‘Die Kunst des Heterodoxen: Aspekte des theologischen Denkens Stefan Andres’’, Mitteilungen der Stefan-Andres-Gesellschaft 4, 61–72.

Chapters in books/collections

  • 2013:  ‘ „[...] um aus dem Vergangenen Gesetz und Maß des Gegenwärtigen herüberholen“: Zur Einordnung von Stefan Andres’ geschichtlicher Prosa im Dritten Reich’, in: Hanns-Werner Heister and Bernhard Spies (eds), Mimesis, Mimikry, Simulatio. Tarnung und Aufdeckung in den Künsten vom 16. bis zum 21. Jahrhundert. Festschrift für Erwin Rotermund zum 80. (Berlin: Weidler Buchverlag, 2013), pp. 61–73.
  • 2009: ‘Antikes Gedankengut, gelebter Glaube und Institution Kirche: Zur geistigen und literarischen Welt von Stefan Andres’, in: Hans-Rüdiger Schwab (ed.), Katholische Intellektuelle des 20. Jahrhunderts (Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker), pp. 393–410 + 769–72.
  • 2008: ‘Encouragement for the ‘Other Germany’? Stefan Andres’s publications in the Krakauer Zeitung 1940–1943’, in: N. Harris and J. Sayner (eds), The Text and its Context. (Bern: Peter Lang), pp. 121–32.
  • 2008: ‘Deliberate and incidental: vocabulary learning strategies in independent second language learning’ in: S. Hurd and T. Lewis, (eds), Language Learning Strategies in Independent Settings (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters), pp. 159–78.
  • 2008: ‘Issues in the quantitative longitudinal measurement of second language progress in the study abroad context’ in: L. Ortega and H. Byrnes (eds), The Longitudinal Study of Advanced L2 Capacities (New York/London: Routledge), (with J. Rees), pp. 89–105.
  • 2008: ‘Key aspects of teaching and learning in languages’, revised chapter in: H. Fry, S. Ketteridge and S. Marshall (eds), A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Enhancing Academic Practice. Third revised edition (London: Routledge/Kogan Page) (with C. Gray), pp. 323–44.
  • 2007: ‘„Es ist schwer, aus einem Ende zu stammen, und doch Anfang zu sein.“ Stefan Andres: ,innere Emigration‘ und Nachkriegszeit.’ In: M. Braun and G. Guntermann (eds), „Gerettet und zugleich von Scham verschlungen“. Neue Annäherungen an die Literatur der ‚Inneren Emigration’  (Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang), pp. 134–149.
  • 2005: ‘Assessing language skills’ in: J. Coleman and J. Klapper (eds), Effective Learning and Teaching in Modern Languages (London: Routledge), pp. 90–101.
  • 2005: ‘Assessment in modern languages’ in: J. Coleman and J. Klapper (eds), Effective Learning and Teaching in Modern Languages (London: Routledge), pp. 80–89.
  • 2005: ‘Introduction’ in: J. Coleman and J. Klapper (eds), Effective Learning and Teaching in Modern Languages (London: Routledge), pp. xii–xiv (with J. Coleman).
  • 2005: ‘Researching the benefits of residence abroad for students of modern foreign languages’ in: M. Tight (ed.), International Relations. International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Volume 3 (New York/London: Elsevier), pp. 67–97 (with J. Rees).
  • 2005: ‘Research into language learning’ in: J. Coleman and J. Klapper (eds), Effective Learning and Teaching in Modern Languages (London: Routledge), pp. 31–43 (with J. Coleman).
  • 2005: ‘Teaching grammar’ in: J. Coleman and J. Klapper (eds), Effective Learning and Teaching in Modern Languages (London: Routledge), pp. 67–74.
  • 2005: Who teaches them? Professional development in modern languages’ in: J. Coleman and J. Klapper (eds), Effective Learning and Teaching in Modern Languages (London: Routledge), pp. 23–28.
  • 2003: ‘Approaches to assessment’, training module in National Teaching Fellowship DELPHI programme, (25,000 words)
  • 2003: ‘Key aspects of teaching and learning in languages’, revised chapter in: H. Fry, S. Ketteridge and S. Marshall (eds), A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Enhancing Academic Practice. Second revised edition (London: Kogan Page), pp 344–65 (with C. Gray)
  • 2003: ‘Varieties of language testing’, training module in National Teaching Fellowship DELPHI programme,(28,000 words)
  • 2002: ‘Understanding and developing reading in a foreign language’, training module in National Teaching Fellowship DELPHI programme,(17,000 words)
  • 2002: ‘Working with written texts in the foreign language classroom’, training module in National Teaching Fellowship DELPHI programme, (18,000 words)
  • 2001: ‘Introduction: Professional development in modern languages’, in: J. Klapper (ed.), Teaching  Languages in Higher Education. Issues in Training and Continuing Professional Development (London: CILT), pp. 1-15. 
  • 2001: ‘Shifting perspectives on language teacher education’, in: J. Klapper (ed.), Teaching  Languages in Higher Education. Issues in Training and Continuing Professional Development (London: CILT), pp. 15-34.
  • 2001: ‘Understanding language learning and second language acquisition’, in: L. Arthur & S. Hurd (eds), Lifelong Language Learning. Aspects of Theory and Practice (London: CILT), pp. 26–35.
  • 2000: ‘Issues and challenges in the teaching of modern languages’, in: C. Rust (ed.),  Improving Student Learning through the Disciplines (Oxford: Oxford Centre for Educational Development) with L. Arthur, pp. 96-105.
  • 2000: ‘The paradox of simultaneity: Vergangenheitsbewältigung in Paul Schallück’s Engelbert Reineke’, in: Michael Butler & Robert Evans (eds),  The Challenge of German Culture. Essays Presented to Wilfried van der Will (London: Macmillan), pp. 112-23.
  • 2000: ‘Training graduate teachers and foreign language assistants in UK universities: a reflective approach’, in: B. Rifkin (ed.), Selection, Mentoring and Training of Foreign Language Teachers (Madison: Heinle and Heinle), pp. 148-77.
  • 1999: ‘Key aspects of teaching and learning in languages’, in: H. Fry, S. Ketteridge and S. Marshall (eds), A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (London: Kogan Page) with C. Gray, pp. 329-49.
  • 1999: ‘Das Samenkorn und das Kreuz. Christlicher Humanismus in der Sintflut-Trilogie’, in: Michael Braun, Georg Guntermann and Birgit Lermen (eds): Stefan Andres, Zeitzeuge des 20. Jahrhunderts. (Frankfurt a. M. u.a.: Peter Lang), pp. 253–68.
  • 1998: ‘Developing key skills and language use in foreign language learning’, in: R. McCulloch and A. Morton (eds), Good Practice in Teaching. A Collection of Case Studies. Vol. 2. (Birmingham: University of Birmingham), pp. 9-12.
  • 1994: ‘The art of aggression and its limitations: the early satires’, in: Michael Butler (ed.), The Narrative Fiction of Heinrich Böll. Social Conscience and Literary Achievement (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 70–88.
  • 1990: ‘“Der Mörderbock” — ein literarisches Kunstwerk als Indiz für die Desillusionierung eines Schriftstellers’, in: Mein Thema ist der Mensch. Texte von und über Stefan Andres (Munich: Piper), pp. 283–301.
  • 1990: ‘Die Kunst des Heterodoxen: Aspekte des theologischen Denkens Stefan Andres’’, in: Mein Thema ist der Mensch. Texte von und über Stefan Andres (Munich: Piper), pp. 104–25.

Book reviews

Numerous reviews in:

  • Journal of European Studies
  • German Teaching
  • Seminar
  • Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen
  • Language Learning Journal
  • Studies in Contemporary Jewry
  • Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen

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