Monash University

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Reason: Under embargo until November 2018. After this date a copy can be supplied under Section 51 (2) of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 by submitting a document delivery request through your library

Implementing DaF ‘lernkrimis’ in the German Language Curriculum

posted on 2017-11-09, 01:11 authored by Peggy Hecker
In our globalised world today, speaking a second or even third language becomes more and more important. Therefore, foreign language learning also has become more significant. Often, however, it is not enough anymore to speak a foreign language fluently, but one is also expected to have detailed knowledge about the political system, economic interrelations as well as general customs and traditions of the target country. Whereas most language textbooks provide some insights into these areas, they still tend to focus primarily on conveying vocabulary and grammar and sometimes neglect going further into these issues and combining them with additional motivational aspects.
The so-called 'lernkrimi' (a detective or mystery story, primarily written for the purpose of conveying knowledge in a certain academic field) utilises these above mentioned motivational components in order to provide an engaging basis and help the readers to connect not only with the target language but also with the target country, its culture and its citizens.
This thesis examines DaF (German as a foreign language) 'lernkrimis' in detail and follows the research question whether DaF 'lernkrimis' can motivate students to increase their language learning efforts by conducting a field study with over 80 participants at Monash University. Moreover, it tries to determine whether the study groups working with the DaF 'lernkrimi' had retained more lexical items than the group which had not used it during their German language lessons and how DaF 'lernkrimis' can be improved in order to facilitate language learning even more. The dissertation concludes with a lesson guideline for teachers, offering different teaching strategies and various methods as to how teachers can efficiently work with a DaF 'lernkrimi' and how it can influence the learning process.
The results gathered in the 'lernkrimi' study revealed that the participants felt motivated by the DaF 'lernkrimi' in class as well as they felt motivated to use it for self-study purposes at home. Moreover, the vocabulary test data suggests a facilitation in terms of vocabulary retention, primarily, however, regarding familiar and not newly introduced vocabulary. The DaF 'lernkrimi' also fostered student engagement and language use and should, therefore, find more consideration in the German language curriculum, regardless whether the curriculum concerns primary, secondary or tertiary education.


Principal supervisor

Dr. Heinz Kreutz

Additional supervisor 1

Dr. Tina Weller

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Linguistics and Applied Linguistics


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Arts

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