As a discipline, FLT focuses on the contents of teaching (as opposed to teaching methodology, which deals with how to transfer these contents into concrete procedures and practical units of teaching, see below). Therefore, FLT is decisively informed by current models of (theoretical and applied) linguistics, (cognitive) psychology, and pedagogy, among others. Its major objective is to offer students the necessary basic knowledge of how a foreign language is acquired/learned; it introduces students to both a language's normative and creative use, and it imparts stylistic, communicative, and (inter)cultural competencies as well as metalinguistic awareness of the language to be acquired; and it also accounts for personality factors like learner strategies, individual motivations, and personal attitudes.
In the new, modularized teacher training programs BA Ed. and MA Ed. in Rhineland-Palatinate the specialized didactics part within the curriculum ("Fachdidaktik") has been extended to prepare students better for the pedagogical skills they will need as future teachers of English. "Fachdidaktik" here means the concrete implementation and application of general pedagogical skills to a special subject (i.e. English language teaching). "Fachdidaktik" thus differs from general (cross-disciplinary) didactics/pedagogy and is located at the interface of pedagogy and the specific discipline in question (i.e. English studies).
In our German-speaking context, "Englische Fachdidaktik" is concerned with learning and teaching the English language and the specific questions that are directly related to teaching English at various levels (elementary school, high school, or university). In the context of their professional eduaction, teacher students will receive an introduction to the fundamental questions, concepts and methods of English Language Teaching (ELT), applied to their everyday routine as a language teacher at school. In addition, they are also introduced to the specific disciplines that are interrelated with ELT ("Bezugswissenschaften") and produce important insights for classroom teaching (linguistics, literary and cultural studies).
Foreign language teaching (FLT, "Fremdsprachendidaktik" or "linguistische Fachdidaktik") focuses on the process of (foreign or second) language acquisition/learning, teaching methodology (e.g. the specifics of teaching vocublary or grammar), autonomous learning, learning strategies and techniques, language awareness, motivation, and communicative and intercultural competence.
» Selected readings: Foreign language teaching
- Ahrens, Rüdiger, Bald, Wolf-Dietrich & Werner Hüllen, eds. (1995), Handbuch Englisch als Fremdsprache. Berlin: Erich Schmidt.
- Bach, Gerhard & Timm, Johannes-Peter, eds. (³2003), Englischunterricht. Grundlagen und Methoden einer handlungsorientierten Unterrichtspraxis. Tübingen: Francke.
- Bausch, Karl-Richard, Christ, Herbert & Krumm, Hans-Jürgen, eds. (2003), Handbuch Fremdsprachenunterricht. Tübingen: Francke.
- Celce-Murcia, Marianne, ed. (³2001), Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. Boston/MA: Heinle & Heinle.
- Celce-Murcia, Marianne & Larsen-Freeman, Diane (²1999), The Grammar Book: An ESL/EFL Teacher's Course. Stamford/CT: Heinle & Heinle.
- Gehring, Wolfgang (2004), Englische Fachdidaktik: Eine Einführung. Berlin: Erich Schmidt.
- Haß, Frank (2006), Fachdidaktik Englisch: Tradition - Innovation - Praxis. Stuttgart: Klett.
- Hinkel, Eli, ed. (2005), Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning. Mahwah/NJ: Erlbaum.
- Johnson, Keith (²2001), An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching. London: Longman.
- Klippel, Friederike & Doff, Sabine (2006), Englisch-Didaktik. Praxishandbuch für die Sekundarstufe I und II. Berlin: Cornelsen Scriptor.
- Müller-Hartmann, Andreas & Schocker-von Ditfurth, Marita (2006), Introduction to English Language Teaching. Stuttgart: Klett.
- Timm, Johannes-Peter, ed. (2001), Englisch lernen und lehren: Didaktik des Englischunterrichts. Berlin: Cornelsen.
- Weskamp, Ralf (2001), Fachdidaktik: Grundlagen und Konzepte. Berlin: Cornelsen.