Faculty of EducationComenius University in Bratislava

Department of German Language and Literature

The Department of German Language and Literature offers a Bachelor's and Master's degree in German Language and Literature both as a single subject and in a two-subject combination as well as the study programme German Language in Intercultural and Transcultural Communication. Both can be completed as distance or presence studies. In addition, there is the possibility of a postgraduate course in the study programme Teaching German and a doctorate course in the study programme Didactics of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

The curriculum contains all relevant theoretical and practical concepts of teacher training and thus makes an important contribution to German studies abroad in Slovakia. The curriculum focuses on practical language seminars in which students acquire oral and written language competence in the areas of everyday communication and in the academic context. An essential part of the curriculum is also the regional studies of the German-speaking countries. The theoretical studies cover the three disciplines linguistics, literary studies and didactics.

In linguistics, our aim is to familiarize students with the latest findings in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicology, phraseology, the history of the German language, contrastive linguistics and stylistics of the German language. A systematic, theoretical, practice-oriented and comparative perspective is taken.

It is mainly about: an overview of the development of the German language from a diachronic, synchronous and systematic perspective, getting to know the most important research branches in the field of German linguistics, teaching linguistic terminology and its application, the characteristics of the current German language and its language levels and the acquisition of practical skills in the application of theoretical concepts to the German language.

Literary studies are based on older German literature and conclude with contemporary German-language literature. Literary studies focus on modern literature, methods of analysing literary texts and children's and youth literature.

During their studies, graduates receive a broad overview of the foreign language system necessary for the application of their theoretical knowledge in class. They build a relationship with the literature, history and current culture of the language they will teach in the future.

Our graduates are able to teach German at primary and secondary schools. The acquired communicative competence also enables them to work in other areas: as interpreters, translators, in the media, in publishing houses or in foreign companies, etc.

The study of German language and literature offers future teachers a deeper understanding of the problems and the development of linguistic and professional skills. The focus here is on communicative competence, which is a necessary prerequisite for working in the field of education. It is closely linked to the development of professional, personal and pedagogical skills, which form an integral part of the course.

The study programme German Language in Intercultural and Transcultural Communication is carried out in cooperation with several institutes, research centres and chairs of the Faculty of Education of the Comenius University in Bratislava (PdF UK). This study is primarily made possible by the Department of German Language and Literature PdF UK, which is part of the Institute for Philological Studies PdF UK. The department cooperates with the Department of English Language and Literature PdF UK, the Department of Slovak Language and Literature PdF UK and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures PdF UK. We also collaborate with the Department of Ethics and Civic Education as part of the Institute of Human Sciences and the Centre for Information Technologies PdF UK.

The graduates of the Bachelor's programme gain experience with culture, with the communication of cultural phenomena and with literature as one of the most important indicators of cultural specifics. Theoretical basics in the field of cultural studies are also acquired. This makes it possible to deal with concrete models and approaches to the study of cultures.

The graduates have language skills in the German language at level C1 and in the English language at level B2. They will be able to speak the third foreign language at level A1. In addition, they acquire the linguistic skills for translations from German into Slovak in the study programme.

Graduates of the Bachelor's programme acquire basic knowledge in the field of intercultural communication (different value orientation, way of thinking, interpretation and evaluation of culturally determined factors) and regional studies in constant confrontation with their own culture, which can be effectively used to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers. They will acquire knowledge of Germanic languages and cultures (German-speaking countries, Great Britain, Scandinavia, the Netherlands) as well as basic knowledge of the theory and history of translation. They will gain theoretical knowledge of the German and English language system and learn the linguistic terminology. At the same time they will master the methods of text analysis at meso and micro level and the ability to apply theoretical knowledge and analytical procedures.

Graduates are able to communicate formally in Slovak, German, English and in one of the Romance languages (French, Spanish or Italian) in oral and written form at a professional and non-technical level and they have the appropriate means of communication in the respective languages.
The graduates master the strategies of reading and listening comprehension of foreign language texts at the appropriate level. They have skills in literary and factual translation and comparative linguistics. They can translate and interpret from the target language into the target language.
On the labour market, the graduates assert themselves as intercultural mediators in state administration and self-government, as speakers in international institutions for the development of cultural and economic relations abroad, in non-profit organisations and in trade.

Graduates can work in several world languages in editorial, teaching and instructional areas. In companies, their translation skills can be applied as interpreters and translators. These enable work in the areas of marketing, advertising and sales.
Graduates receive first level training in the subject: 2. 1. 32 Foreign languages and cultures as part of the German Language in Intercultural and Transcultural Communication study programme.

In the Master's programme, which builds on the Bachelor's programme, graduates develop their linguistic and professional knowledge and skills on the basis of the previous programme.

The doctoral studies of the Didactics of Foreign Languages and Literatures study programme are conducted in cooperation with the Department of English Language and Literature. The aim of the doctoral programme is to acquire specialist knowledge in accordance with the current scientific status and to provide students with their own contribution as a result of their scientific research and individual work. Students receive third degree education. The course meets all current requirements of scientific research in the field of foreign language and literature didactics, which are currently required by teaching practice at schools of all types and levels of education in the Slovak Republic. The doctoral programme at the Faculty of Education of the Comenius University offers all the necessary prerequisites for its successful implementation through the personal supervision of doctoral students and the long tradition and experience of the educational institutions.

Since the beginning of the nineties, dissertation examinations and defenses of dissertations with a focus on the didactics of German and English language and literature studies have been carried out. In the last two decades, more than two dozen graduates have been awarded the titles CSc. and PhD. in the field of English and German studies according to valid conditions and in their chosen scientific disciplines (English or German studies).

The Department of German Language and Literature employs literary scholars, linguists, didactics and lecturers from abroad.