Wörter des Jahres (Umwelt-spezifisch) für Deutschland [Environmental (Non-)Words of the Year]


Enrich the German language classroom with an authentic practice that is as much linguistic as it is cultural! This project takes as its starting point “(Non-)Words of the Year,” chosen by committees in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Those words capture the public discourse and tackle terms from politics, pop culture, and–increasingly–the environment. Instructors can guide students in researching, contextualizing, and comparing these words to similar concepts in their language(s). As a creative extension, a class might select its own “(Non-)Words of the Year.” The instructor can cater to different learner levels by adjusting the scaffolding.


Julia Ludewig

Julia Ludewig is Associate Professor of German at the World Languages and Cultures Department at Allegheny College where she teaches all levels of language, literature, and culture classes. Her research focuses on comics and graphic novels, language pedagogy, and the environmental humanities.

She is integrating the more-than-human world in her teaching and research. She has taught several community engaged writing classes on plants, a historical survey called “German Environmentalisms,” and co-led an experiential learning seminar to Germany on the theme of sustainability. A graphic essay on the intersection between comics and climate psychology will appear in Sequentials. She also advocates for climate action in her professional organizations and her small northwestern Pennsylvania hometown.

More from this author