Didactics of German as a School Subject


Abb: Goethe lesend. Federzeichnung von J.W.H. Tischbein, 1786/87. Hier aus: Goethe. Seine äußere Erscheinung. Literarische und künstlerische Dokumente seiner Zeitgenossen. Hg. V. Emil Schaeffer u. Jörn Göres. Frankfurt a.M. u. Leipzig: Insel Verlag 1999, S. 90

„The good folks do not even know how great a deal of time and effort it requires to learn to read and to benefit from what one has read; it took me 80 years.“ 
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

A particular ambition of the Didactics of German is to reduce the amount of time required to learn how to read as much as possible. Students should not have to spend 80 years mastering the skill the way Goethe claims to have done.  This objective must be based on solid research concerning the classroom as the field of activity and also the special characteristics of German as a school subject. Therefore, educational science, (empirical) social studies and psychology are among the most important academic fields of reference alongside German studies.


Of course, Didactics of German does not only include scientific research and modelling regarding the acquisition of reading skills, but also the language-specific skills of writing, speaking, and listening as well as language awareness. Although all of these areas refer to language usage and proficiency in various media, the subject has been internally divided into Language Didactics on the one hand and Didactics of Literature on the other, with Media Didactics recently developing and becoming the third branch.


Universität Innsbruck
Institut für Fachdidaktik
Didaktik des Unterrichtsfachs Deutsch
Innrain 52d, 8. Stock
A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johannes Odendahl
T +43 512 507 43070
F +43 512 507 9841

Office hours:
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Mag. Sigrid Hauser
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