An Integrated View of Language Development

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Petra Burmeister, Thorsten Piske, Andreas Rohde (Eds.)

An Integrated View of Language Development, Papers in Honor of Henning Wode

ISBN 978-3-88476-488-6, ISBN 3-88476-488-8, 510 S., kt., € 40,00 (2002)


Henning Wode was born in Elmshorn, Northern Germany, on 19 February 1937. He studied English and PE in Hamburg and Freiburg from 1957 to 1962. From 1963 to 1964 he worked as an assistant professor at Freiburg University. In 1964, a scholarship from the British Council led him to Edinburgh University, where he studied phonetics. Back at Freiburg University, he received his doctorate in 1965. Three years later, in 1968, Henning Wode finished his postdoctoral thesis on linguistic aspects of Parkinsonism. The following year he was appointed Professor of English Linguistics at Kiel University, where he has remained since. In the 1980s and 90s several guest professorships brought him to Australia, Canada, Russia, and South Africa. Since the late 1960s, Wode's pronounced research aim has been an integrated theory of language acquisition. "For any profound understanding of man's ability to learn language", he stated in his 1981 classic Learning a Second Language, "it would be necessary to adopt a new approach by integrating what is known about the various types of language acquisition – such as L1, L2, pathological language acquisition, classroom foreign language teaching, etc." Much of his work in the 1970s and early 1980s was based on a large corpus of L2 acquisition data he had gathered during a six-month stay in California with his four then 4- to 9-year-old children. In relating these data to other acquisitional types he was able to identify processes underlying language learning in general. In the late 1980s, Wode set out for two projects that should define the scope of his work to this day: In 1989, along with Ursula Pieper, he conducted an extensive project on early phonological development, funded by the German Science Foundation. At about the same time, in the wake of European integration, he became fascinated with the idea of supporting immersion programs to promote multilingualism. In the Kiel Project on Immersion and Bilingual Education, Henning Wode put his insights into language acquisition to bilingual classroom practice and along with a research team of students and collaborators, he not only gathered and evaluated a wealth of data from bilingual programs in secondary schools, but also in preschools and elementary schools. This volume in honor of Henning Wode's 65th birthday collects contributions from internationally renowned scholars as well as his students.