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Franziska Lys


B.A., M.A.,University of Rochester; Ph.D., Northwestern University
Curriculum Vitae

Professor Lys’ research is concerned with the application and evaluation of the effectiveness of media-related and technological innovations to improve the learning of foreign languages. Between 1987 and 2002,  Dr. Lys has been collaborating with Dr. William Anthony on the production of various educational documentaries. They have produced and directed Drehort: Neubrandenburg (On location in Neubrandenburg; 1991) a documentary about the lives of the people in a former East German town, AZUBI (Three Apprentices in Berlin, 1994) a documentary about the apprenticeship system in Germany, Drehort Bern, Gesichter einer Stadt (On location in Bern, faces of a city; 1997) a documentary about people in the city of Berne, Switzerland, and Drehort: Neubrandenburg 2002 (On location in Neubrandenburg; 2004), an update to the original film documenting the lives of the people in Neubrandenburg ten years after the Wende. Professor Lys has been developing and testing, among others, multi-media language software using her own documentary materials. She has developed Drehort: Neubrandenburg Interaktiv, an interactive online learning environment for German, Azubi: Interaktiv, and Intermatik, an interactive online grammar and culture software for intermediate German. She has received major grants, about 16 in the last 12 years alone ($ 110,000 internal funds and $ 25,000 external funds) for her current research which deals with the introduction of new technologies such as iPhones and iPads to improve language learning and teaching.

Dr. Lys has published a wide variety of material discussing the benefits of second language acquisition, computer-assisted language instruction, and active learning in volumes such as Task-Based Instruction in Foreign Language Education: Principles and Practices, Body and Language Intercultural Learning Through Drama, Schnittstellen: Lehrwerke zwischen alten und neuen Medien, Computer-Enhanced Learning: Vignettes of the Best Practice from America's Most Wired Campuses, Fremdsprachen Lehren und Lernen, Technology for Language Learning: Faculty authored Libra Courseware, and in the following journals: "CALICO", "Die Unterrichtspraxis", "IDV-Magazine", "GFL-Journal", and "Language Learning & Technology".

Dr. Lys is an internationally recognized expert in the integration of culture in the language classroom. Dr. Lys has taught two advanced classes on the refugee situationn in the world with specific emphasis on the integration of refugees in Germany. In 2017, she brought twelve students to Germany to research and interview Syrian refugees including visiting a refugee camp in Berlin where students volunteered for two days. The student-produced web project on their experiences in Berlin is called Notunterkunft. Her pedagogical goals for this project are expressed in this video.

Selected Works

Edited Volumes

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • “From a Divided to a Unified Germany.” In VIRTUAL WALLS: Political Unification and Cultural Difference in Contemporary Germany. Boydell and Brewer, Rochester, NY; Woodbridge, Suffolk. 2017. (Co-authored with Michael Dreyer)
  • "Using Web Technology to Promote Writing, Analytical Thinking, and Creative Expression in German." In Task-Based Instruction in Foreign Language Education: Principles and Practices. (Eds. Betty Lou Leaver and Jane G. Willis). Georgetown University Press. 2004. 228 –253.
  • "Performing Brecht: From Theory To Practice." In Body and Language Intercultural Learning Through Drama. ABLEX Series: Advances in Foreign and Second Language Pedagogy. (Ed. by Gerd Braeuer). Emory University. 2002. 207-232.
  • Interaktives Video: neue Potentiale für den Fremdsprachenunterricht. Methodisch-Didaktische Überlegungen und praktische Beispiele. In Schnittstellen: Lehrwerke zwischen alten und neuen Medien. Cornelsen Verlag, Berlin. 2001. 154-171.
  • Using Technology to Increase Writing. In Computer-Enhanced Learning: Vignettes of the Best Practice from America's Most Wired Campuses. (Ed. David G. Brown). Anker Publishing Company, Inc. Bolton, MA. 2000. 250-253.