PhD German

Where and what did you study before you came to Germanic and Slavic Studies at University of Waterloo?Sara Marsh

I completed my four-year Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education) in 2010 at the University of Alberta, majoring in Social Studies and minoring in German as a Foreign Language. Later, when I wanted to continue with the study of German, I undertook the Master of Arts in Intercultural German Studies (IcGS) jointly offered by UW and the University of Mannheim, which involved one year abroad in Germany. I completed my degree in February of 2016 and worked for two years as a Sessional Instructor at the University of Alberta - Augustana and the University of Manitoba.

What are your interests in German Studies?

I am interested in applied linguistics and second language acquisition, specifically in the areas of second language pedagogy; computer assisted language learning; learner perceptions, anxiety, identity, and motivation; intercultural communication; and translingual communicative competence.

Why did you choose University of Waterloo?

I had already heard good things about UW from a friend of mine who took part years before in an exchange between UW and the Uni Mannheim, though I did not know much about the university at that time. Later, when I was looking at MA Programs in German, UW stood out for many reasons, not least of which were the cooperation with UM, the uniqueness of the IcGS program, the dual focus on both linguistics and cultural/media studies, and the excellent overall study support, resources, and opportunities offered to graduate students.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose to return to UW for my PhD for many of the same reasons mentioned above, in addition to the career and skills training support that is offered. I feel the dual focus is the best preparation for an academic career in German, and that having multiple perspectives in one department makes one a stronger teacher and researcher. The community at UW is also strong and the students and faculty support one another, which I very much appreciate. I am happy to be back in my old department once again, and eager to contribute to the field!

Do you already know what you want to write your thesis on?

I have not decided on a final topic, but I may continue on the topic of my Master's research, which was in the area of language pedagogy and computer assisted language learning. It was titled "The 'Immersive Experience' in Language Learning: Student Perceptions, Experiences, and Transitions between Online and On-Campus Learning Environments".

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At various times, I wanted to be a lumberjack, ballerina, horse farmer, marine biologist, forensic scientist, and army engineer ;)

What is something people wouldn't guess about you?

I have played the tuba since 2003 (and still play!) and after high school I almost enrolled in the Canadian Military as a commissioned officer in the ROTP program. Later, I volunteered for five years as a Band Officer with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet program, and after my bachelor I worked for a time in government administration.

smarsh@uwaterloo.ca

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo

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