Michelle Smith at Uni Flensburg

Lecturer for Practical English
Seminar für Anglistik & Amerikanistik
Institüt für Sprache, Literatur, & Medien

FOR STUDENTS: To send me an email or set up an appointment to see me, visit my ScheduleOnce page.

Theatre in English!

Come join Dr Smith onstage or backstage in one-acts or short plays! Offered every semester and is open to everyone (course credit may be available for certain students). Email Dr Smith for more information.

Practical English Courses at Uni Flensburg

Winter Semester

Summer Semester

English Grammar (BA-1)

Pronunciation (BA-2)

This course is aimed at fostering the grammatical competence necessary for future English teachers, writers, or editors. The course provides opportunities for practice that are geared to helping students navigate the intricacies of advanced grammatical structures: tenses, aspect, mood, irregular verbs etc.

Exercises, activities and explanations are designed to assist students in identifying advanced grammatical errors and areas of interference between English and German in order to foster the linguistic competence students need to make informed judgments on language produced by themselves and others – whether in order to fix a poorly translated website or to explain grammar points in the classroom.

English is a tricky language! Unlike German, there is no one-to-one correlation between the way a word is spelled and the way it is pronounced. To make things worse, different regions can have completely different ways of pronouncing some words!

The goal of this Pronunciation course is not to teach you the “right” way to pronounce English (for no such beast exists!) but rather to minimize the interference of your mother tongue and work toward a clear, understandable “minimal accent” English that will help you not only in travel to English-speaking countries but also in your future career, especially if your plan is to teach English.

Writing Skills (BA-3)

Translation (BA-4)

In this course, you will learn techniques for efficient and effective academic writing in English, covering these four main areas:

Typical structure for common English essay types

English academic papers are organized differently than German ones – there is more than just the language that is different! Focus here is on the elements of academic writing in English.

Laying out an effective argument

We will look at how an argument is organized and presented in English, from the macro level (the whole paper) to the micro level (individual sentence structure).

Presenting your argument clearly

We will discuss word choice and collocations, idiomatic language, and the language of rhetoric in English.

Elements of style

Here we will explore the principles of academic style in English, and help you develop your own English-specific academic style. 

This course focuses on the translation of a variety of texts from German into English, and is an opportunity to develop text-production skills and an awareness of “natural” English text flow. We will focus both on the “how” and the “why” of translation, covering a variety of translation issues including cultural differences, genre, idiomatic expression, and the balance of freedom and accuracy in successful translation. 

As focus is on both theoretical and practical issues in translation, the course will consist of a combination of theoretical discussion and hands-on work (in and outside of class).

Oral Communication (BA-5)

By far, the most difficult aspect of a foreign language is its day-to-day use: understanding – and being understood by – other speakers. Proficiency in oral communication involves not only the mechanics of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, but also the ability to follow and participate in conversations on a variety of topics in real time, as they happen. This is not possible when you spend your time mentally translating into German, formulating a response, then re-translating back into English – the conversation will be somewhere else entirely! The focus of this course is simply talking. Talking a lot, about a lot of different things.

During the first two sessions, I will lead the activities. After that, you will be in charge. Each week a small group of students will have their chance to keep the discussion going for the 1 ½ hours of class time. What will we do during class? That’s up to you!