Lienhard Legenhausen

Lienhard Legenhausen
University of Münster


Biographical information

Lienhard Legenhausen received his PhD from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 1974. He wrote his thesis on Error Analysis and Evaluation (Berlin, 1975). A year later he became a professor of English and Applied Linguistics at the University of Düsseldorf. It was here that he carried out research projects on Computer-Assisted Language Learning together with Dieter Wolff. In 1992 he accepted an offer from the University of Münster, where he was responsible for Language Pedagogy and Second Language Acquisition Research. His main research interests include technology-enhanced language learning and the analysis of learner languages. Together with Leni Dam he started the research project Language Acquisition in an Autonomous Learning Environment (LAALE) in 1992. Since 2006 Lienhard Legenhausen has been a professor emeritus, but also a visiting professor to Cherkasy University (Ukraine).




Plenary talk: Classroom research in autonomous language learning

The principles of learner-centred approaches in foreign language classes are widely accepted by researchers and practitioners alike. However, when it comes to practical issues of implementing these principles systematically – say – in the autonomous classroom, then a host of skeptical voices can be heard. How can learners, for instance, acquire the grammatical structures without being explicitly taught? What is needed here is empirical research which can convincingly demonstrate that learners do develop grammatical and communicative competencies in the autonomy classroom. The talk will go into the problems of carrying out such research and report on the findings of the LAALE project (Language Acquisition in an Autonomous Learning Environment). In this research project the linguistic development of a Danish class of mixed ability learners was systematically observed over a period of four years.


Workshop: The autonomous classroom – where does grammar come in?

Coordinator: G. Berton

Discussions on the place of grammar have been with us since the beginnings of institutionalised language teaching. However, research findings are inconclusive in view of the multitude of general approaches to foreign language teaching/learning, and different concepts of how to deal with grammar. This led DeKayser (1998) to the following summary of the state of play: “The vast majority of publications since the early 1990s support the idea that some kind of focus on form is useful to some extent, for some forms, for some students, at some point in the learning process”.

According to the principles of autonomous language learning, explicit grammar instruction is not considered very helpful, and needs to be replaced by awareness-raising which draws the learners’ attention also to the forms of the target language. In the workshop we will try to explore ways in which this goal might be achieved.


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