PhD student at the Chair of Applied and English Linguistics (Faculty of Philosophy)

Stefan Maier

PhD Project

Motivation is not only a fascinating phenomenon for researchers and practitioners alike, but also a difficult one to define empirically. The multifaceted research on motivation has led to the development of numerous models and theories of it in foreign and second language learning (henceforth: L2 motivation), while producing relatively few studies on the effect of motivation in concrete foreign and second language pedagogical contexts. My research is concerned with examining the motivation of adult learners in two contexts – i. e. foreign language English classes at the upper secondary school level and C1 courses for German as a second language in adult education – at the Erfurt research site, focusing specifically on the effect of motivation in written language acquisition as well as the development of individual L2 motivation over time. The study's design is longitudinal and contrastive, thereby allowing comprehensive insights into the L2 motivation of adult learners from two hitherto relatively unexplored populations (see above), studying languages in the likewise rarely researched (East) German context. In addition, the study employs a methodology not yet used for research on L2 motivation and elaborates points of contact between German- and English-language L2 motivation research.

Curriculum Vitae


since 07/2022 Doctoral student

  • University of Erfurt, Germany
  • PhD project Motivation in L2 learning: A longitudinal study in different learning settings (supervised by Prof. Dr. Gila A. Schauer)

01/2022 Master of Education, Teaching degree for comprehensive secondary schools: English & German

  • TU Dresden
  • Master thesis Intention, action and outcome. A differentiated terminology for motivation in L2 contexts (German as a foreign language, supervised by Dr. Michael Dobstadt & Dr. Claudia Oechel-Metzner)

03/2017 Bachelor of Education, Teaching degree for primary and secondary schools: English & German

  • TU Dresden
  • Bachelor thesis The android as a character of reflection. Ash in the network of the Alien movie (Media studies & Modern German literature, supervised by Prof. Dr. Lars Koch & Dr. Tanja Prokic)

08/2007 – 07/2008 Foundation studies in Cultural and Social anthropology

University of Basel, Switzerland

06/2006 General university entrance qualification


09/2017 – 07/2019 DAAD Language Assistant

  • Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • also mentor for exchange students and tutors as part of the International Study and Training Partnership (funded by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD) between UN Yogyakarta and WWU Münster

since 03/2011 Freelance instructor for L2 English and L1 & L2 German

  • Sprachstudio & Lernstudio Dresden,
  • Aachener Sprachsommer (SprAachen gGmbH & FH Aachen),
  • various providers of integration courses (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, BAMF) in Erfurt and Dresden

11/2010 – 06/2017 Language classes for refugees

  • Deutscher Kinderschutzbund OV Dresden e. V.
  • trainer and, from 2015 onwards, program coordinator

08/2009 – 06/2010 Teacher (Ortslehrkraft) for L2 English and L1 & L2 German

  • Deutsche Schule Kiew, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • also tutor of high school classes 5 and 6



(2022). Sprachliches Reclaiming als gesellschaftliche Präventionsmaßnahme. Ein Beispiel aus dem DaZ-Literaturunterricht [Language reclaiming as a social prevention practice. An example from the L2-German literature class]. In J. Schmidt,  & J. Thiemann (Eds.), Reclaim! Postmigrantische und widerständige Praxen der Aneignung [Reclaim! Post-migrant and resistant practices of appropriation] (pp. 165-180), Berlin: Neofelis.

(2021). Ästhetik und Partizipation. Anregungen für den Deutschunterricht aus der Verbindung von DaZ-Forschung und Theaterpraxis [Aesthetics and participation. Suggestions for German lessons at the intersection of German as a foreign language research and theatre practice]. In J. Standke (Ed.), Drama und Theater der Gegenwart. Literarisches Lernen und ästhetische Bildung zwischen Textanalyse und Aufführungsrezeption [Drama and contemporary theatre. Literary learning and aesthetic education between text analysis and performance reception] (pp. 179-196), Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag.

(2020). [review on] Max Czollek (2018): Desintegriert euch! Kulturwissenschaftliche Zeitschrift, Perspektiven,

(2019). Zukünftige Selbstkonzepte von Fremdsprachenlernenden als Basis empirischer Motivationsforschung im DaF-Unterricht an der Hochschule [Foreign language learners’ future self-concepts as the basis of empirical motivational research in L2-German teaching in higher education]. Scientific Journal of German Language, Literature and Culture, 4 (4), 319-324.


Inwiefern kann sprachliches Reclaiming im L2-Unterricht als soziale Präventionsmaßnahme eingesetzt werden? [To what extent can linguistic reclaiming be used in L2 instruction as a social prevention practice?], Interdisciplinary conference Reclaim! Postmigrantische Diskurse der Aneignung [Reclaim! Post-migrant discourses of appropriation] (University of Hamburg, Germany), 18th September, 2020.

Datenerhebung in der Unterrichtsforschung DaF. Einige Beispiele aus Indonesien [Data collection in German as a foreign language teaching. Some examples from Indonesia], Series Webinare für Indonesische Germanisten [Webinars for Indonesian German studies scholars] (DAAD regional office Jakarta, Indonesia), 14th May, 2019.

Wie Studierende in Lerntagebüchern Auskunft über ihre Motivation geben – und wie sich diese Daten zur Aktionsforschung eignen [How students provide information about their motivation in learning journals – and how this data lends itself to action research], 4th International conference of the Indonesische Germanistenverband (UN Yogyakarta, Indonesia), 29th September, 2018.