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Dr. Jean Conacher


Jean Conacher is Senior Lecturer in German within the School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics and an active member of the Centre for Applied Language Studies at the University of Limerick.

Her research interests include GDR Studies, literature and film in post-unification Germany, and language-in-education policy, pedagogy and practice. She welcomes enquiries from potential postgraduate students in any of these areas. Recent supervisions include Clive Earls's doctoral study of English-medium degree programmes in Germany (PhD awarded 2013) which was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2016.

publications include
Perceptions and Perspectives: Exploring Connections between Ireland and the GDR (ed. with Gisela Holfter and Deirdre Byrnes, 2019), German Reunification and the Legacy of GDR Literature and Culture (ed. with Deirdre Byrnes and Gisela Holfter, 2018), and Intercultural Contact, Language Learning and Migration (ed. with Barbara Geraghty, Bloomsbury, 2014). A monograph entitled Transformation and Education in the Literature of the GDR was published by Camden House in January 2020.

Research Interests

GDR Studies; literature and film in post-unification Germany; language-in-education policy, pedagogy and practice; new language-learning environments

If you are interested in collaborative projects and/or postgraduate supervision in any of the above areas, please contact me at

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests are wide-ranging and research-informed.

Within German Studies, I teach language, literature and culture across a range of modules, with a particular interest in GDR Studies, 20th & 21st century literature and applied language studies (grammar in context, translation and interpreting).

At postgraduate level within Teacher Education, I am centrally involved in the teaching of language pedagogy (particularly target-language teaching, learner autonomy and syllabus & planning for the language classroom) for students on the Professional Masters in Education (Languages).

Professional Activities


  • 2018 Institute of Linguists - Diploma in Translation
  • 1991 University of Aberdeen - Ph.D.
  • 1986 University of Aberdeen - Master of Arts


  • 2009 Member, Committee for Modern Language, Literary and Cultural Studies, Royal Irish Academy
  • 2008 Co-Chair, Association of Third-Level Teachers of German in Ireland (ATLTGI)
  • 2007 Committee Member (co-opted), Association of Third-Level Teachers of German in Ireland (ATLTGI)
  • 1997 ordinary member, German Studies Association of Ireland (formerly ATLTGI)
  • 1990 Member, Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland


  • 2000 Scottish CILT, University of Stirling - Research & Development Fellow
  • 1996 University of Limerick - Senior Lecturer in German
  • 1991 University of Limerick - Lecturer in German
  • 1990 University of Limerick - Assistant Lecturer in German
  • 1988 University of Aberdeen - Demonstrator, Department of German
  • 1986 Wilhelm-Pieck-Universität, Rostock, GDR - Gastlektorin für Englisch


  • 1986 - Douglas Yates Prize for German Translation
  • 1983 - DAAD Scholarship (German Academic Exchange Service)


  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Portuguese



Book Chapter


The Enduring Legacy of GDR Literature and Culture: An Introduction
Conacher, JE;Byrnes, D.;Holfter, G.
German Reunification and the Legacy of GDR Literature and Culture


Language Learning: Communicating in the Contact Zone
Geraghty, B;Conacher, JE
Intercultural Contact, Language Learning and Migration


Migration and Language Contact
Conacher, JE;Geraghty, B.
Intercultural Contact, Language Learning and Migration


Introduction: Approaching Migration, Intercultural Contact and Language Learning
Geraghty, B;Conacher, JE
Intercultural Contact, Language Learning and Migration


Geraghty, B;Conacher, JE
Intercultural Contact, Language Learning and Migration.


Migration and Contact: Community and Individual Experience
Conacher, JE;Geraghty, B
Intercultural Contact, Language Learning and Migration


Internet and Language Learning
Conacher, JE; Royall, F.
Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning


New learning environments: holistic approach or challenge?
Conacher, JE
Holistic Approaches to Language Learning


Laying good foundations: the language resource centre as meeting-place of policy, pedagogical theory and practice
Conacher, JE; Murphy, S
ICT and Language Learning: Integrating Pedagogy and Practice


New language learning and teaching environments: How does ICT fit in?
Conacher, JE; Taalas, P; Vogel, T
ICT and Language Learning: Integrating Pedagogy and Practice


Meeting half way: An exploration of intercultural exchanges
Penman, C; Conacher, JE
Interkulturelles und transkulturelles Lernen im Fremdsprachenunterricht


Helga Königsdorf
Conacher, JE
Encyclopedia of German Literature


LSP research as a basis for classroom applications
Conacher, J.E.;Royall, F.
Issues in Languages for Specific Purposes: Theoretical Approaches and Practical Applications.


The learner's diary: (Self)reflections on the language learning process
Conacher, JE
Ab initio Language Learning. A Guide to Good Practice in Universities and Colleges


Native Speaker to Native Speaker: Crossing the Translation Gap
Conacher, JE
Teaching Translation in Universities. Present and Future Perspectives


Pressing for change: the case of Helga Königsdorf
Conacher, JE
Women and the Wende: Social Effects and Cultural Reflections of the German Unification Process.

Conference Contribution


Edited Book

Other Journal


Zur Optimierung des ERASMUS-Studienaufenthalts im englischsprachigen Raum
Zeitschrift für Beratung und Studium


Peer Reviewed Journal


Transformation and Education in GDR Youth Literature: A Script Theory Approach
Conacher, JE
International Research in Children's Literature DOI: 10.3366/ircl.2016.0183

Published Report


Assessment of Achievement Programme First Survey of Modern Languages (French and German) 2001
McPake, J., Conacher, J.E., Johnstone, R., Thorpe, G. and S. Kirk,