Emphasis on the subject of 'German as a foreign language' has increased in formal schooling in recent years. Today, linguists are not the only ones to regard research on second-language acquisition as one of the most promising fields of inquiry in the discipline. However, the history and tradition of this subject area are still largely unexplored. The great importance of learning German goes back to early medieval times. Regular teacher's manuals have existed since the 15th century, with German language instruction in schools and textbooks for learners of German dating from the 16th century. This volume of readings address the questions of whether, to what extent, and in what ways vernacular German was taught and learned in the Middle Ages and the early modern period.
Helmut Glück ist Professor für Deutsche Sprachwissenschaft und Deutsch als Fremdsprache an der Universität Bamberg.