Press releases of Europa-Universität Flensburg (EUF)

Birte Arendt (Greifswald) and Robert Langhanke (Flensburg) Receive 2023 Johannes-Sass Award

Researchers in Low German honored for publishing an anthology on Low German didactics

The 2023 Johannes-Sass Award has been awarded to Robert Langhanke of Europa-Universität Flensburg, and PD Dr. Birte Arendt of the University of Greifswald. Endowed with 2,000 euros, the prize was presented in a special ceremony during the 75th Bevensen-Tagung conference on September 17, 2023.

Prize for anthology on Low German Didactics

The two scholars received the award as the editors of the anthology Niederdeutschdidaktik. Grundlagen und Perspektiven zwischen Varianz und Standardisierung," published in the series "Regionalsprache und regionale Kultur. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern im ostniederdeutschen Kontext. Robert Langhanke from the EUF Department for Low German Language and Literature and their Didactics at the Institute for German Studies (Faculty II) expressed his gratitude in Low German: "Birte Arendt and I are both deeply pleased about the prize for the anthology on Low German didactics, and so are all the contributing authors. We are deeply thankful for this wonderful recognition of our work!" Speaking in Low German, Langhanke also highlighted the great potential of the subject by noting that "Plattdüütsch keen Grenzen setten, de nich sien möten, is dat Motto vun en moderne Spraakarbeit för Plattdüütsch" ["Setting no unnecessary boundaries for Low German is the motto of modern language work for Low German."]

16 interdisciplinary contributions

The volume's 16 interdisciplinary contributions address the teaching of Low German as a regional language in various educational institutions, comprehensively examining the subject from didactic, linguistic historical, and dialectological perspectives. Hailing from Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Berlin, and Saxony, the authors discuss standardization and orthography, clarify institutional contexts, and reflect on teaching materials and methods that support the progression towards a modern Low German didactics. They draw comparisons to other languages and outline future research fields for Low German instruction on an empirical and theoretical basis.

Modern Low German Didactics justified as a research field

The work addresses a pressing contemporary issue, gathering insights from various disciplines to offer a visionary academic contribution of supra-regional importance. While praxis-related, it also provides numerous suggestions for further academic research. With their anthology, PD Dr. Birte Arendt and Robert Langhanke have founded the academic field of modern Low German didactics.

The prize

The Johannes-Sass Prize honors scholarly works on Low German language and literature. Since 1986, it has been presented every three to five years during the Bevensen-Tagung (Low German  poets' conference), a longstanding and well-known event in Bad Bevensen.