German Studies encompasses the study of the German language and literature, as well as teaching and learning the German language as a mother tongue or a foreign language. It is comprised of the sub-disciplines literature studies, linguistics, didactics, German as a foreign language, and medieval studies (German language and literature in the middle ages and the early modern period).
German Studies is a very popular subject at the University of Oldenburg. Out of 16,000 students, 2,000 have opted for German Studies, of which the larger part intend to qualify as teachers.
The focus of research includes literary studies, especially literature from around 1800 (Hölderlin, Kleist, the reception of Faust), modern and post-modern literature, children's and youth literature from the enlightenment to the present, including children's media (picture books, film), as well as literary theory and issues relating to gender and cultural studies. Research focuses in Medieval Studies include historical witnesses to the Minnesingers, the medieval literary tradition in East Prussia, the correspondence of the Brothers Grimm and the history of German Studies as a discipline. Research focuses in linguistics include linguistic systems, and at this time especially graphemics, or the German writing system, as well as morphology. Another research focus concerns variations of intonation in High German, Low German, Dutch, and Saterland Frisian. The linguistics section has also integrated the topic 'Low German and Saterland Frisian' into its teaching and research (http://www.niederdeutsch.uni-oldenburg.de/index.html
). The German as a Foreign Language component focuses on the relationship between state monolingualism and societal multilingualism, as well as, in cooperation with Intercultural Education, problems with intercultural communication in teaching German.