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Abstracts for the presentations

Plenary Talks | Plenarvorträge

European identities in discourse: conceptual frameworks and analytical tools

Franco Zappettini (University of Liverpool)

The talk focuses on the discursive articulation/enactment of Europeanness and other identities and on the conceptual and analytical tools whereby we can make sense of these subject positions.

Following a general Critical Discourse Studies orientation, Zappettini will highlight the different linguistic, historical, cultural and socio-political frameworks that one needs to bring together when ‘searching’ for European identities. He will illustrate his approach to the exploration of identities in discourse by drawing from his recent monograph (Zappettini, 2019) based on an ethnographic study he conducted with members of a grassroots European civic association.

Zappettini will suggest that members’ identification with Europe as a political and cultural community of relevance is largely driven by spatial metaphors and topoi associated with transnational and even cosmopolitan views of society that do not necessarily reproduce institutional discourses or taken for granted categories of nationhood. In this sense, members often problematised and dismantled national identities while their relationality vis-à-vis Europeanness was reimagined along polycentric and ‘glocalised’ logics. This should invite us to consider the pitfalls of adopting ‘methodological nationalism’ when investigating European identities bottom-up.

Zappettini, F. (2019). European Identities in Discourse: A Transnational Citizens' Perspective. Bloomsbury: London

The European question in times of crisis

Jan Ifversen (Aarhus University)

European history is full of questions. The Jewish question goes far back. The national question made the headlines from the beginning of the nineteenth century. The twentieth century raised the women question. After WWII, many people saw the European question as a way out of future catastrophes. Answering this question involves taking issue with European-ness or European identity including the role of Europe’s different pasts.  Some of these pasts have acquired an almost official status within European memory, some not. Holocaust and the crimes of communism have played an important role in healing or even (re-)founding Europe. Other pasts, and in particular, colonialism have been repressed or even removed from contemporary European history. With the so-called refugee and migration crisis, the specter of colonial Europe is haunting Europe again. It challenges the existing motto of Europe, unity in diversity, the official answer to the European question. Europe’s migrant crisis re-opens the European question of how to manage diversity. Structurally speaking, the migrant question is similar to the Jewish question. We see different attempts to come up with European answers. Some speak of defending European cultures from intruders; others speak of Europe’s universal mission: I will propose to look at Europe as always formed by a transnational challenge linked to migration.

EurEd-insights: Methods, results and perspectives | EurEd-Einblicke: Methoden, Ergebnisse und Perspektiven

Methodical approaches to the digital analysis of educational media | Methoden der digitalen Analyse von Bildungsmedien

Eckhard Bick (University of Southern Denmark), Katja Gorbahn (Aarhus University), Heike Zinsmeister (Hamburg University), Nina Kalwa (Technical University Darmstadt)

Modern educational media, such as textbooks, construct meaning through language in a multi-modal learning environment. An analysis of the construction of Europe and the nation in texts meets the challenge that the amount of relevant text can be considerable, but usually does not meet the criteria of size for larger scale statistical processes as required in corpus analysis. To meet this challenge, the paper presents and discusses methodical approaches to the digital analysis of medium-sized text, taking into account the specific problems connected with this type of data and focusing on the interconnectedness of Europe and the nation.

In a first step, we will present methodological approaches that can help to get insight in the characteristics of the data. Then, we will demonstrate how to explore the constructions of Europe and the nation, focusing on search terms, the identification of patterns, the use of grammatical information and on visualization as a heuristic tool. On this basis, we will describe some possibilities for the identification of identity constructions. Concluding, we will discuss the potential and the limits of our approach and identify the functions it can perform. Among the methodical approaches that we will discuss are the analysis of word frequencies, keyword analysis, n-grams, topic modelling, analysis of concordances, collocation analysis, word sketches and network analysis. In our presentation, we will present examples generated with different tools, including Corpus Eye, AntConc, Voyant Tools and Sketch Engine. We will focus on Danish and German language data.

Europe, the Own Nation and Germany in Current Swiss, Danish and German Textbooks | Europa, die eigene Nation und Deutschland in aktuellen Lehrmitteln aus der Schweiz, Dänemark und Österreich

Markus Furrer (University of Teacher Education Lucerne), Katja Gorbahn (Aarhus University)

The paper analyses the construction of Europe and the nation in history textbooks from Switzerland, Denmark and Germany. Particular attention is paid to the role of Germany as big neighbour state of both Denmark and Switzerland. Thus, the paper will discuss the influence of small state identity on the construction of Europe.

We explore digital methods of text analysis, using tools such as AntConc, Voyant Tools and Sketch Engine, and will focus on questions such as the following: How are images of Europe, Switzerland / Denmark and Germany intertwined? How inclusive or excluding is the construction of Europe? How is the European and the national dimension constructed through language? Does the Europeanization of narratives mean that the nation is understood as a European country and perceived as a historical actor? To what extent does Europeanisation create a reference to global history? How important is the political dimension within the framework of representations of and about Europe? Are different forms of integration represented and in what context are they told? What is the role of Germany? To what extent serves Germany (during and after the Cold War) as a contextual benchmark?

We present selected results from a collaboration between Markus Furrer, Thomas Hellmuth (University of Vienna) and Katja Gorbahn and will discuss current history textbooks for lower secondary schools from German-speaking Switzerland ("Time Travel"; "Societies in Change"), Denmark (“History”) and Germany (“Time travel”). As a next step, Austrian books will be included in the analysis.

”Der tales meget om EU i Danmark!” - Concepts of {EUROPA} and {DANMARK} in Textbooks for Danish as a Foreign Language. | ”Der tales meget om EU i Danmark!” - Konzepte von {EUROPA} und {DANMARK} in Lehrbüchern für Dänisch als Fremdsprache.

Katja Bethke-Prange (Kiel University)

Since Byram (1997/2002/2009) the competence in intercultural communication became one of the main goals in foreign language acquisition in classrooms and textbooks all over Europe and a basic topic in curricula for foreign language teaching on a European level as well as on a national level. The ability not only to talk to other people in their languages, but also to be aware of their specific ways of living and thinking seems to be deeply connected with foreign language acquisition.

In general, intercultural contact is influenced by a stereotyped perception. Stereotypes as categorical makers make the complex process of cultural contact easier and have a huge impact in the ways people look on and react to one another. But where do all these stereotypes come from? Besides most of them are learned unconsciously during first-language-acquisition, some of them can be discovered or rediscovered in textbooks for foreign language acquisition, where they supposed to be part of the reservoir of intercultural knowledge and by that confirm the language-learner’s opinion of the people and the country.

Even though the northern part of Germany always has been strongly connected to Denmark – even been a part of the Danish empire once - there still can be found stereotypical opinions on both. Not only of each other, but also of the relationship to each other and to the European Union in public discourse as well as in the textbooks as an important part of this discourse. How are these concepts linguistically realized? How are they integrated in the didactical concepts of a textbook for foreign language acquisition?

To answer that this approach concentrates on concepts of {EUROPE} and {DENMARK} in German textbooks for Danish as a foreign language. The textbooks chosen for this analysis are Dansk for os (1994), Mere Dansk for os (1998), Det er Dansk (2008) all of them published by the Danish section of the institution for qualitydevelopment in schools. The analysed curriculum is designed by the Danish section and published by the ministry of education of Schleswig-Holstein in order to the European standards for foreign language teaching (2018).

To get a linguistic access to these concepts in textbooks a corpus linguistic analysis of a concordance built of the textbooks has been carried out and the lemmas {EUROP-}, {DANSK}, {TYSK} as the abbreviation {EU} and the lexemes {DANMARK} and {TYSKLAND} as part of stereotypical predications have been operationalized and analysed in relation to their frequency as well as to their specific co-occurrences in the given concordance. After that the same procedure has been carried out with the items in korpus.dk as a corpus of reference.

In result all the hits show a tendency towards stereotypical predication. Whether they are auto-, hetero-, or meta-stereotypes of type I or II (Thiele 2015).  The patterns of the co-occurrences show that the national and the European concepts reflect each other. All this is embedded in several chapters of the textbooks, where grammar-teaching is combined with facts about the Danish society, the country itself and stereotypes from both sides of the boarder.

So, this analysis could show, that textbooks in second language acquisition have a hug impact of the way learners built and confirm their stereotypical idea of the country and people which language they are supposed to learn.

Concepts of Europe and the Refugee Discourse in Danish and German Social Media | Europakonzepte und der Flüchtlingediskurs in dänischen und deutschen sozialen Medien

Eckhard Bick (University of Southern Denmark)

At first glance, Denmark and Germany, size aside, appear to be very similar countries in both economical, social and cultural terms, and often rank similarly in international comparisons1. However, possibly because size does matter and small fears large, both attitudes and politics with regard to Europe and the EG/EU have been distinctly different in these two countries since the early days of the European integration project, with Denmark exhibiting a marked, albeit differentiated, euroscepticism (Sørensen 2004), manifesting itself with close-call referendums, footnotes, exceptions, a 40-year-old Leave party with EP representation and popular slogans like "Holger og konen siger nej til unionen"2, while the big German-French axis more consistently tended to view European integration as a peace project with shared values.

In this vein, political Europe used to exist in the Danish consciousness and the Danish media mostly as a pragmatic necessity to be largely ignored - with the exception of the recurring sovereignty referendums. However, on the background of Brexit, Trump and the refugee/immigrant crisis, times appear to be a-changing. Over a period of a few years, European issues have started to be a natural part of the daily media discourse, and a majority now perceives political Europe more as part of the solution than part of the problem. Arguably, a nascent European identity is also being strengthened, albeit "via negationis", by distancing ourselves from American politics, totalitarian regimes or African economies. In the research presented here we will try to document these tendencies as well as the traditional, negative Danish narrative in two mainstream social media, Facebook and Twitter, identifying and exemplifying competing conceptualizations of Europe and the EU. Because only 34% of Danes (47% of Germans) with populist views trust the news media (Pew Research Center 2018), we expect social media to be a better source for populist stereotypes than main stream media.

We employ various corpus-linguistic methods on an a corpus of public posts, tweets and comments spanning a 1.5 year period from late 2017 to early 2019, and we will try to compare Danish findings to corresponding German data. The working hypothesis is here, that the refugee/migrant crisis, and possibly Brexit, has provoked an identity discourse, in both countries, not only in terms of nationality and ethnicity, but also with regard to what people perceive as "European". That said, significant and interesting differences can be found between Danish and German European stereotypes. Thus, for some, the historical Danish German-fearing narrative is being "raised" and translated into a Europe- fearing narrative. Little Red Riding Hood going to be eaten by the big wolf world. For Germany, a conflict can be observed between two narratives - one of historical guilt and anti-nationalism with a strong pro-European sentiment and another one of knowing better how to run things and resenting having to share with lazy cousins.

The social media corpus was built at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) as part of an ongoing hate speech project, XPEROHS ("Experiencing and Perceiving Online Hate-Speech)3 and has its main focus on the minority discourse. In both the Danish and German Facebook parts, due to data harvesting constraints, this is reflected in the choice of FB pages (media, political parties and a few public figures), while the Twitter data were harvested using highly frequent search words and represent a more neutral and almost complete cross section for the period in question. The corpora were grammatically annotated with the DanGram (Danish) and GerGram (German) parsers4, and can be searched for lemma, part-of-speech, inflexion and syntactic functions5. In addition, there is some "nonverbal" annotation (emojis/smileys) and a semantic classification for common and proper nouns, as well as - for Danish - verbs and adjectives, the latter including sentiment polarity.

Using measures like relative frequency and mutual information, it is possible to map potential concept features linguistically, for instance as adjective or predicative collocates (to identify typical attributes) or subject/agent or object/patient relations to typical verbs (to identify typical roles). Similarly, the generalizing, including or excluding use of pronouns (all, /you, our/your), as well as n-gram frequencies can help to identify stereotypes and identification/othering processes. While quantitative evaluation is inherent to some of these techniques, because they are based on statistical salience or mathematical models, quantitative findings are not the main objective, and in many cases, we used corpus annotation simply to facilitate inspection and exploration of a billion-word corpus in a qualitative fashion. Thus, our primary goal was to identify concepts rather than quantifying them. Among others, the following could be found in our data: "Europe as Bruxelles: Bueaucratic, meddling and distant", "Europe as embattled fortress being run over by barbaric hordes", "Europe as evil empire" or "United States of Europe", "Europe as a value project" etc.

As a supplement to traditional corpus inspection and collocation studies, we also draw upon (neural) word embeddings to delineate the contextual semantics of words like "Europe" and "EU", using the word2vec Model (Mikolov et al.). For each target word (or lemma), this method calculates a vector in a multi-dimensional space, where the dimensions are hundreds or thousands of co-occurring or dependency-linked content words. Vector distances can then be used to examine conceptual aspects, and to compare Danish and German data. For instance, the terms "Europe" and "EU" can be interpreted as more synonymous in one language than the other, if their vector distance is smaller. Similarly, we can examine the hypothesis that Danes view the EU as a kind of extended Germany by comparing the vector distance EU-Germany with that for other countries. As far as concepts can be reduced to a prototypical term, or a set of potential synonyms, these words can be used as proxies for vector distance measurements. Thus, the technique allows us to determine if "Europe" is conceptualized as a place/location or rather as a country/state by looking at the vector distances between the term itself and individual or generic country words on the one hand, and prototypical place words on the other.


  • Abadi, Martin et al. (2016). TensorFlow: A system for large-scale machine learning. In: Proceedings of the 12th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 16). pp 265- 283.
  • Baumgarten et al. (2019, forthcoming). Towards Balance and Boundaries in Public Discourse: Expressing and Perceiving Online Hate Speech (XPEROHS). In: RASK 48. SDU: Odense.
  • Mikolov, T., Sutskever, I., Chen, K., Corrado, G. S., & Dean, J. (2013). Distributed representations of words and phrases and their compositionality. In Advances in neural information processing systems - Proceedings of NIPS 2013. pp. 3111–3119.
  • Mitchell, Amy et al. (2018). In Western Europe, Public Attitudes Toward News Media More Divided by Populist Views Than Left-Right Ideology.
  • Pew Research Center (2018). In Western Europe, Public Attitudes Toward News Media More Divided by Populist Views  Than Left-Right Ideology. Online report, accessed 1. June 2019: [www.journalism.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2018/05/PJ_2018.05.14_Western-Europe_FINAL.pdf]
  • Sørensen, Catharina (2004). Danish and British Euroscepticism Compared: A Sceptical Assessment of the Concept. Danish Institute for International Studies Working Paper 2004/25. DIIS: Copenhagen.


1 For a long list of comparisons, see e.g. https://www.nationmaster.com/, or, for a EU perspective, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/statistics-a-z/abc

2 In English: "Holger and his wife say no to the European Union", a long-lived referendum campaign pun playing on the first name of a Europhobic left-wing politician (Holger K. Nielsen) and the warrior legend Holger Danske sleeping under his mountain ready to wake up and protect the Danish nation.

4 Parser demos are accessible at http://visl.sdu.dk, under the respective language sections

5 The GUI used is CorpusEye (http://corp.hum.sdu.dk), a graphical adaptation of the CQP engine (http://cwb.sourceforge.net/links.php)

Concepts of Europe in the curriculum and in German textbooks for the upper secondary school in Finland | Europa-Konzepte im Lehrplan und in Deutschlehrwerken für die gymnasiale Oberstufe in Finnland

Hartmut E. H. Lenk (University of Helsinki)

In my contribution, I will analyse the occurrences of lexemes with the stem europ* (in German) and euroop* (in Finnish) in two kinds of documents: in the currently valid national curriculum for the Finnish comprehensive school (POPS 2014) and for the Finnish upper secondary school (LOPS 2016) on the one hand, and in two German textbook series for the Finnish upper secondary school on the other. In the curricula, the occurrences were recorded manually. In regard to the textbooks, the softwares Voyant and AntConc were used for the data collection and for the visualisation of the frequencies.

The second step was to derive concepts from the occurrences of the lexemes: what is their reference, what are the contexts and connotations of the referring lexemes in the curricula and textbooks?

In order to check the results, the occurrences of lexemes referring to nations or states (Germany, Austria, Switzerland & Confederation as well as Finland, including the respective adjectives, and also the lexemes homeland/kotimaa) are also compared with each other.

Thus the investigation aims to find out how concepts of Europe are constructed by the curricula and textbooks, as potential conceptualizations to be taken up by pupils.

The textbooks examined are the following series:

1) Plan D, published between 2016 and 2018 in six volumes for a total of eight courses:

  • Haapala, Mika; Hatakka, Virpi; Kervinen, Mikko; Pyykönen, Hanna; Schatz, Roman: Plan D 1-2. Sanomapro 2016.
  • Haapala, Mika; Ackermann, Manuel; Hatakka, Virpi; Kervinen, Mikko; Pyykönen, Hanna; Schatz, Roman: Plan D 3. Sanomapro 2016.
  • Haapala, Mika; Ackermann, Manuel; Hatakka, Virpi; Hägglund-Viljanen, Pia; Kervinen, Mikko: Plan D 4. Sanomapro 2017.
  • Haapala, Mika; Ackermann, Manuel; Hatakka, Virpi; Hägglund-Viljanen, Pia; Kervinen, Mikko: Plan D 5. Sanomapro 2017.
  • Haapala, Mika; Ackermann, Manuel; Hatakka, Virpi; Hägglund-Viljanen, Pia; Kervinen, Mikko: Plan D 6. Sanomapro 2018.
  • Haapala, Mika; Ackermann, Manuel; Hatakka, Virpi; Hägglund-Viljanen, Pia; Kervinen, Mikko: Plan D 7–8. Sanomapro 2018.

2) Magazin.de, published between 2015 and 2018 in eight volumes for eight courses: 

  • Bär, Pia-Helena; Paul, Ines; Tolvanen, Ritva; Äijälä, Heidi: Magazin.de 1. Helsinki: Otava 2015.
  • Bär, Pia-Helena; Paul, Ines; Tolvanen, Ritva; Östring, Heidi: Magazin.de 2. Helsinki: Otava 2016.
  • Bär, Pia-Helena; Crockes, Ines; Tolvanen, Ritva; Östring, Heidi: Magazin.de 3. Helsinki: Otava 2016.
  • Bär, Pia-Helena; Busse, Christian; Tolvanen, Ritva; Östring, Heidi: Magazin.de 4. Helsinki: Otava 2017.
  • Bär, Pia-Helena; Busse, Christian; Tolvanen, Ritva; Östring, Heidi: Magazin.de 5. Helsinki: Otava 2017.
  • Bär, Pia-Helena; Busse, Christian; Tolvanen, Ritva: Magazin.de 6. Helsinki: Otava 2017.
  • Bär, Pia-Helena; Busse, Christian; Tolvanen, Ritva; Östring, Heidi; Hyypiä, Anu: Magazin.de 7. Helsinki: Otava 2018.
  • Bär, Pia-Helena; Busse, Christian; Tolvanen, Ritva; Hyypiä, Anu: Magazin.de 8. Helsinki: Otava 2018.

The curriculum information is as follows:

  • POPS 2014: Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet. Opetushallitus [Finnish National Agency for Education] 2014.
  • LOPS 2015: Lukion opetussuunnitelman perusteet. Opetushallitus [Finnish National Agency for Education] 2015.

Constructions of Europe and Discursive Anchorages of the Subject - A Multimodal Analysis of Tasks in German and Polish Textbooks | Konstruktionen Europas und diskursive Verankerungen des Subjekts − Eine multimodale Analyse von Aufgabenstellungen in deutschen und polnischen Schulbüchern

Magdalena Telus (Saarland University), Marcus Otto (Georg-Eckert-Institut Braunschweig)

The contribution is devoted to the question of how textbooks contribute to discursive constructions of Europe. It therefore focuses on the question how learners are addressed as European subjects in tasks, methodological instructions, project proposals and self-checking formats. On the basis of a multimodal analysis inspired by discourse theory, the discursive semantics and communicative addressing of subjects related to "Europe" in these interactive sections are examined in current German and Polish political and history textbooks. The theoretical-analytical starting point and frame of reference is the observation that Europe is constituted in a different semantic modality than the nation. This argument leads to the hypothesis that Europe, in contrast to the categorical form of the nation which is primarily defined by the dichotomous attribution of belonging or not belonging, takes on the form of a non-categorical semantics, which in turn is accompanied by flexible identification offers and open-dialogical forms of subjectivation and knowledge generation.

Digital knowledge transfer about the European Union in the German and Danish school context | Digitale Wissensvermittlung über die Europäische Union im deutschen und dänischen Schulkontext

Jan Engberg (University of Aarhus), Karin Luttermann (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

The basic idea of this paper is to describe differences and similarities concerning form and content between the material offered in two educational platforms (MEBIS, EMU) directed towards pupils in the 8th – 9th year of school in the Bavarian and the Danish context. Focus will be on material in the field of societal studies (Samfundsfag, Sozialkunde). Goal is to investigate the contribution of such centralized and official educational platforms to the construction of concepts of Europe in different national contexts.

We want to answer the following questions:

  1. What formats (e.g., video, print, pictures, games, …) are applied at the two platforms in connection with dedicated teaching units on the EU? (Categorisation)
  2. What differences are visible in the content of the material from the Bavarian and the Danish context offered for dedicated teaching units on the EU? What is said/not said about the EU? How is it said?
  3. What content on the EU is presented in connection with concepts where EU plays a role without being the central topic, like for instance in connection with teaching units on macro economy?

Ad. 1

We want to have an overview over the different formats used in the field of societal studies on the two platforms, especially in order to assess the degree to which the platforms offer own material and in order to assess the types of online material actually applied. A first hypothesis is that the Bavarian platform is more of a collection of links to public videos (often hosted by public broadcasting companies) on the topics (compared to the Danish site), whereas the Danish platform is more characterised by pointing to educational material offered by different interest groups and non-governmental organisations (compared to the Bavarian site). A thorough registration of material intended for use in connection with the field of societal studies will help us establish the actual situation as a basis for the analysis of content in the other two questions.
In order to get a good picture of the contribution of the material offered over the platform to the pupils’ construction of concepts of Europe, we distinguish between material intended for teaching sessions where Europe is the central topic, on the one hand, and material intended for teaching units in the field of societal studies, where Europe can be expected to play a role, like macro economy. The idea behind the distinction is that at least in the Danish context there is a general tendency to compartmentalize knowledge about Europe and mainly think about EU as an independent political player with institutions, etc., whereas the influence of Europe upon other fields and upon daily life is toned down. By making this distinction, we make it possible to investigate whether there is a similar situation in the Bavarian context.

Ad. 2

Based especially upon methods like the assessment of isotopic bundles (Isotopieketten) and text-based frame semantics from the qualitative direction we investigate what is said about EU, what is not said, what is dominant, and how the different aspects are presented. A first analysis of a teaching unit offered in MEBIS has shown the following isotopic bundles:

  • Living in Europe
  • Intended positive connotations
  • Ways of experiencing Europe
  • Influence of EU upon us
  • What is Europe
  • Values of EU
  • Europe as a chance for young people

We will use these results as a heuristic in the further analysis of texts from the platform.

Ad. 3

A first analysis has been carried out of an educational website offered by the Danish interest organisation for banks FinansDanmark, which is linked to the relevant webpages of the Danish educational site EMU. The topic of the site, which contains informational educational material as well as a game, is macro economy with special emphasis upon the economic cycle. Hence, this is an example of a topic where we can assume that EU plays a role, although EU is not a central topic in the educational material.
In the frame structure of the economic cycle that may be built based upon the informational texts and the game, EU is conceptualized as a unit which is seen as different from the foreign countries with major importance for Danish economy like, e.g., Germany, GB, Sweden and Spain. Furthermore, EU is mainly situated in the part of the frame connected to monetary policy. Hence, EU is presented as having only a restricted role. In the following analyses, we will compare with other educational material on macro economy and similar topics on the two platforms, focusing upon explanatory videos, quizzes and other types of games. The idea is to investigate, whether the presentation is typical for the Danish context, and whether there is a difference between Denmark and Bavaria in this context, or whether the knowledge structure is dependent upon the way economists see the world across national contexts.    

Eye-Tracking as Scientific Method for the Analysis of Educational Media – State of the Art and Fu-ture Potential | Eye-Tracking als wissenschaftliche Methode zur Analyse von Bildungsmedien – Forschungslage und Zukunftspotenzial

Stefan Hackl (LMU Munich)

The contribution gives an overview of existing topics and results in the research field of eye-tracking related to the analysis of educational media and at the same time, it provides an insight into this highly complex research process. In addition, the potential of this scientific method for future research projects is exemplarily demonstrated.

The research method of eye-tracking offers numerous application possibilities in various scientific disciplines. In the field of pedagogy and didactics, for example, the method is used to capture learning processes or to uncover problems of learners in the cognitive processing of learning content presentations.

Current research in the field of educational media analysis focuses in particular on reading research to identify reading strategies and strategies for learner text comprehension, and increasingly on the influence of images on the (online) reading process. Groundbreaking reading research theories such as the Goodman top-down reading strategy (1967) can be substantiated with the help of eye-tracking by proving corresponding reading paths (cf. Radach et al., 2012).

Based on the direct feedback of fixations (stopping points) and saccades (eye movements) of the eyes on processes in the brain, eye tracking and its analysis can be used to investigate and purposefully improve the quality of analog and digital learning environments (e.g. textbooks and online platforms). This is a so far untapped potential of this scientific method.


Goodman, K. (1967). Lesen: Ein psycholinguistisches Ratespiel. Zeitschrift des Lesespezialisten, 6, 126–135.

Radach, R., Günther, T. & Huestegge, L. (2012). Kommentierte Übersichtsarbeit. Blickbewegungen beim Lesen, Leseentwicklung und Legasthenie. Lernen und Lernstörungen, 1 (3), 185–204.

Perceptions of Europe – an explorative study on the perception of educational media | Vorstellun-gen von Europa – Eine explorative Studie zur Rezeption von schulischen Bildungsmedien

Anja Ballis (LMU Munich), Lea Zuromski (LMU Munich), Mira Schienagel (LMU Munich), Tobias Heinz (Kiel University), Beata Mikolaijczyk (Adam Mickiewicz University), Marcus Otto (Georg-Eckert-Institut Braunschweig)

Since summer 2019, part of the research group has been experimenting with eye tracking. This method offers various possibilities to approach cognitive processes. For our study we have chosen a design to trace the perceptual patterns of a textbook page. We were able to recruit students from the LMU Munich as test subjects. The content of this textbook page deals with the topics of migration and Europe. Provocatively, the question arises of whether the boat is full. In a first step, the eyetracking study examines of whether typical viewing patterns occur among the recipients during viewing. In a second step, we conduct narrative interviews in order to reconstruct and come close to the European ideas of the test subjects. Finally, the two surveys will be related to each other in order to reflect possible connections between eye movements and ideas of Europe. From a methodological point of view, we reflect on the interplay between eye tracking and qualitative social research.

EUROPE in our heads: Identifying knowledge representations using concept maps | EUROPA in unseren Köpfen: Ergebnisse einer Pilotstudie zur Ermittlung von Wissensrepräsentationen mittels Concept Maps

Corinna Krämer (Kiel University), Jörg Kilian (Kiel University), Erla Hallsteinsdóttir (Aarhus Universi-ty)

In our contribution, we will discuss data, methodological approaches and results from five pilot studies for the assessment of German and Danish pupil’s and student’s mental knowledge representation using concept maps. The pilots are used to evaluate concept maps as a survey instrument with regard to the influence of different instructions and types of surveys (with/without terms, type of explanation and structure) as well as to test approaches for the evaluation and interlingual comparison of the data.

The goal is to capture and explore mentally represented concepts of EUROPE. As forms of mental representation, linguistically bound declarative knowledge as well as associative stereotypes that are semantically linked with EUROPE, are targeted. The concept map surveys thus concentrate on propositionally represented knowledge. The findings are evaluated as an actual state of the learner‘s factual and conceptual knowledge, which is lexically linked to the morpheme {europ}, with them being the addressees of educational media and the data being the outcome of the use of educational media. This actual state of learner’s knowledge is therefore to be set in relation to results from other studies on EUROPE-concepts in the EurEd project, especially those  in existing educational media and educational policy norm texts (e.g. educational standards, curricula), and thereby represent the target state of knowledge about Europe.