Canadian Network for Basisgruppen (in the 1990s)

Deutsche Version

Welcome to our home page. Here you can find out what a Basisgruppe is, where such groups exist, who is active in them and what kind of projects are organized at the regional and national levels.

Basisgruppen Centres in Canada

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[British Columbia][Alberta][Manitoba][Ontario][Québec][Atlantic Region]


What is a Basisgruppe?

The concept of "Basisgruppen" (the name denotes small basic work groups or cells) is an important element in the new self-directed professional development efforts of teachers of German in Canada.

 A Basisgruppe consists of a group of colleagues who, by virtue of common goals and interests, meet at regular intervals to deal with questions pertaining to their school experiences and professional development. Members try to find solutions to problems together. Often a Basisgruppe is formed to work on a specific project.

In Basisgruppen, all members must treat each other with acceptance and tolerance and each person must be prepared to take on responsibilities and participate with joy and conviction in the work of the group.

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Where are Basisgruppen active?

There are many Basisgruppen active in the regions of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and the Atlantic Region.

 However, there are also Basisgruppen at the national level, that are working on projects throughout Canada.

 At the moment there are three such projects:

1. Production of a Basic Kit for Political Action and Advertising for German.
2. Production of a Manual on Basisgruppen Management.
3. Establishing a Canada-wide Communication Network for Basisgruppen.
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What are the regional projects?

There are a great many regional projects. Since new groups are continually forming, our listing will not be complete.

Here is a list of current regional projects:

This section is always under construction!


Grammatik Café

(Contact: Ortrud Newton

This group meets to discuss various methodological approaches to teaching grammar in the classroom of German as a foreign language. Participants exchange experience and develop strategies.

Basisgruppe Okanagan

(Contact: Valerie Witham

Basisgruppe Vancouver Island

(Contact: Gwyneth Kingham -
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Impulsgruppe Calgary

This group is involved in a number projects including: designing computer software (CALL) for Deutsch heute, translation of the Red Book(proceedings of Kontakt '95) and the Blue Book (Proceedings of the Calgary Seminar '94), advertising and political lobbying for German, raising funds for professional development, didacticising Rock und Deutsch, establishing a Centre for Teaching Materials, networking among colleagues. The Stammtisch gives members a relaxed, open forum for meeting on a regular basis, where common problems can be discussed and solutions sought. (Contact: Joanne van Donzel -
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Impulsgruppe Edmonton

This group is presently engaged in three projects: In addition, the group meets frequently to encourage professional development and to find out about new programs and services available. (Contact: Hannah Noerenberg -

Member Profile List

A detailed inventory of German teachers throughout Canada outlining their affiliation, their teaching areas, areas of interest and expertise and their addresses. (Contact: Doris Muhs -
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Basisgruppe Gartental

A group of teachers didacticizing various German texts (e.g. Wer? Wie? Was?) and finding computer support for their programs. This group is active in the Winkler area (south of Winnipeg). (Contact: Harold Epp -
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Basisgruppe Lernexpress

A group of teachers from Manitoba and Saskatchewan whose objective is to didacticize the videoprogram Lernexpress. They are publishing an anthology (edited by Rupert Barensteiner & André Oberlé) to make their work available to a broader audience. As part of this project, computer software for Lernexpress was written by André Oberlé. (Contact: André Oberlé -
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Basisgruppe Museum Project

A group of teachers (and involving students) preparing German materials for museum visits for young German students. (Contact: Gareth Neufeld -
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Basisgruppe Princess Margaret

A Tandem team (Edith Wiebe, Walter Kampen and James Schellenberg) for German instruction at the Grade 5 and 6 levels. The two members are teachers at Princess Margaret School in the German Bilingual Program in the River-East School Division in Winnipeg. (Contact: Edith Wiebe -
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Basisgruppe Hutterer

This group of German teachers is primarily concerned with designing a new curriculum for Hutterian Schools, finding effective texts, didacticizing the learning material Bausteine, finding computer software for German, and staging P.D. events. (Contact: Ed Kleinsaesser)
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Basisgruppe "germnet"

A discussion group and listserv for German teachers where questions pertaining to curriculum, Internet resources, texts and methodology are raised and discussed province-wide. The listserv also acts as an electronic bulletin board. (Contact: André Oberlé -
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Basisgruppe Toronto

(Contact: Robert Hart -


Basisgruppe Québec Grammar-Circle

This group meets once every two months or so to discuss different grammatical points. It is basically an exchange of ideas and materials to better teach difficult grammar points to students. (Contact: Karin Mollinger -
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Basisgruppe Québec Language Schools

This group meets once or twice a semester to exchange ideas and materials for the different levels. They have also worked together to didacticize video materials from Deutsche Welle. (Contact: Dirk Geisen)
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Basisgruppe Montréal Grammar-Circle

(Contacts: Silke Falkner, Karin Doerr)

Basisgruppe Lobbying for German. (Contact: Helga Sacher)

Basisgruppe New Media and CALL

(Contact: Cornelia Brandt -
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Basisgruppe Fredericton

The ACTG established small project oriented task groups that report their work to their colleagues at their annual meeting. (Contact: Chris Lorey -
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What are the national projects?

At the moment we have the following projects:

1. Establishment of a National Communication Network

This group is trying to refine the communication between all the various Basisgruppen and regions. It began by taking an inventory of existing communication methods and is looking for better ways to communicate. Its three most important assignments are (i) to refine the methods of national distribution of materials pertaining to professional development and to establish guidelines for the distribution of such materials, (ii) to establish a Home Page for Basisgruppen on the WWW and (iii) to set up an electronic discussion list and bulletin board for members of Basisgruppen.

2. Political Action and Advertising

This group is taking an inventory of all political lobbying and advertising campaigns that have already taken place. The group's mandate is to produce a kit for political action and advertising that can be adapted for each region by teachers in regional Basisgruppen.

3. Basisgruppen Management

This group has the mandate to produce a manual on the management of Basisgruppen. The manual will be designed to help regional Basisgruppen to manage their affairs more effectively and to assist teachers wishing to get started in Basisgruppen work.

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Who is an active member in Basisgruppen at the national level?

The following members are active in the three national projects. The contact person is identified with an asterisk (*).

National Communication Network

Susan Evans (Ontario)
Annemarie Heinze (Ontario)
Karl Langelotz (Manitoba)
* DORIS MUHS (Alberta)
Ortrud Newton (Vancouver)
André Oberlé (Manitoba)

Political Action and Advertising

Rupert Barensteiner (Manitoba)
* Bernd Desinger (Ontario)
Esther Enns (Alberta)
Chris Lorey (Atlantic Region)
Gareth Neufeld (Manitoba)
Helga Sacher (Quebec)
Joanne van Donzel (Alberta)
Valerie Witham (British Columbia)

Basisgruppen Management

Harold Epp (Manitoba)
* JUERGEN JAHN (Alberta)
Michael Kage (Ontario)
Gwyneth Kingham (British Columbia)
Hans-Rudolf Lanker (Bern, Schweiz)
Karin Mollinger (Quebec)
Hannah Noerenberg (Alberta)
Edith Wiebe (Manitoba)
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What is a Networker?

Networkers are responsible for fostering the communication between Basisgruppen. They send each other news items pertaining to professional development and the work of Basisgruppen from their region and distribute the news from other regions to interested parties in their own region. They are crucial for effective networking among Basisgruppen.

At the moment, we have 5 Networkers in Canada.[Table of Contents]

Who are the current Networkers?

At the moment, there are the following Networkers active in Canada:

British Columbia: Thomas Schultze, Vancouver, (604) 732-3966
Alberta: Joanne van Donzel, Calgary (403) 652-7685
Manitoba: André Oberlé, Winnipeg (204) 786-9304
Ontario: Susan Evans, Toronto, (416) 282-6704
Québec: Helga Sacher, Duvernay-Laval, (514) 667-5582
Atlantic Region: Chris Lorey (
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How do I find regional and national Associations of German Teachers?

It is best to write directly to the president of each association:


Atlantic Council of Teachers of German

President: Chris Lorey, Department of German, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB (

Association des professeurs d'allemand du Québec

Présidente: Helga Sacher, 2370 Place Champfleury, Duvernay-Laval, PQ, H7E 2L3

Ontario Association of Teachers of German

President: Robert Hart, 190 Belsize Dr., Toronto, ON, M4S 1M2

Manitoba Teachers of German

President: André Oberlé, German Studies, The University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9, Voice Mail: (204) 786-9046, Fax: (204) 783-3116, E-mail:

Saskatchewan Association of Teachers of German

President: Cornelia Taschow, Distance Education, Government Correspondence School, 1651 Jubilee Ave., Regina, SK, S4S 3T5

Alberta Association of Teachers of German

President: Joanne van Donzel, 925-5th St. W., High River, AB T1V 1A7; Fax: 403-652-7384; E-mail:

British Columbia Council of Teachers of German

President: Ortrud Newton, 1170 Nepal Place, Vancouver, BC, V7T 2H1, E-mail:

Canadian Association of German Language Schools

President: Annemarie Heinze, 481 Guildwood Pkwy, Westhill, ON, M1E 1R3

Canadian Association of University Teachers of German

President: Linda Dietrick, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2E9, Fax: (204) 774-4134, E-mail:
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Where can I get further information about Basisgruppen?

You can get further information on Basisgruppen from the regional and national German teachers' associations.

Alternatively, you can write to the following individuals:
André Oberlé
Germanic Studies
University of Winnipeg
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3B 2E9
Tel.: (204) 786-9304, Fax (204) 774-4134

Esther Enns
Germanic, Slavic and East-Asian Studies
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4
Fax: (403) 284-3810

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Return to the Home Pages of other Canadian Associations of Teachers of German