Department of Germanic Studies

Nick Henry

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., German Applied Linguistics and Language Sciences, Penn State University

Nick Henry



Second Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics, Applied Linguistics / Language Pedagogy, Morphosyntax, Phonology / Prosody, Popular Music in German Culture


Nick Henry joined the Department of Germanic Studies in 2018 as Assistant Professor of Second Language Studies. His primary research focus is the interaction between second language pedagogy and sentence processing. This research centers on understanding the effectiveness of psycholinguistically motivated instructional techniques and describing how learners process input. He has conducted studies on a range of issues, including the acquisition of the accusative case in German, the effects of prosody in the development of a second language grammar, the acquisition of grammatical gender, and use of explicit information in Processing Instruction. In addition to his research in second language acquisition, Nick is also interested in East German culture and reflections of German culture in popular music. He has published research on the representation of “homelessness” in popular music by East German musicians who were affected by the reunification of Germany.

Please visit Nick’s home page ( and the SLAB (Second Language Acquisition and Bilinguilism) Lab ( website for more information.

Representative Publications:

Dracos, M. & Henry, N. (2018). The effects of task-essential training on L2 processing strategies and the development of Spanish verbal morphology. Foreign Language Annals, 51, 344-368.

Henry, N., Hopp, H., & Jackson, C. N. (2017). Cue adaptivity and additivity in L1 predictive processing. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 32, 1229-1249.

Henry, N., Jackson, C. N., DiMidio, J. (2017). The role of explicit instruction and prosodic cues in Processing Instruction. The Modern Language Journal, 101, 294-314.

Henry, N., Culman, H. & VanPatten, B. (2009). More on the effects of explicit information in instructed SLA. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 31, 559-575.

Jackson, C. N., Fowler, C. J., Gavin, B., & Henry, N. (2018). Zusammenhänge zwischen der Sprachverarbeitung und dem Lernen neuer Strukturen unter erwachsenen Lernern [Connections between sentence processing and the acquisition of new structures among adult L2 learners]. In S. Schimke & H. Hopp (Eds.), Sprachverarbeitung im Zweitspracherwerb [Sentence Processing and Second Language Acquisition]. Amsterdam: De Gruyter.

Henry, N. & Schicker, J. (2013). Heimatsehnsucht:  Rammstein and the search for cultural identity. In Putnam, M. & Littlejohn, J. (eds.), Rammstein on Fire: New Perspectives on the Music and Performances (pp. 99-119). Jefferson, NC: McFarland



GER 328 • Advanced German Grammar

37450 • Spring 2020
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM BIO 301

Course Description:

German 328 provides students with the opportunity to develop their understanding of and ability to use German grammar. The course reviews basic grammatical structures in German that students likely encountered in earlier coursework (e.g., past tense forms, adjective endings), as well as introduces them to new grammatical concepts (e.g., extended attributes, nominalizations).

The course uses a content-based instructional approach to language learning. Through engaging with content material in German, students will be able to observe language in use and, importantly, have opportunities to practice grammatical structures in real, meaningful contexts. Three interconnected topics related to contemporary youth in German society (e.g., protest culture, military and civil service, and changes in the university structure) serve as the backdrop for class discussions and writing assignments. Additionally, students will have the chance to explore aspects of German grammar specific to their own individual interests and needs through a semester-long learning portfolio. 

The course prepares students for advanced coursework in German literature and culture, as well as study in a German-speaking country. With this goal in mind, students are expected to take greater initiative in actively participating in class discussions than at the beginning or intermediate levels of language instruction.

Prerequisites: Students must have completed second-year German at UT (GER 612) or have earned credit for second-year German through a placement exam, AP exam, or transfer credit in order to enroll in German 328.



Rankins & Wells, Handbuch zur deutschen Grammatik. Wiederholen und Anwenden, 6th edition (2016), available at the campus bookstore. Additional texts and handouts will be distributed in class or posted on the course management site.


Requirements & Assessment:

Class Participation (10%)              

Exploratory Practice Project (20%)

Daily Homework (20%)                

3 Writing Tasks (20%)

3 Tests (30%)

GER 398T • Supervised Teaching In German

37070 • Fall 2019
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM BUR 232

This course is designed for both new and experienced teachers. The course will (1) introduce approaches to teaching a foreign language and discuss their theoretical backgrounds, and (2) socialize students as language professionals. Knowledge of German is not necessary, nor is it necessary that students hold a teaching position during the course.

During the summer, students will complete the online foreign language teaching methods course offered by UT’s Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL). This course covers many different aspects of language teaching, including teaching L2 speaking, listening, reading, and writing, communicative L2 teaching, the role of grammar in the classroom, vocabulary acquisition, etc.

One week before the beginning of classes, students will take part in a teaching workshop, which coincides with and supplements the pre-semester language teaching orientation. This workshop will reinforce and expand on issues covered in the online component of the course.

During the semester, students will meet approximately every two weeks. Class meetings will focus on (1) topics related to second language acquisition and teaching: (2) the design of common / effective teaching materials, and (3) critically professional debates and issues that relate to college teaching in foreign language departments in the United States.

Throughout the course students will observe experienced teachers and (provided they are teaching that semester) will be observed in the classroom. They will be given an opportunity to reflect on their experiences as a teacher and as an observer. Students will begin to develop a competitive professional profile as future college teacher of foreign languages and cultures.

GER 397P • 2nd Lang Sentence Compr/Proc

37715 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 232

This graduate seminar explores how second language (L2) learners process language and construct meaning during sentence comprehension. In this course, students will discuss fundamental issues in this field, including questions such as:

(1) How do L2 learners connect linguistic form to meaning, and how does this process relate broadly to the process of acquisition?

(2) How do L1 and L2 sentence processing mechanisms differ, and can L2 learners process sentences like native speakers?

(3) Which internal and external factors influence L2 learners’ processing behavior?

Throughout this course, we will discuss the theoretical constructs and research methods necessary to answer such questions. Further, we will consider practical applications of sentence processing research, including instructional techniques that are motivated by it. Students will also gain hands-on experience by designing research related to the course topics.

GER 506 • First-Year German I

37755 • Fall 2018
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM JES A305A

Course Description

German 506, a first semester German course, assumes no prior knowledge of German. (Note: If you have prior knowledge of German, you must take a placement test before taking classes at UT.) German 506 introduces students to the language and culture of the modern German-speaking world. Every effort is made to present opportunities to use the language: for self-expression in everyday situations, for basic survival needs in German-speaking language communities, and for personal enjoyment. To this aim, lessons center on linguistic, communicative, and cultural goals.

The functional communicative approach that we take in this course—and in the larger German program at UT—focuses on learning to use basic German language forms, i.e., grammar and vocabulary, in meaningful contexts in a variety of real-life situations and across spoken and written genres. To help students develop their ability to communicate effectively in German, they are expected to come prepared for class, use German, and actively participate in pair and group activities. Students should expect to spend two hours studying for each class period in order to keep up with the pace of the class. 


Required Texts:

  1. Course textbook: Christine Anton, Tobias Barske, Jane Grabowski, & Megan McKinstry (2016). Sag mal. An Introduction to German Language and Culture. Second Edition. Vista Higher Learning.
  2. Sag mal Basic Supersite
  3. Sag mal WebSAM (Student Activities Manual)


Grading Policy

Students’ progress in the class will be assessed during the semester across the following categories:

1  Class participation assessed weekly (10%)

2  Homework (15%)

3  Short writing tasks with multiple drafts (15%)

4  Chapter tests (25%)

5  Structured reflections on learning experiences (5%)

6  Regular quizzes (10%)

7  Short collaborative video project (10%)

8  Final oral exam done in pairs (10%)


Opportunities for extra credit are available. There are no incompletes given in German 506. A grade of C or better is required to enroll in German 507 (i.e., a C- is not a passing grade).

Curriculum Vitae

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