Virtual Self-access Centre for German as a Foreign Language
e-daf (short for elektronisches Selbstlernzentrum für Deutsch als Fremdsprache in German) is an innovation initiated by the Centre for Language Studies and realised with the technical support of the Centre for Instructional Technology. This project represents a milestone in applied research in the area of language pedagogy as it is the first virtual self-access and resource centre for German language learning in the region with such a broad and comprehensive coverage.

e-daf is designed to provide a one-stop service for German learners in the virtual space of the Internet. The website, launched in August 2000 after months of meticulous work on both the infrastructure and the content, will provide students with a means to supplement their classroom learning with a wide array of interactive multimedia learning materials, including hypertext notes, exercises for various language skills, grammar and vocabulary, relevant links, and online audio and video materials. At the same time, it will also facilitate teaching and provide important support to the German teaching staff in realising the Programme's curricular objectives and the methodological principles for the German language modules.

Objectives of e-daf

  • To supplement and enhance the curriculum of the German language modules offered by the European Studies Programme by providing more and better IT-based learning resources
  • To promote autonomous and individualized learning among German language learners at and beyond the NUS
  • To motivate learners to discover and exploit the vast potential of the Internet and electronic means of communication for their learning
  • To stimulate and facilitate greater research activity among the language staff in the application of IT to language learning.

Methodological Principles of the German Language Modules under European Studies

The German language curriculum is built upon the following three methodological principles:

  • Learner-centredness
    The introduction of e-daf will allow students to individualize learning to a greater extent. They will be able to work from home or using their notebooks on campus at a self-determined pace and time. Hypertext options will allow them to break away from the linear learning so typical of the formal classroom and give them the opportunity to pursue their own interests more fully.
  • Task-based learning
    The Internet represents an almost endless source of learning and reference materials that are constantly evolving and changing in real-time. Coupled with the telecommunications options of e-mail, discussion forums and chats, the Internet will permit learners to increasingly engage in authentic synchronous or asynchronous communication in the foreign language or with the foreign culture.
  • Process-orientation
    Computer technology has also made it possible to offer students different levels and kinds of interactive help (such as a glossary, hints, strategy ideas, reference materials) according to their own personal requirements. Making these choices and working more autonomously will force learners to engage more in metacognitive processes such as planning and evaluating and make them more aware of their own learning preferences and processes.

Learning materials found in e-daf

The vast array of materials to be found includes:

  • Notes relevant to the German modules (e.g. on the language skills, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, learning strategies, culture and society of the German-speaking countries)
  • Interactive web-based exercises and tasks for further practice
  • Downloadable worksheets for classroom and home learning
  • Audio and video materials for language learning and/or on the culture and society of the German-speaking countries (Landeskunde)
  • Links for teachers and students to learning and culture websites
  • Showcase of student projects

The various 'rooms' in e-daf

  • Beginners' Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Advanced Level
  • Chat Room
  • Teachers' Room
  • Searchable Archive of Exercises
  • Audio-Video Room
  • Information, Reports and Pictures
  • Links
  • Project Showcase
  • Helpdesk
  • A Tour of 'e-daf'
  • The 'e-daf' Team

The people behind the e-daf project

The following faculty members of the Centre for Language Studies are responsible for the development and maintenance of e-daf:

Dr. Chan Wai Meng
Rita Niemann
Silvia Neitzke-Neumann
Chen Ing Ru
Kim Dong-Ha

Technical development team:

Centre for Instructional Technology

Eugene Hiew Fook Jin
Gerald Ng Guan Peng
Junius Soh Hock Heng
Chua Hock Huat

Ivy Tan Kim Geok