Auf geht's Project Team

Lee Forester

David Antoniuk

Christina Wegel

Olga Antoniuk

Samantha Riley

 

Lee Forester

Co-creator and project director: Auf geht's! started with a conversation I had with David several years back. I had an upcoming sabbatical semester and wanted to do a project involving computers and language learning. I asked David what I could do with a small grant and a semester to work, and his answer was, "Nothing!". And after a lengthy discussion, I agreed. There are plenty of supplements for language learning, but to have a project with national significance means creating an entire curriculum, not simply adding bells and whistles to a traditional textbook package.

Working on Auf geht's! has been a great experience and really feeds into my interests in language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and technology-enhanced language learning. This project is a chance to apply my research and thinking about learning interactions to a real curriculum. Doing an entire course means that we have the freedom to reshape EVERYTHING, and publishing though a small multimedia company means we're free from the control of a Marketing Department at a textbook company. This 'flattened hierarchy' means that we can incorporate recent research and ideas very quickly to keep the program current in both approach and content.

Professor of German, Hope College. Ph.D. in Germanic Linguistics, UC Berkeley (1992)

 

David Antoniuk

Co-creator and the project's creative / technical director: My job is twofold: collecting the visual and audio materials that provide a framework for cross-cultural learning, and guiding and programming the results into a user-friendly hybrid of a book and interactive program. While the other team members are developing the pedagogy of Auf geht's! and Weiter geht's!, my experience in software creation & production brings different skills to the project. I started Live Oak Multimedia in 1993, and my first CD-ROM was called 4 Paws of Crab - this labor of love was an early attempt to explore cross-cultural interactive media. And my eclectic background – an MBA and MA in International Relations from U.C. Berkeley, 20 years of business and software management experience, and thirty years of active photography - provides a unique multidisciplinary approach for harnessing New Media's power.

The intersection of pedagogy, technology, and the visual arts has always been one of my passions. And having logged over 100,000 km of driving in Germany during ten years of project photography, I now have more than a passing interest in German culture and want to pass that experience on to first-year German students.

President, Live Oak Multimedia. M.B.A.(1985), M.A. Intl. Relations (1987), UC Berkeley

 

Christina Wegel

I have been working closely with the team of Auf geht's! and Weiter geht's! since 2008. My involvement with both textbook grew out of my fascination with Lee and David's vision of truly cultural and communicative textbooks. Within the team, I'm engaged on many levels: I contributed to the 2nd edition of the Auf geht's textbook and the Auf geht's! and Weiter geht's! Interactive DVDs, as well as the Teacher Editions for both books and the grammar handouts and explanations.

In my professional life beyond these textbooks, I also enjoy wearing many hats. First and foremost, I am the Director of the German Language Program and a senior lecturer in German at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a past President of NC-AATG during the academic year. During the summer, I take on a more administrative role as the Associate Director of the German School at Middlebury College, where I started teaching in 2003.

Director of German Language Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ph.D., German Literature, UC Los Angeles (2004)

 

Olga Antoniuk

Project manager: My job has been to support the project team members with research, text writing, database maintenance, audio editing, first draft layout, preparing interactions for the programming etc. I first met the team in winter 2000 in Göttingen, Germany, while staying there as a Stipendiatin of the Goethe-Institut. The project's co-creator David Antoniuk quickly saw the potential I presented for the team and immediately got me involved in transcribing numerous German interviews. The next year I returned to Germany where I started my Master's studies at the University of Kassel with a concentration on Deutsch als Fremdsprache. This highly structured course combined a rich theoretical basis with a Praktikum at a DaF department and gave me a better understanding of what the Auf geht's! approach is about. My work for Auf geht's! allowed me to put my knowledge into practice and apply modern methods and principles of teaching in German language education.

I am very proud to be part of such a great team of education believers and visionaries of new methods of languages teaching.

Project Manager, Live Oak Multimedia. M.A., Deutsch als Fremdsprache, University of Kassel (2003)

 

Samantha Michele Riley

Upon returning from Freiburg after 5 years of study at the university, I got involved with AG and WG in 2008. While I was teaching language courses in the German department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the exciting opportunity arose to become a part of the creative writing team for AG! and WG! I jumped at the opportunity. I started off as one of the writers for the Teacher's edition of both texts. I soon became instrumental in the development of the supplemental materials for the textbooks by writing, for example, the grammar handbooks for both AG! and WG! This was indeed a creative, challenging, and rewarding project. Our team turned Lee's pedagogical vision, infusing grammar with intercultural competency, interpersonal communication, and the path of least resistance for students, into a reality.

More personally, I recently received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to German, I've taught courses on Global, Queer, and Native American cinema, women's studies, media studies, English Composition, Business writing, and literature courses on 19th/20th century Absurdist writings. My dissertation topic focused on the history of AIDS in Queer Cinema.