Dirk Siepmann is full professor of English as a second language in the Institute of English and American Studies at Osnabrück University, Germany. He has 30 years of experience in applied linguistics and language teaching, with extensive background in translation, lexicography and academic writing. His approach to linguistic study is resolutely corpus-based. He has authored 12 books, including two major monographs on translation studies and one on contrastive linguistics, and has co-authored or edited a further 14 volumes. Throughout his work, his primary focus has been on making theory relevant to the real world of language learning and teaching. He is a member of the Klett Akademie für Fremdsprachendidaktik and a linguistic consultant to the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers and its translation service (DHV-DE).
After studying English and French language and literature at Bochum (Germany) and Durham (England), Dirk Siepmann worked as a language teacher at a grammar school and at a sixth-form vocational college. In 2003 he was seconded to Siegen University as Lecturer in English.
He stayed in Siegen until 2006, when he was offered a professorship at Osnabrück University. He has since declined professorship offers from the universities of Heidelberg, Erlangen-Nuremberg and Wuppertal, preferring to stay at Osnabrück.
1988-1994: University Education
Dirk Siepmann took a five-year degree course in English, French and Italian language and literature at Bochum, one of Germany’s best post-war universities, where he passed the First State Examination for teachers (equivalent of MA) in 1994. The course provided him with a thorough grounding in the languages and cultures of Britain and France.
On a scholarship awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), he enjoyed a nine-month period of study abroad at the University of Durham (England) in 1989/1990. A guest lecture given there by the late John Sinclair on the making of dictionaries and a subsequent visit to COBUILD sparked his interest in computer corpus linguistics.
During his student days at Bochum, Dirk Siepmann worked as a terminologist for Krupp Industrietechnik GmbH (Duisburg-Rheinhausen), compiling a database of terms and collocations used in materials handling. This is where he first came into contact with professional translation.
1994-2003: Language Teacher
From 1994 to 1996 Dirk Siepmann underwent teacher training at Studienseminar Essen and Immanuel-Kant-Gymnasium Heiligenhaus, passing the Second State Examination for teachers in October 1996. During that period and beyond he also gained valuable experience as a language teacher and cross-cultural communication trainer at the Volkshochschule Essen (adult college) and at Hochtief, Germany’s largest construction company.
From 1996 to 2003 he taught at Berufskolleg Borken, a sixth-form vocational college close to the German-Dutch border. The German Berufskolleg offers the broadest possible experience for language teachers, comprising, as it does, part-time and full-time vocational and academic courses of widely varying kinds. Among other things, he taught business English in the senior classes of the Wirtschaftsgymnasium (grammar school emphasizing business management and economics), technical English at the Technikgymnasium (grammar school emphasizing science and technology) and the Fachschule für Baudenkmalpflege (technical school for heritage skills) as well as French conversation at the Höhere Handelsschule (senior commercial school).
Siepmann’s doctoral thesis, supervised by Professor Dieter Wolff of Wuppertal University, grew out of his interest in composition teaching. During his student days he had started to draw up lists of words and phrases signalling relations between two stretches of text. These lists formed the basis of the thesis, which offers a functional taxonomy of English, French and German multi-word discourse markers (e.g. it should be noted that; force est de constater que; kritisch anzumerken ist, dass) and a contrastive analysis of their use in continuous text. For an executive summary of the thesis, see academia.edu.
In 2003 Siepmann was seconded from Berufskolleg Borken to the English department at Siegen University. At Siegen he taught a wide variety of courses, ranging from German-English translation through language teaching theory to teaching practice seminars which included classroom observation and evaluation at local schools as well as practice lessons taught by students. He was also closely involved with an interdisciplinary research group dealing with research on learning and teaching (Lehr-/Lernforschung Siegen).
Since November 2006 Dirk Siepmann has been working as a full professor in the Institute of English and American Studies at Osnabrueck University, Germany.
In February 2007 he declined a professorship offer (‘Ruf’) in French and French language teaching by Wuppertal University.
In October 2007 he declined the offer of the chair in second language teaching at the University of Nuremberg, accepting the counteroffer of a W3 professorship at Osnabrück University.
In May 2014 he declined the offer of the chair in English translation studies at the University of Heidelberg.
Since 2008 Dirk Siepmann has been the academic director of the language centre at Osnabrück University. The centre provides language learning facilities for all members of the university and aims to advance research on adult language teaching and learning.
Dirk Siepmann is a linguistic consultant to the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (Deutscher Hochschulverband), where he directs the translation service (DHV-DE).
2008-present: Academy Member
Dirk Siepmann is a member of the Klett Akademie für Fremdsprachendidaktik.
Since 1992 Dirk Siepmann has regularly translated academic and other texts for institutions such as the Institut für Angewandte Innovationsforschung (Bochum), the Forschungsinstitut für Wirtschaftspolitik an der Universität Mainz, the district court at Essen (Landgericht Essen), etc. His main working languages are English, German and French.