Taking a tour d'horizon of research in the fields of language learning and teaching, second language acquisition, instruction and methodology, literature and area studies, the observer becomes aware of a potential for research, research that the editors of EESE would like to place for discussion before a wide international, specialist audience in the forthcoming years. EESE will always combine a sound theoretical orientation with an identifiable application to the teaching of English and foreign languages in general. Secondly, it will provide pointers towards further research and, if possible, indicate starting points for inter-disciplinary access to the corpus of research on English and foreign language teaching. Furthermore, empirical studies should elucidate the methods used to obtain their data and their quantitative and qualitative methods of observation in order to stimulate follow-up research in the domain of foreign language teaching and learning.
During the last 20 years, hardly any theory has made a more lasting impression on the discussion as to how foreign languages are acquired, both with and without formal instruction, as the concept of interlanguage or learner language. This concept, originally conceived by Selinker in 1972 as a description of the systematic linguistic behaviour of learners of a second or foreign language, together with the "interlanguage-hypothesis", developed in the 1970s and 80s in competition with the "contrastive hypothesis" and the "creative construction hypothesis" became an important model for explaining the learning of a second language. (Sharwood Smith 1994: 85 ff).
After new theories, which explained interlanguage within the framework of theoretical developments such as Chomsky's universal grammar (Cook 1988; White 1989) and models based on the concept of linguistic marking (Comrie 1981; Hawkins 1983), had increasingly pressed into the foreground in the 1980s, interlanguage regained its position as a concept of prime importance in the field of didactics (e.g. Selinker 1992). The latest research is concerned with investigating pragmatic aspects of learner language. Amongst other questions, it is investigating how L2 learners use their language in actual communicative situations: "The main points of pragmatic learner language concern strategies for producing speech, selection for context and adding illocutive forces and politeness". (Kasper 1995: 266) (Kasper 1993; Kasper & Blum-Kulka 1993). Larsen-Freeman & Long (1991) is recommended as a suitable introduction to research into second language acquisition, although it is no longer quite up to date. Works are also suggested in which the subject matter follows the same lines, or is based on concrete data derived from interaction during actual teaching, e.g. the effects of the teacher's input and feedback on the learner language (Chaudron 1988).
In direct relation to the concept of learner language is the question which has been a central theme in the discussion of second language acquisition since Lado (1957). That is, what effect does knowledge of the mother tongue or an already acquired foreign language have on the acquisition or learning of further languages (L2, L3 etc) (Larsen-Freeman & Long 1991)?
The original naive assumption, which was formulated in the so-called "contrastive analysis hypothesis" (Wardhough 1970), was that identical structures in L1 and L2 always resulted in positive transfer and thereby made learning easier, whereas structural differences resulted in negative transfer and made learning harder. However, this has now given way to a more differentiated view of the matter. On the whole it is still accepted that a second language is learnt differently to a first language, that is that some form of language transfer takes place (Odlin 1989), which has qualified the so-called "identity hypothesis" of the 1970s (Dulay & Burt 1974, 1975). In just this connection, some questions relevant to foreign language learning in the classroom situation arise. How does foreign language knowledge taught in class influence the learning process for the acquisition of a further foreign language? (Bausch 1995). In what way do learning and communication strategies acquired during the learning of a first foreign language positively influence the learning process of a further foreign language? What role does the type of the first foreign language learnt have on the learning of a further foreign language? Barrera-Vidal (1995) investigates the question of the "double contrastivity" on the example of German-speaking people having learnt French as their first foreign language and then learning Spanish as their second foreign language. And finally the general question: what mental mechanisms are typical for "learning in contrast"? (Königs 1995)? EESE is the ideal discussion forum for all such work which is trying to provide answers to these and similar questions.
The discussion on the strategies used by learners is always mainly concerned with the following questions:
1. Has the distinction between learning and communication strategies an empirical basis?
2. Are learning and communication strategies L2-specific or are they also used by native speakers?
3. Are learning and communication strategies actually teachable and learnable?
4. If so, which training methods appear promising?
In particular, the problem raised in question 1 has led to a heated controversy taking place in the pages of numerous publications (Bialystok 1990; O'Malley & Chamot 1988; Oxford 1990). The widely-held view that learning strategies are efforts made by the learner to change his existing L2 competence, that is to improve it (Sharwod Smith 1994: 201), whereas communicative strategies are used by the learner to compensate for a short-term disparity between the requirements for communication and his own language competence, is now scarcely tenable in the light of recent work. The topic of learners' strategies (Tönshoff 1995), which has appeared in recent publications, subsumes the themes of "learning strategies" and "language-using strategies". However, this terminological controversy is not very productive because it is obvious that the two types of strategies merge at their boundaries. In addition, it distracts from the real problem, which is to define the actual language-using situations which cause the learner to put these strategies into action and just at this point there is a considerable gap in the research. If greater knowledge were to be gained here, one could more accurately predict which strategies are typical of L2 and which are primarily used for L1 (Question 2). When the relationship of the learners' strategies to language-using situations has been satisfactorily achieved, the didactic and methodological aspect can be investigated with greater prospect of success (Questions 3 & 4). A start has already been made (Tönhoff 1992, 1995; Wolff 1992). Above all, what is needed is work on theoretically justified postulates which can be applied to practical teaching.
Questions about the nature of linguistic knowledge, its different characteristics, how it is organised, stored and recalled, especially in respect of the vocabulary, that is the learner's "mental lexicon", have recently become the focus of research interest in the fields of cognitive psychology, second language acquisition, and foreign language teaching research. Wolff (1995) defined "declarative knowledge" as the static, and "procedural knowledge" as the dynamic component of knowledge as the basic dichotomy in this field of research. According to this, the mental lexicon is represented as a prototype of declarative knowledge, whereas "planning strategies" at all levels are regarded as procedural knowledge for the productive processing of knowledge. This fulfils two functions: firstly it serves to "manage" the declarative knowledge; and secondly it forms the connection between the language world and the real world. In short, one could speak of procedural knowledge as language learning knowledge that manifests itself both in sub-conscious and conscious use. According to Wolff, it is just this language learning knowledge which fulfils important tasks in the process of acquiring language: it ensures that the learning steps which go beyond the use of the language, that is the addition of new declarative language knowledge and the restructuring of the existing body of knowledge can be completed (Wolff 1995: 226). Incidentally, when one takes both forms of knowledge into account, one sees a remarkable difference between L1 and L2 learning. Whereas the child learning its mother tongue always develops its declarative and procedural knowledge of the world in parallel, as it does its declarative and procedural language knowledge, the L2 learner already possesses the procedural knowledge, which he can use to acquire the declarative foreign language knowledge (Wolff 1995: 221). As a result of this type of research, a stronger tendency towards process orientation can also be seen in foreign language teaching methods. This finds expression in the contributions to the anthology by Multhaup & Wolff (1992), which spans the thematic spectrum from the investigation of mother tongue production processes to the concrete application of theoretical knowledge to language teaching. There has been a particular need for action, especially in the last-named field. Methodological recommendations for the communication of theoretically justifiable and justified learning and working techniques in the spirit of Wolff (1992) need to be made available to the practising foreign language teacher as a contribution to inducing and optimising the processes in the various productive and receptive areas described above.
The ability of foreign language learners to apply effective, goal-orientated strategies (cf. section 3) lies in direct proportion to their metalingual knowledge, i.e. their "language awareness". Terms such as these indicate a relatively young area of research which has mainly developed from work in Britain, (Hawkins 1985, 1992; James & Garrett 1992) and which has subsequently been intensively taken up in Germany and France (Bourguignon & Candelier 1984; Gnutzmann 1992, 1995; Wolff 1992). "Language awareness", interpreted as the ability to think about language, is considered as a goal of mother tongue teaching (Neuland 1992 for teaching German), but it is also being extended to foreign language teaching. This goes along with the demands for "integrated" language teaching (Gnutzmann & Köpcke 1988). This concept of teaching organisation would combine the teaching of native and foreign language grammar and so provide a contribution to general language teaching, which could not only lead to better understanding of an individual language but also break through its constraints (Gnutzmann 1995: 279).
If the principles and aims of this concept find a general consensus, it is, however, deficient at a decisive point: if "language awareness" is to enable the learner to overcome a blinkered view resulting from a fixation with the native language by putting phenomena concerning an individual language into a wider perspective, then this can only have prospects of success on a multilingual basis. A restriction to just one foreign language - which is almost always English - as a "corrective" can only be regarded as the first step. Work based in the field of "language awareness", and in particular that which is committed to the concept outlined above, would enrich this very important domain of foreign language didactics and will therefore find an assured place in EESE.
Since the so-called "Wortschatzwende" (Hausmann 1987), or vocabulary movement, around the middle of the 1980s placed in question the "monopoly" of grammar teaching as the central theme of foreign language teaching, the interest in questioning the acquisition and learning of lexis has manifested itself in two main directions. On the one hand, the main questions concern the development of the mental lexicon (above all in the case of bilingual speakers), memory problems, and the storage and recalling processes of the vocabulary. (Channell's work  provides an overview of the psycholinguistics of acquiring the L2 lexis). On the other hand, there is intensive investigation of problems in the didactic preparation of foreign language vocabulary, particularly in the application of the organisational principles of structural semantics (Carter & McCarthy 1988: chapter 3; Gairns & Redman 1986), of concrete communication methods and types of exercises (Gairns & Redman 1986; Scherfer 1988, 1995), of the vocabulary curriculum (Sinclair & Renouf 1988) and of the role of dictionary work in teaching and learning foreign language vocabulary (Summers 1988). A good overview of the range of themes outlined above is offered by the aforementioned anthology from Carter & McCarthy (1988) and the specialist booklet "Wortschatz und Wortschatzlernen" from the journal Fremdsprachen Lehren und Lernen (1987).
Despite the results achieved in a relatively short span of time, there is still a lot of "catching up" to be done in the above-mentioned fields, both for theory-led research as well as for research oriented towards concrete teaching requirements. This particularly applies to work towards "integrated" vocabulary teaching (in analogy to the above mentioned "integrated" grammar teaching), the aim of which must be to achieve a general language "lexical awareness" amongst L2 learners by appropriate communicative processes, in order to make the acquisition of vocabulary more economical and effective.
The field of lexical idiomatics, from which a number of didactic works have already been published (Alexander 1984, 1985, 1988; Glaap 1979; Klein 1995a; Roos 1992), also requires further research, which could reveal an interlingual component (Klein 1995b).
Since it became established as a discipline in the middle of the 1970s, language teaching research has been intensively occupied with interaction in foreign language teaching as an object of research. Since Sinclair & Coulthard (1975) the centre of attention has been focused on themes such as: the analysis of discourse in the classroom (Lörscher 1983); the foreign language teaching specific structures of the verbal interaction between pupil and teacher, and between pupil and pupil (Edmondson 1983, Edmondson & House 1981, 1993); the pattern of the change of speaker ("turn-taking") and "speech allocation" determined by the teacher; (quantitative and qualitative) characteristics of the teacher's language; types of teacher-feedback; the use of "gambits" (Edmondson & House 1981; Hüllen 1982) and questions concerning the generation of input and the relationship between output and input (cf. Chaudron 1988; Seliger 1977). Some of these questions have been the subject of controversial discussion because of the, in part, contradictory empirical results, so that hardly any reliable findings have been published up to the present. So, in regard to the relationships between output and input, the main question is: how is the linguistic output to be obtained, so that it can generate the most effective input for optimising the success of the learning process and what explanatory authority the different input- (Krashen 1985) and output- (Ellis 1985; Swain 1985) hypotheses have? Another subject of debate are the effects which the composition and forms of organisation of the learner groups have on the manner in which the linguistic input is processed, and finally one is seeking answers to the question: how exactly are input processing and success in learning languages correlated?
Teaching methods and social forms of teaching are a field which has been the subject of researchers' continuous attention throughout the history of foreign language didactics (Heuer 1995; Neuner 1995; Bönsch 1991; Finocchiaro & Brumfit 1983; Real 1994; Richards & Rodgers 1986; Stern 1983 on the domain of "methodics"; Aschersleben 1986; Schratz & Puchta 1984; Schwerdtfeger 1977; Kerschhofer 1995; Piepho 1995). Nevertheless, one can see some partial and special aspects where innovation is needed, as is the case with integrative approaches which are required in order to discover the interdependent relationships existing between the individual factors of foreign language teaching. These factors would include, for example, the way in which the combined effects of specific teaching styles (Cook 1991) and learning variables, (Skehan 1988) including the "alternative" social forms and methods (Baur 1990; Bröhm-Offermann 1989; Holtwitsch 1990; Müller 1989; Schiffler 1989; Bleyhl 1995; Dietrich 1995), have a potentially significant influence on the success of both teaching and learning.
Also appertaining to this subject area are those new approaches to foreign language didactics which are usually thought of in conjunction with the concept of "project-oriented" foreign language or English teaching (Bach & Timm 1989; Legutke 1988), and observations on "self-learning" (Wißner-Kurzawa 1995; Metzig & Schuster 1993), including the relevant teaching and learning material (Wißner-Kurzawa 1986; Zimmermann 1985), recent teaching technology, particularly computer-controlled foreign language teaching (CALL) (Rüschoff 1995; Grüner & Hassert 1992; Higgins & Johns 1984; Jones & Fortescue 1987; Jung 1990; Rüschoff 1986, and finally foreign language teaching via the mass media (Jung 1995).
The teaching of English in early childhood is to be a central theme of EESE. Particularly the aspects of early childhood bilingualism, the didactic concepts of primary school foreign language teaching, including their consequences for the curriculum, specific teaching methods for the primary school and existing problems in connection with the continuation of foreign language teaching in the first year of secondary school.
From the viewpoints of research into second language acquisition, of psycholinguistics and of research into multilingualism (List 1981; McLaughlin 1987), as well as in regard to the postulate stated in section 4 for the earliest possible development of "language awareness", the principle of bringing forward the start of foreign language teaching to the third school year has now generally been accepted (Bliesener 1993; Gompf & Karbe 1995; Schrand 1993). In contrast, questions concerning the didactic concept optimally suited to the primary school remain the subject of controversy. This controversy has (unfortunately) been reduced to a worsening dichotomy between "systematic foreign language teaching" vs "encountering foreign languages" which is comprehensively documented in the literature (Brusch 1993; Doyé 1991; Hellwig 1992; Pelz 1991; Rück 1994; Sauer 1992, 1993), whereby the arguments of the supporters of a "systematic" early start to foreign language teaching appear to be proving increasingly more convincing.
Contributions from this field are welcome, particularly those concerning the questions of the foreign language curriculum, above all in respect of the transition to the first stage of secondary education; problems of teaching methods adequate for primary school and the area of text books and teaching materials.
In the discussion of literature didactics, questions concerning concepts for a literature curriculum, criteria for the selection of literary texts and problems of the methodological treatment of different literary genres have been in the foreground for a considerable time.
In the absence of an overall theoretical concept, the current situation in literary didactics is characterised by the co-existence of markedly different ideas and recommendations (Glaap 1995): "cognitive deductive processes", which have the aim of enabling schoolchildren to deal properly with all types of texts (Freese 1979); text models which are based on test-linguistic concepts, close reading and the practice of corresponding methods of interpretation (Hunfeld 1990; Werlich 1976), and on the "interactional" literary idea, whereby the sense of a literary text develops from the interactive process between the text and the reader (Bredella 1980; 1990); and finally the concept of "learning by freely discussed textual analysis" (Nissen 1974), which endeavours to bring goal-oriented control in harmony with spontaneity in foreign language literature teaching (Glaap 1995: 151).
Regarding the content of an academic literature curriculum, there is a general consensus that, in principle, an "open canon" of didactic material is the best option (Real 1994). Nevertheless, demands are made that there should at least be a minimal consensus on the literature lists, which should consist of (relatively few) "compulsory" works and (numerous) "options" (Seeber 1982). Work needs to be done on just this controversy with the aim of developing criteria for the compilation of such lists.
Since the demands for "operationalising" learning aims in the seventies were also imposed on foreign language literature teaching, even literary comprehension and the ability to interpret now had to be measurable against clearly defined learning goals. This has had the consequence, amongst others, that the reading and analysis of short, easily comprehensible texts have been given a disproportionately high priority in comparison with reading for information, general knowledge and recreation (naturally with regard to exams and essays) (Glaap 1995: 152). This has meant that knowledge gained from applied linguistic research on reading regarding learning-oriented "heterogeneous" reading, (Karcher 1989; Nuttall 1982; Rumelhart 1980; Stiefenhöfer 1986, 1995; Westhoff 1987) has received very little attention, particularly in foreign language literature teaching. Consequently, a need for "integrative research" has appeared at this intersection of literary and linguistic didactics and teaching, and filling this gap is one of the concerns of the editors of EESE.
"Inter-cultural" and "trans-national" learning have become vogue symbols of Area Studies as a component of foreign language teaching and are stated aims for enabling foreign language learners to communicate in a "multi-cultural" setting. These are concepts for which a really inflationary increase in the relevant literature has been observed in the past few years (Knapp/Enninger/Knapp-Potthoff 1987; Rehbein 1985; Borelli & Hoff 1988; Hammerschmidt 1994; Knapp & Knapp-Potthoff 1990; Kramsch 1993). In the face of the increasing "multi-culturalisation" of our society, the terrific (and at the same time terrifying) increase in the internationalisation, and even the globalisation of the telecommunications network and the rapidly increasing mobility of people has certainly contributed to the inability of traditional area studies didactics to put its (in theory) postulated goals into practice (in practical teaching), the trend towards "inter-cultural communicative ability" as an important learning goal of modern foreign language teaching has however contributed to a desirable change in the attitude of foreign language learners to members of other cultures (Buttjes 1981; 1984; Buttjes 1995; Firges & Melenk 1995). Area studies didactics characterised by the aim of "trans-national competence" have addressed completely new problems and formulated new questions, such as the investigation of national and ethnic stereotypes and identities, and concepts for teaching foreign languages, cultures and civilisations. Articles directed along these lines will be welcomed by EESE as will be those concerned with the description and evaluation of concrete, inter-cultural projects in foreign language teaching and which have the aim of putting the themes outlined here into the curriculum.
The fields mentioned above can naturally only delineate a rough framework for the subjects, which in their entirety, form English didactics. The selection has necessarily had to be incomplete. A number of subject areas are not represented: research into text books and curricula, technical and non-school foreign language teaching, the role of multi-media in foreign language teaching, further training for teachers - just to mention a few (Bausch et al 1995). Nevertheless, the domains mentioned in this article can claim to be particularly relevant and/or topical in the environment of professional concerns with foreign language teaching. They should be seen as "pointers" for research into foreign language didactics. However, they should not divert the research interests of our colleagues working in this discipline from those fields which they consider to be as important from their perspective as those presented here. In order to maintain an overview of the latest trends and developments in the discipline, it is also necessary to follow the proceedings of the congresses of academic societies dealing with foreign language and English didactics. Directly arising from its own self-image as a revolutionary medium, EESE is committed to a high degree of sensitisation to significant, innovative research.