After reading German Language, Literature and Theology I graduated from Hamburg University in 1987 with the degree of 1. Staatsexamen (MA equivalent), completed a two year long teachers training course with 2. Staatsexamen (PGCE equivalent) and was awarded the degree of Dr phil (PhD equivalent) from Hamburg University in 1993. For my PhD I analysed spoken modern Yiddish in Israel. My research since then focuses on multilingualism and language contact, language and globalization, lesser used languages (Yiddish and Low German), teaching and learning German as a second or other language, German-Jewish studies.