Aims and Tasks

Sorbian Studies as an academic discipline deals with both Sorbian languages and Sorbian culture and literature. The history of the Institute of Sorbian Studies began in the 1950s and is closely connected to the Institute for Sorbian Folklore Research in Bautzen. The research and didactics conducted in our Institute in the area of Sorbian Studies, structured into B.A., M.A. and teacher training programmes, are world-wide unique.

Qualified and well-educated graduates are needed, particularly in schools and other teaching and administrative institutions, both in Lower Lusatia in Brandenburg and Upper Lusatia in Saxony, as the Sorbian populations there have protected status as speakers of minority languages. Consequently, many parents expect Sorbian language instruction in bilingual schools for their children. Therefore, we offer our students a practically-orientated, well-grounded education which aims to develop linguistic competence and consciousness of the native tongue and its related culture.

Furthermore, even outside Lusatia there is a need for competent graduates who can cooperate nationally and internationally with representatives of other minorities and develop strategies for the maintenance and revitalisation of the Sorbian language and culture.

The major task of the Institute of Sorbian Studies is the training of teachers of Upper and Lower Sorbian in primary schools, middle schools and high schools. The focus in this regard is on the latest didactic concepts such as team teaching and 2+ teaching. Special attention is paid to the increasing proportion of students who take Sorbian as a second language (via WITAJ or in school).

In addition, we develop young researchers in Sorbian Studies: in linguistics and literary and cultural studies. We also have the academic support of the staff of the Sorbian Institute for specific topics of a research and didactic nature. We draw on long years of shared experiences and productive cooperation in teaching and research.

Extensive changes in a multitude of professional fields mean that study schemes have to be increasingly internationally orientated. This also implies a greater need for international cooperation, be it in economic or academic pursuits. For Sorbian Studies, which only exists in this form in Leipzig, this is a particular challenge. However, we closely cooperate with partner universities in Slavic areas in order to offer our students international experience with a bearing on Sorbian Studies, particularly themes of relevance to minority languages.


last modified: 07.05.2014