From “Global Citizenship Education” to “Professional Learning Communities” – a chance encounter for new doctoral student Mr Philipp Reul

All Posts, Decolonise Your Mind, Global Citizenship, Research

Editor’s note: On 25-28 March 2019, the first conference in Germany about “Educating the Global Citizen: International Perspectives on Foreign Language Teaching in the Digital Age” was hosted by the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. Our project research was represented in two strands: In the strand “Transcultural Identities”, Dr Michiko Weinmann presented our joint paper on “Juggling Selves: Navigating Pre-Service Teaching Experiences in Overseas Contexts” (M. Weinmann, R. Neilsen & I. Martin). I myself (Dr Isabel Martin) presented my paper “‘Decolonise your mind’: A global ‘study-teach-and-research’ project between Germany and Laos” in the strand “(Virtual) Exchange Projects”. At the end of the talk, I issued an open invitation to anyone interested in joining our project. This is when Mr Philipp Reul approached me to say that he found this project very interesting and would write to me.
My colleague from the English Department in Karlsruhe, Ms Sabine Rettinger, also gave a paper in the section “Projects & Texts”, entitled “The KinderCouncil – a pilot project for future global education and transcultural learning in foreign language education”. We were all enjoing the conference greatly, as it took up many of the notions we had been exploring ourselves over the past few years and gave us new food for thought. We just as much enjoyed the breaks in between, however, as we were hatching new plans for closer future collaboration. These plans were arrested by Covid-19 last year. But now, we are resuming where we left off, and Dr Michiko Weinmann will publish her account of the conference proceedings and our new ideas on this blog shortly, for starters.


From “Educating the Global Citizen” conference meeting in Munich (2019) to PhD student in Karlsruhe (2021)

Dear Readers,

My name is Philipp Reul, and I am the new, third PhD student in the Lao-German project “Bi-directional teaching and learning” that started in 2015 and targets cooperative teaching as well as research.

I was accepted by the Faculty of  Humanities & Human Sciences for a doctorate entitled “A Professional Learning Community (PLC) in a German-Lao tandem-learning-and teaching programme to professionalize German pre-service English teachers as Global Eductors“. This is why I would like to introduce myself and share a little about the work I will be doing in the project.

As a school teacher of English & physical education, university lecturer, and school development consultant, I am interested in researching the impact of the German-Lao tandem-learning-and-teaching programme on German pre-service English teachers. I will carry out a qualitative study focusing on the graduates and students of the University of Education Karlsruhe who worked as volunteers in the programme. I am hoping to interview some of the former volunteers in the programme on their perspectives on their stay abroad in retrospect. I am eager to work directly with Prof. Dr. Isabel Martin and the other two doctoral students Ms Rebecca Dengler and Ms Miaoxing Ye to form a research group. With their research experience and my excitement for my PhD project, I can see us four doing great work.

I meet Isabel Martin at the conference in Munich in 2019, when I attended her talk on “Decolonise your Mind: A Global “Study-Teach-And- Research” Project between Germany and Laos“. I took the chance to get in contact with her a few weeks after. We discussed my ideas until I was ready to write and then submit my proposal.


And then, on 10 July 2020, when I had the chance to meet many of you during the “6th Lao-German Friendship Feast“, I noticed the tight-knit culture here, which made me even more excited about applying for this PhD project.


I continued preparing my proposal and research outline by doing extensive research in the field over the winter, and it was accepted by the Faculty in February 2021. Now I hope that over the course of the next few months and years I will get the chance to meet many more of you in person or online.

I would also like to share some details about my professional experience. Parallel to accepting the position as a PhD student, I work part-time as a seconded teacher at the University of Bonn. Here I teach several courses each semester in the Master’s and Bachelor’s programme focusing on TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Additionally I work part-time as a consultant for school development, and I also teach  English and sports at a high school.

In my free time I enjoy to be around my family in Cologne; I have four children (three girls and one baby-boy), and I am a passionate sportsman.

I look forward to getting to know you in Germany and hopefully some day in Laos, too.



Text by P. Reul
Photos by P. Reul & I. Martin

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