Luděk Knittl

Ludek Knittl

BSc, MA, MEd (Sheffield)

University Teacher; Director of Czech

Contact details

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 7409+44 (0) 114 222 7409

email : l.knittl@sheffield.ac.uk

Biography

I come from Moravia, the eastern part of the Czech Republic. Before I started teaching Czech at the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies in 2004, I had worked for a number of years as a translator, interpreter, tour guide, and facilitator in the area of personal development. While at Sheffield, I have completed a Bachelor's degree in Human Communication Sciences, a Master's degree in Language Acquisition, and a professional Master's degree in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. I also became Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014.  

Apart from teaching at the university, I have worked as a free-lance community interpreter in Czech and Slovak.

Research interests

I am interested in various aspects of second language acquisition and language pedagogy. Previously, I have done projects on early acquisition of Czech phonology by English speakers, and on how biological motion events are encoded by advanced learners of Czech.

I have collaborated with Professor Neil Bermel on a project exploring the frequency and acceptability of certain morphological features in Czech, and worked for three years as Research Associate on a further similar project funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

My teaching-related research interests are centred around the use of technologies in language learning and teaching in Higher Education.

Teaching

My teaching includes oral practice and language classes, modules in Czech history and culture at all levels of study, and I teach on School-wide modules on linguistics and language pedagogy.

  • RUS121/122 Czech Language and Culture for Beginners I, II
  • RUS125/126 History of East Central Europe I, II (module coordinator)
  • MDL104 Introductory Linguistics for Modern Languages: Second Language Acquisition
  • RUS223/224 Czech I, II
  • RUS248 Studies in Czech Culture (module coordinator)
  • RUS3071/3072 Czech Intermediate I, II
  • RUS381/382 Varieties of Written and Spoken Czech I, II (module coordinator)
  • RUS385 Project in Czech Studies 
  • MDL305 Learning and Teaching Foreign Languages (module leader)

In collaboration with colleagues at the department, I have been developing innovative teaching materials for all levels of our curriculum. These include Level 2 "Studies in Czech Culture", Level 1 "History of East Central Europe", both funded through CILASS (Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences) grants. I have recently completed an advanced course "Varieties of Czech", funded by CEELBAS (Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies) and a package of interactive online exercises for beginner learners of Czech.

I have received two student-nominated Academic Awards in the recent years. The first one for Innovative Teaching in relation to running a translation project called "Translating Czech Castles" in 2013, and the second one for Best Digital Teaching in the Learning and Teaching category in 2016.

Seminar and conference presentations

  • Translation projects in the teaching of Czech as a foreign language. Translation and Interpreting Forum 2017, Palacký University, Olomouc, November 2017.
  • Využití digitálních technologií ve výuce (nejen) češtiny na britské univerzitě: překážky a příležitosti (Using digital technologies in Czech language instruction at a British university: barriers and opportunities). VIII. mezinárodní sympozium o češtině jako cizím jazyku, Charles University, Prague, August 2016.
  • Interaktivní čeština: Kombinace e-learningového kurzu s tradiční výukou ve třídě pro B1 (Interactive Czech: Combining an e-learning course with traditional classroom instruction for a B1 classroom). VIII. mezinárodní sympozium o češtině jako cizím jazyku, Charles University, Prague, August 2016. (With P. Hanušková and I. Starý Kořánová) 
  • Digital technologies in language learning and teaching. Invited talk at the Slavonic languages graduate training workshop: “Teaching Slavonic and East European Languages", University College London, June 2015.
  • E-learning tools for languages - from theory to practice. Invited keynote presentation at the E-learning and Languages: CEELBAS Language Workshop, SSEES, University College London, November 2014.
  • Variation among native speakers of Czech and sensitivity to frequency of forms. BASEES Annual Conference, The University of Cambridge, April 2014. (With N. Bermel and J. Russel)
  • How Sheffield students of Czech translated a castle. Eighth Annual Learning and Teaching Conference - "Digital Possibilities: Inspiring Learning Through Technology", The University of Sheffield, January 2014. (With N. Bermel)
  • Digital technologies in language learning and teaching. Invited talk at the Slavonic languages graduate training workshop: “Challenges of Teaching Slavonic Languages in Higher Education", The University of Cambridge, March 2013.
  • Slovesa pohybu v češtině a jejich osvojování z pohledu kognitivní lingvistiky [Czech verbs of motion and their acquisition in the framework of cognitive linguistics]. Invited lecture at the Summer School of Linguistics, Dačice, Czech Republic, August 2010.
  • Describing motion events in Czech. Slavic Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Prague, October 2009.
  • How to tackle history and not kill it: a student battle with the past. Third CILASS (Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield) Staff-Student Conference - Inquire, Engage, Challenge and Change, March 2009. (With K. Zioło)
  • Acquisition of foreign language phonology: The first steps in learning Czech by English speakers. British Association of Academic Phoneticians 2008 Colloquium, The University of Sheffield, April 2008, (poster presentation)

Publications

  • Bermel, N., Knittl, L. and Russell, J. (2017) Frequency data from corpora partially explain native-speaker ratings and choices in overabundant paradigm cells. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory
  • Knittl, L. (2016) Využití digitálních technologií ve výuce (nejen) češtiny na britské univerzitě: překážky a příležitosti (Using digital technologies in Czech language instruction at a British university: barriers and opportunities). In: Sborník příspěvků z VIII. mezinárodního sympozia o češtině jako cizím jazyku (Proceedings from the VIII. International Symposium about Czech as a Foreign Language), Charles University, Prague. 
  • Starý Kořánová, I., Knittl, L. & Hanušková, P. (2016) Interaktivní čeština: Kombinace e-learningového kurzu s tradiční výukou ve třídě pro B1 (Interactive Czech: Combining an e-learning course with traditional classroom instruction for a B1 classroom). In: Sborník příspěvků z VIII. mezinárodního sympozia o češtině jako cizím jazyku (Proceedings from the VIII. International Symposium about Czech as a Foreign Language), Charles University, Prague.
  • Bermel, N., Knittl, L. (2015) The linguistic landscape of a Czech heritage site: Recording and presenting the past and present of Hrubý Rohozec. In English in Business and Commerce: Interactions and Policies. Tamah Sherman; Jiří Nekvapil (eds.). Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Bermel, N., Knittl, L. and Russell, J. (2015) From standard to norm through the lens of corpora and native speakers, Prace Filologiczne, LXVII, 21-43.
  • Bermel, N., Knittl, L. and Russell, J. (2015) Morphological variation and sensitivity to frequency of forms among native speakers of Czech, Russian Linguistics, 39(105), 1-26.
  • Bermel, N., Knittl, L. & Russell, J. (2014) Absolutní a proporcionální frekvence v ČNK ve světle výzkumu morfosyntaktické variace v češtině [Absolute and proportional frequency in the Czech National Corpus in the light of morphosyntactic variation research in Czech]. Naše řeč, 97 (4-5), 216-227.
  • Bermel, N. & Knittl, L. (2012) Corpus frequency and acceptability judgements: A study of morphosyntactic variants in Czech, Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 8(2), 241-275. (full text)
  • Bermel, N. & Knittl, L. (2012), Morphosyntactic variation and syntactic constructions in Czech nominal declension: corpus frequency and native-speaker judgements, Russian Linguistics, 36 (1), 91-119. (full text)