Student Testimonials for Siobhan Mortell, College Language Teacher, Department of German, UCC - see below
Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching German (Zert.DaF) from Herder Institut, University of Leipzig, Germany 1996.
BA Hons, MA Hons (UCC)
Integrated Language (1st year), German Syntax, Translation into English, Discussion & Essay Writing, Grammar, Commercial Language, oral practice, Teaching German as a Foreign Language (DaF)
- GE1101 First Year Integrated Language course
- GE3807 Commercial Language
- GE3101/GE3801 Final Year Integrated Language course
- Head of First Year Language
- Head of Final Year Language
- Departmental academic coordinator, BComm International (German) Year Abroad Programme, with Dr Claire O'Reilly.
- Member of BComm International Board of Studies.
· Initiative to integrate soft skills into UCC First Year German curriculum 2006.
· Design, development, teaching and examination of full curriculum for Commercial German Language to second and final year BComm International students at UCC
· Consistent and successful integration of highly interactive and student centred learning activities at all levels.
· Teaching Portfolio 2006: Commercial Language Teaching / Interactive Teaching Methods
· A Teaching Unit on Marketing, Annual Meeting of Third Level teachers of Commercial German, UCC October 2006
· Five Minute Language Activities for Busy Teachers, presented to Athlone GDI and to Waterford GDI in Spring 2006
· Versatile Teaching Materials for Commercial German, Annual Meeting of Third Level teachers of Commercial German, Goethe Institute, November 2005.
· Kreative Ideen für den Unterricht Wirtschaftsdeutsch, January 2004, Goethe Institute Conference "Deutsch für Karriere und Beruf".
· The BComm Euro (German): a Critical Review, December 2003, UCC German Departmental Research Seminar.
· Using Games in the Language Class, September 1999, UCC Language Centre Inaugural Conference: "Translation and Language Teaching".
2010: Digitale Medien im Deutschunterricht, Goethe Institute
2006: Teaching Commercial German Creatively, Institute for Intercultural Communication, University of Düsseldorf.
2005: The Skills Project, Integrating Soft Skills into Language Curriculum, TCD
2004: Teaching Commercial German, Institute for Intercultural Communication, University of Düsseldorf.
2004: Using a start-up company as a model for teaching Commercial German, Institute for Intercultural Communication, University of Düsseldorf.
2001: Methodological Innovations in Teaching German as a Foreign Language, Internationales Haus Sonnenberg, Germany.
- 2017. International conference "Study Abroad 2017 - 30 Years of Erasmus"
- 2006. One-day Annual Meeting at UCC of Third Level teachers of Commercial German.
- 2005. Teachers’ Forum for UCC language teachers.
- 1998 and 2000. One-day workshop at UCC for teachers of German at second and third level.
Student Testimonials for Siobhan Mortell
I had two modules with Siobhan this year and I was really struck by how willing she was to engage with students and hear all of our ideas. She always made sure that we had grasped the concepts discussed in class and never complained if we didn't understand something and needed it explained multiple times. When I worked with her on a project to collect student feedback, she was also very open to ideas on how to improve the language modules. I felt my input was valued by the department and this helped motivate my studies. I also found that she was always ready to help students on any issue an devoted some of her own free time to help second years to prepare for the Erasmus year, which left me feeling a lot more confident and reassured. The personal interest which Siobhan takes in her students and their well-being really motivated me to study for her classes, improve my German and to make the most of my year abroad next year.
Mairead J, BA International
Siobhan was by far the most caring, attentive and helpful lecturer who has taught me, either here in Ireland or abroad. Over my past four years, Siobhan has truly gone above and beyond in providing assistance to my fellow students and me. This has included following up on any issues experienced during my Erasmus year in Germany and issues regarding in-class content. In particular, as our grammar teacher this year, I can confidently affirm that Siobhan has gone out of her way to cater for the needs of every student. She offered extra classes for advanced students in addition to pairing up weaker students with more comfortable students in an in-class situation, an experience I felt to be invaluable for students who found certain aspects of German grammar difficult. This provided them with the opportunity to learn in a peer assisted environment. Siobhan has created an environment where she is approachable in almost every regard while maintaining a professional distance. She has been a constant source of support throughout my educational career.
Emma O’L, BComm International with German
Siobhan always had our best interests at heart and went above and beyond the necessary in her role as our teacher and mentor. We could always count on Siobhan for assistance. Her warm, friendly presence throughout the past four years of my education in UCC encouraged a great environment for learning. I believe our class in particular formed a great bond and Siobhan was instrumental and central to our well-being as a class, but most importantly on ensuring our journey through college was both successful and an enjoyable experience. Siobhan has been someone who believed in your abilities and always encouraged you to do better. She acknowledged when you did well, but most importantly gave you a wee shunt when required. As I move on to the next journey, I believe UCC should acknowledge Siobhan's work ethic and desire to help us, to further encourage her to keep up the great work.
Charlie O'D, BComm International with German
I have recently completed first year of a BComm German degree. Entering third level education was always going to be somewhat daunting. However, the classroom-feel and sense of togetherness provided by Siobhán immediately put any fears at rest. Siobhán has demonstrated many original teaching techniques throughout the year, all of which had a positive impact as a first year BComm German student. Incorporating numerous games and songs into our many German classes throughout this past year was both stimulating and very rewarding.
In my opinion Siobhán has played an integral part in making the learning experience in our class simply enjoyable. Another admirable aspect of Siobhán's teaching is the level of respect she shows to all students. Moving from the secondary school environment where everything was spoon-fed, Siobhán has provided us with a learning platform whereby we are encouraged to discuss and discover by ourselves while at the same time always being there should we need a helping hand.
It is with utmost confidence I can say that Siobhán has had a massive impact on my extremely enjoyable first year in UCC and I'm thoroughly looking forward to getting stuck in once again come September.
Gerard O'L, BComm International (German) I
While I was originally hesitant regarding the compulsory year abroad it entailed, Siobhan Mortell was the person who convinced me to take Commerce with German at UCC in the first place, informing me that an opportunity to go abroad would in fact be the most enriching aspect of my studies at UCC and would also increase my employability, all of which turned out to be true. As president of the German Society this year at UCC, I also noted Siobhan as a constant source of advice and support to the Society, encouraging students in the Dept. of German to take part in the Society at every opportunity. Siobhan also allowed me to take part voluntarily in a module of hers I felt would be of great benefit to me in becoming a teacher, although I was originally not permitted to do so for credit due to complications with the UCC calendar. Siobhan and Christine later went out of their way to provide a means for me to take the module for credit. As a soon-to-be-graduate, I feel as though I have taken every opportunity I was given to optimise my student experience at UCC and further me in my chosen career path and for that I have Siobhan Mortell to thank.
Ivan G, BComm International with German
Siobhán has played a very influential role in my studies since I began in University College Cork in 2014. During my first year in UCC Siobhán was our main lecturer in German and this was very reassuring for me as a student, as I felt that she was very approachable from the beginning. I felt comfortable asking Siobhán any questions in class or for advice in relation to my studies in general. I think this is hugely important in the first year of studying in a university as it is a big change from secondary school and therefore it is nice to have some support, which Siobhán voluntarily provided whenever necessary.
Following on from this, I find Siobhán’s teaching methods very informative and helpful. Her classes are always well planned and she follows a very clear structure which makes the material easier to understand and the class itself easier to follow. Siobhán always provides clarity in her explanations, which are both thorough and easily comprehended. As it is a class of mixed abilities I understand that this sometimes may be challenging for teacher, as it takes some students longer to understand the concept than others, however Siobhán ensures that no one is falling behind and that everyone understands each aspect. I feel that this is a very important aspect in her teaching, as no one feels that they are hindering fellow classmates’ learning and it also means that no one is afraid to ask questions in her class. This is another element of Siobhán’s teaching that I am highly appreciative of because in some university classes it can be very intimidating to ask questions, however Siobhán always encourages this method of learning.
In relation to preparation for my ERASMUS, Siobhán once again played the most important role in providing us with information about each of the universities and helping us to decide which university would suit each of our personal preferences. I was very thankful of this when I arrived in Konstanz because she had provided us with some very important general information, which definitely proved beneficial to us in the first week here. Overall, Siobhán has been a very influential figure throughout my studies in UCC across many different areas and I am very grateful for her help.
Rachael O'C, BComm Int’l (German) III
Siobhan Mortell has been extremely supportive during my time in college, her commitment to helping students and going above and beyond what is required of her has earned my respect and admiration. Her passion for German and her willingness to help and support students both within and outside of lectures have made an enormous impact on my college experience. I'm very happy to have had her as a lecturer.
Sean T, BComm International with German
Siobhan has made a beneficial impact on my studies, both in UCC and abroad. I have found her methods of teaching German very effective and motivating. She uses a wide range of teaching methods, varying them in accordance to the area of language we are studying, for example grammar, vocab, or oral German. She places a great emphasis on spoken German, and what I found really helpful was the way in which she taught oral German. Not only did we practise spontaneous conversation and debates in class to build our confidence when speaking German, but we also did a lot of phonetics work, whereby she gave us methods and exercises to practise at home that would help us improve our pronunciation. Furthermore she often gives a helpful background information in regards to grammar topics, for example she explains things from a linguistic point of view, which was paramount to me in regards to grasping the concept of what we were learning. She also provides useful, real-world skills while teaching grammar and vocab, like formal letter writing and business etiquette, which are invaluable as a Commerce and German student.
She is an extremely approachable, organised and well-informed academic and Erasmus coordinator. She is very helpful and really made the organising of my Erasmus a lot easier and less stressful.
Niamh F, BComm Int’l (German) III
I found Siobhan to have a very innovative style of teaching, which involved incorporating new teaching methods regularly in order to have maximum impact, for example role plays, board games, mock interviews, presentations, projects etc. Siobhan was very approachable and provided constructive feedback and advice throughout the three years I had her as a lecturer. Siobhan assured we were all well prepared for our ERASMUS year by giving us an appreciation for the German culture, by telling of her experience and the experiences of past students. She also organised the year abroad programme for us and remained a point of contact for us all, while we were abroad.
Helen W, Graduate, BComm International with German
The role played by Siobhán Mortell in my student experience at UCC can only be described as a positive one. Whether instructing in Grammar, Translation, or Teaching German as a Foreign Language (lecture module), her knowledge, experience, and preparation were exemplary, and having such a capable teacher instilled confidence in my own abilities. Of importance to me was Siobhán's willingness to share her personal experiences, particularly in Teaching German as a Foreign Language, which enhanced the learning experience of that particular course. Siobhán was always pleasant and approachable, and any queries or problems were always dealt with efficiently and capably, which contributed to my feeling comfortable and looked-after as a student of the German department.
Harry C, Graduate, BA Language & Cultural Studies
From the beginning of first year, Siobhan took us under her wing to ensure that we reach our maximum academic potential during our time in UCC. Siobhan is achieving this through her direct and diligent approach to teaching. She has created and maintained a positive atmosphere in the classroom always, which has allowed each of her students to feel comfortable. This, combined with Siobhan’s creative learning activities and encouragement of participation, has most certainly produced the perfect learning environment.
A noteworthy element of Siobhan’s dedication to her job is her willingness to go above and beyond for each of her students. She has truly bent over backwards to ensure that we are fully prepared for our upcoming Erasmus year abroad and, for me, this consistent help and reassurance has eased my mind and boosted my confidence about moving abroad and entering a whole new learning environment. Continuous assessments are frequently carried out and Siobhan provides sufficient one-on-one feedback so that each student can keep track of their own academic growth. The time allocated for feedback also allows for any concerns or issues to be raised in a non-public setting.
I personally appreciate all the hard work Siobhan has put into making sure that all of her class feels comfortable in the learning environment she has created for us over the past two years.
Natasha S, BComm Int’l (German) II
Feedback on GE2102 Linguistics 1, Sept-Dec 2014
I loved the way each lecture got everyone involved. It was very interactive and helped us to understand more clearly the point being put across.
The weekly homework and the feedback were very helpful. Loved Siobhan's class to bits even if it was at 9am. Worth it every single week. Learned a lot with her. Great teacher. Lots of information. Feedback was great.
This module was by far the most well-organized module I have ever attended and every single lecture was incredibly interesting. I never thought I would understand or enjoy linguistics however I am hoping now to continue with it in 3rd year.