Dr. Lee Forester

Professor of German
Profile photo of Dr. Lee Forester

Dr. Forester began teaching at Hope College in 1992, having spent the immediately preceding two years in Vienna, Austria, on a Fulbright grant. He teaches all levels of German at Hope and occasionally forays into First Year Seminars, Senior Seminars, linguistics and Icelandic.

His main academic contribution outside the department is his leading role in creating a new type of language textbook based much more extensively on culture. Currently there are three titles: Auf geht's! (beginning German), Weiter geht's! (intermediate German) and Ritmos (beginning Spanish). These texts are used in more than 100 institutions across the US and Canada.


  • Historical Germanic linguistics — the development of the Germanic languages including Gothic, Icelandic, Old English, Old Low Franconian, Old High German and their more modern forms
  • Computer-assisted language learning
  • Task-based instructional design


  • Ph.D., Germanic linguistics, UC Berkeley, 1992
  • M.A., Germanic linguistics, UC Berkeley, 1986
  • B.A., German, UC Berkeley, 1984


  • DAAD GAIST grant (€18,000) 2003-2006
  • FIPSE General Program Grant for Auf geht's! ($495,870) 2001-2004
  • Ameritech Distance Collaboration Grant ($50,000) 1998-1999
  • Fulbright Research Fellowship, Vienna 1990-1992
  • FLAS Fellowships, Serbo-Croatian 1988-89, Russian 1986-87
  • IREX Slavonic Studies Fellowship, Bulgaria 1986

Invited conference presentations

  • “Value-added Curricular Innovation for the Language Requirement,” keynote address at Moving from Crisis Management to Innovation: Reimagining the Role of World Languages in the 21st-Century Academy, October 24, 2015, Simpson College (Iowa)
  • “Rethinking Beginning Spanish,” keynote presentation at American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Southern California, spring meeting, April 26, 2014, Pasadena, California
  • “The Risks of Language Teaching and Language Learning in the Undergraduate Curriculum,” Binghamton University German Studies Colloquium, Binghamton University, April 19–20, 2013
  • “Content-Driven Instruction in Beginning and Intermediate Language Courses,” CIC Conference on Teaching World Languages: Strategies for Success, Little Rock, Arkansas, April 1, 2011

Selected Publications

Outside the college

When not working, Dr. Forester spends his time running (he has completed four marathons so far), reading detective fiction in whatever language he happens to be learning at the moment, and developing and designing board games. He currently has two published games dealing with military conflicts: Semper Fi (USMC in Korea) and Day of Days (Allied invasion of Normandy in WWII).

He also teaches adult Sunday classes at his church, paints miniature figures, dabbles in flatpick guitar when he can fit it in and argues about current events, politics, stupid memes and Japanese anime with his wife and three sons.

Profile photo of Dr. Lee Forester
Dr. Lee Forester

Phone Number616.395.7567

Martha Miller Center 218 257 Columbia Avenue Holland, MI 49423-3615
A map showing the location for Dr. Lee Forester Martha Miller Center 218 257 Columbia Avenue Holland MI 49423-3615