I was born in Finsterwalde one early morning in the last century, stayed home with my mom, went to school, left town, got a degree as a Diplomlehrer of German and Russian from a teacher training college, which is now part of the Universität Leipzig . As part of these studies, I spent ten months in my third year at the Калужский государственный педагогический университет in Kaluga, Russia. I left Germany about one year after unification and went to England and worked (part-time) as a Lecturer in German at what became Sunderland University while I was there. Then I got a faculty position and spent three years lecturing German and Linguistics at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Between 1995 and 2001, I was a lecturer in German Linguistics and CALL in the Centre for Computational Linguistics at UMIST in Manchester, where I also obtained my PhD in Language Engineering (Applied Linguistics).
Between 2001 and 2017, I worked as a professor of German (Applied Linguistics) at the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo. I also served as the director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies from 2009 to 2017. I am still an adjunct professor with some research tasks in that department.
Since 2017, I have been living and working in San Diego. Here, I am the director of the Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC) and a professor of German in the Department of European Studies at San Diego State University.