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Nils Jaekel headshot

Nils Jaekel, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor, ESL/World Language Education


Nils Jaekel received his teaching degree in English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Social Sciences (2008) and German as a Second Language (2009) from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. He earned his teacher licensure at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield, UK, in 2010. Returning to Germany, Nils started his Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics / Second Language Acquisition at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. In 2015, he received his Ph.D. investigating language learning strategies comparing students in bilingual content-based classrooms and regular EFL classrooms. His research interests include content-based language acquisition in WL and ESL, early L2 acquisition, ELL’s summer regression, individual differences in L2 acquisition, particularly language learning strategies and self-efficacy in language learning and teacher education.

Nils has taught a variety of courses including Exploring Individual Differences in the L2 Classroom, Teaching Content and Language Integrated Learning, Introduction to EFL didactics, Teaching short stories in the foreign language classroom, Teaching foreign languages through songs and film. Currently, Nils teaches ESL and ELA methods courses and supervises interns in World Languages and ESL. 


Professional Background


Professor Jaekel’s research focuses on second language acquisition, teacher education, and the summer achievement gap for English Language Learners. He investigates how efficient different models of teaching a second or foreign language are, and how to improve them further. Recent and ongoing studies have focused on the long-term effects of early foreign language education, content-based language learning, bilingual cognitive advantages, student and teacher efficacy, language learning strategies, and World Language teacher education. Nils is involved in a large-scale longitudinal study investigating students’ English as a Foreign language (EFL) proficiency from elementary to secondary school in Germany. Two of his local UT projects are looking into World Language teacher education and efficacy.


Doctor of Philology (Second Language Acquisition/Pedagogy), Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
Postgraduate Certificate (German as a second and foreign language / Intercultural Pedagogy), University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Staatsexamen (German licensure teacher’s degree) (English, Social Sciences, and Pedagogy) (equivalent to M.Ed.), University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany


Professional Service

Professor Jaekel is a member of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), Tennessee Foreign Language Teacher Association (TNFLTA), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Fremdsprachenforschung (DGFF), and presents papers regularly at their annual conferences. He also reviews articles and conference proposals regularly for a variety of journals (

Awards and Recognitions

AAAL Research Article Award 2019, American Association for Applied Linguistics, ‘From early starters to late finishers? A longitudinal study of early foreign language learning in school’

Outstanding Article of the Year 2017, Language Learning


Selected articles published in refereed journals

Jaekel, N., Jaekel, J., Willard, J., & Leyendecker, B. (2019). No evidence for effects of Turkish immigrant children's bilingualism on executive functions. PLoS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0209981

Jaekel, N., (2018). Language learning strategy use in context: the effects of self-efficacy and CLIL on language proficiency. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching.  doi:10.1515/iral-2016-0102

Jaekel, N., Schurig, M., Ritter, M. (2018). Früher Fremdsprachenunterricht (Early foreign language learning). Zeitschrift SchulVerwaltung NRW. Cologne: Wolters Kluwer.

Jaekel, N., Schurig, M., Florian, M., & Ritter, M. (2017). From early starters to late finishers? A longitudinal study of early foreign language learning in school. Language Learning, 67: 631-664. doi:10.1111/lang.12242

External funding

Jaekel, N. The ecology of effective teaching: investigating the relationship of teacher and student dispositions in Germany and the USA, Research School Gateway Fellowship (Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany), postdoctoral funding, $ 51,000, Principle investigator

Nils Jaekel headshot

Contact Information

  • A419 Jane and David Bailey Education Complex
  • Phone: 865-974-4185
  • E-mail: