Learning to say 'you' in German: The acquisition of sociolinguistic competence in a study abroad context

Publikation: Beiträge in SammelwerkenKapitelbegutachtet


Learning to say ‘you’ in a foreign language may seem a rather straightforward and tedious task to the layperson. Many foreign language learners, however, know differently. Indeed, depending on the language in question, mastery of the address system of alanguage may represent a source of considerable difficulty. Time spent in the target speech community would appear to represent an ideal opportunity to acquire sociolinguistic competence in aspects of the second language (L2) such as the address system, given the accessibility of authentic input and the potentially extensive opportunities to use the target language. However, in the light ofa dearth of interlanguage sociolinguistic and – until recently – study abroad research, it is hardly surprisingly that little is known of the acquisition of L2 sociolinguistic competence during a sojourn in the target speech community.2 This is especially so forthe case of German as a foreign language. The present study reports on an investigation designed to address this need for interlanguage research in L2 sociolinguistics. Specifically, the study concerns a longitudinal report of the development of the L2 sociolinguistic competence of 33 Irish learners of German in their use of the address system over ten months (termed ‘a year abroad’ in an Anglo-Saxon context) spent studying in Germany.

TitelLanguage Learners in Study Abroad Contexts
HerausgeberMargaret A. DuFon, Eton Churchill
Anzahl der Seiten30
VerlagMultilingual Matters
ISBN (Print)1-85359-851-8, 1-85359-852-6, 9781853598517
ISBN (elektronisch)9781853598531
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 18.01.2006
Extern publiziertJa

Bibliographische Notiz

Publisher Copyright:
© 2003 Jean-Marc Dewaele, Alex Housen, Li Wei and the authors of individual chapters.

Zugehörige Projekte

  • Acquisition and Interlanguage Pragmatics

    Projekt: Forschung