No. 17
Individuelle Arbeitsgedächtniskapazität und fremdsprachliche Leseverstehenleistungen

Working memory refers to the ability to store and process information simultaneously. Consistent high correlation between working memory capacity and L1 reading performances has been shown, which indicates that working memory capacity is a dominant source of individual differences in reading ability. In L2 reading research only very few studies examine the sensitivity of working memory capacity to differences in L2 reading skills. This study was conducted with 16 advanced Japanese L2 German learners. The test battery included measures of reading comprehension in L2 and working memory L1 and L2. Strong correlations between working memory capacity and L2 reading skills were found. The results will be discussed within the framework of current criticism on measuring working memory, whereby the application of strategies will be of great importance.

Seite 163-180, Heft 2/2006, Band 17
Schriftsprachliche und mathematische Leistungen in der Erstsprache - Ein Vergleich monolingual und teilimmersiv unterrichteter Kinder der zweiten und dritten Klassenstufe

The present study examines the effects of early partial immersion (all school subjects including math are taught in English (L2) except learning to read and write, which are taught in German (L1)) on school attainment in grade two and grade three. N=81 second and third graders educated monolingual or in a partial immersion program were tested towards the end of the school years. In addition to background variables as well as motivational variables (German interest and self-concept; math interest and self-concept) cognitive variables (concentration, nonverbal intelligence) were tested. As dependent variables German-speaking tests in the domains of reading, writing and math were administered. L1-literacy acquisition as well as mathematical output was comparable for children in the partial immersion program and monolingual educated children when controlling for cognitive and motivational differences. The results are discussed regarding selection effects as well as with regard to Cummins’ Threshold and Interdependence Model.

Seite 181-200, Heft 2/2006, Band 17
Fachlichkeit und Sprachlichkeit - Zwischenbilanz eines DFG-Projekts

The research project presented here compares the basic geographical competences of bilingual and monolingual 10th graders. The central question is, whether bilingual learners, after 4 years of bilingual education, are equally competent in subject-matter terms as their monolingual counterparts, given the fact that they had used a foreign language (English) as a working language instead of their mother tongue. The comparison is done by analysing the structure of their subject-matter competences (based on an explicit model, elicited by the typical subject-specific tasks and written solutions) as well as by looking at the mental processes applied (elicited through thinking-aloud-protocols, interactive conversational protocols and retrospective interviews). In particular, subject-specific discourse competence is focused upon, as identified in task solutions (products) and their editing.


Seite 201-244, Heft 2/2006, Band 17
Interkomprehension - Versuch einer Begriffserklärung

Of the three possible ways of defining a theoretical construct, the pragmatic one seems to bet he most appropriate in the field of foreign language pedagogy. The author uses it in this article in his attempt to determine the phenomenon of intercomprehension and arrives at the following definition:


Intercomprehension is a form of communication in which each person uses his or her own language and understands that of the other.


This definition contains two critical components: the use of the mother tongue for purposes pf producing messages and the comprehension of the partner’s messages when uttered in his or her language.


Two modifications of this principal determination are acceptable and are often used in the discussion of the intercomprehension: the use of previously acquired foreign languages for the purpose of production and the inclusion of productive activities in the partner tongue.


The article concludes with the description of our main educational intentions concerning intercomprehension: the practical advantage, the support of language awareness and language learning awareness, the encouragement of learner autonomy, and the promotion of intercultural competence.

Seite 245-256, Heft 2/2006, Band 17