No. 18
The presence of English in Germany

The growing presence of English in Germany and other European countries is an obvious fact. In sociolinguistics, it has normally been seen as part of the general spread of English through the world. However, this means overlooking important facts. Whereas English followed the emigration of British natives and the development of the empire on the other contients, it was the Europeans themselves who fetched, as it were, the language from the British Isles to their own countries, because of a growing interest in their culture and politics. The mediating channel was therefore not political pressure but culture driven foreign language teaching. The introduction of teaching English to German schools (as a protocase of schools in other European countries) mirrors this development. This gives even the present-day teaching of English a cultural background which is different from teaching a language as a mere instrument of communication as in other parts of the world (important as this goal in itself is). The intrusion of English foreignisms into German, which worries so many people, is in no way dangerous as long as it is counterbalanced in our schools.

Seite 3-26, Heft 1/2007, Band 18
Deutsch als eine dritte Sprache lernen - Überlegungen zur Tertiärsprachenproblematik aus Sicht der Psycholinguistik und der Fehleranalyse

In this paper we describe and then discuss our initial attempts at using a triangulation investigatory method to bring together results from a variety of studies into third language acquisition. Our goal was to provide further empirical evidence in support of third language learning theory and research. We combine results obtained using psycholinguistic instrumentation, methods of error analysis, and learner questionnaires. During this process, certain results seemed to contradict each other – especially those from the psycholinguistic and error analysis perspectives. It remains to be evaluated whether the underlying causes of these results lie in the participant group sizes, the data collection method, and/or in the various research ques-tions and approaches. Our groups of participants consisted of learners with various language backgrounds. The target group was made up of learners of German as a third language (i.e. L3 = second or later foreign language). The experimental stimuli focussed on prepositional con-structions, especially phrasal and prepositional verbs (e.g. denken an). In two pilot studies, we first collected the data and then performed error analyses, empirical statistical analyses and compiled learner profiles.

Seite 27-41, Heft 1/2007, Band 18