The author shows in her paper the relevance of language awareness in the field of German as a foreign or second language. Main topics are: language awareness and holistic teaching, language comparison as a method within language awareness and cultural awareness. Differences between German as a foreign language and German as a second language are described with regard to language awareness. In the second section, the author discusses language awareness as part of intercultural education and stresses again on differences between learning situations in Germany and in the country of origin. Language varieties are given as an example for language awareness. Finally, the relevance of language awareness for teacher training is discussed.
The process of acquiring phonemes, i.e., the way phoneme perception and production is actually determined by the linguistic environment, is not well understood. The process of acquiring phonemes in a second language is much different from that in the first language, because of the difference in age of acquisition and the existence of the first language phonological system. Thus, learning a foreign language in adulthood involves the reattunement of phonetic perceptual processes and the perceptual reorganization of phonological categories. Several factors are shown to be critical to the success of an auditory training program: A highly variable stimulus set appears to be crucial for the development of robust new phonetic categories. This variability includes the use of multiple talkers, multiple phonetic environments, and multiple tokens within each phonetic environment. The choice of optimal training materials will also depend on the subjects’ pretraining level of performance and the L2 contrast to be learned and its relation to L1 phoneme categories. Further, the question is addressed whether the mental representation of phonetic categories exhibits internal structure. Here the prototype concept is presented claiming that speech categories are indeed internally structured and that good instances, i.e. prototypes, play a central role in that structure and in speech perception.
The essay traces the development of Translation Studies from the post-war years to be present day and attempts to define its position in relation to neighbouring disciplines and specifically to foreign language teaching. In the linguistically oriented approach of the 1960s and 1970s, Translation Studies (Übersetzungswissenschaft) was considered to be part of Applied Linguistics, while the functionally oriented skopos-theory of the 1980s paved the way for its development into a discipline in its own right, as it is seen today. Reflecting both intellectual and political tends of the last few years, recent work, as seen in four anthologies presented here, shows a clear tendency towards interdisciplinary cooperation and the integration of approaches from East and West.