No. 9
Interkulturelles Lernen: ein überflüssiger Begriff

The paper analyses the terms “intercultural communication” and “intercultural learning” as regards their meaning for and relevance to the business of foreign language learning and acquisition. It is argued that the former term refers to communication in which at least one of the interactants uses L2 – in other words foreign language communication is the intended sense, but different cultural aspects of communication are stressed by the use of the new term. The term “intercultural learning” is best understood as referring to intercultural goals, which, it is demonstrated, are either simply communicative goals, or goals which are extrinsic to the business of foreign language instruction. It is therefore recommended that the term be omitted from professional discussion. A more concrete, empirically-based agenda for setting goals for intercultural communication is finally sketched.

Seite 161-188, Heft 2/1998, Band 9
Über die Notwendigkeit und die Chance eines Medienwechsels im Bereich wissenschaftlicher Dokumentationen: Das Handbuch Englisch als Fremdsprache als exemplarischer Fall

The new HEF is an exemplary instance of the way in which switching from one medium to another can enhance the broad accessibility of the material enshrined in a manual which, thanks to the immense amount of time and energy that its compilers have put into it, can truly be said to reflect the established knowledge of an entire branch of learning at the present time. The change of format from print medium to an electronic version available on CD-ROM can be said to a) neutralize the notorious limitations imposed on lexicographic text wording and layout, b) reduce the (technical) demands made on the user, and c) make it possible to redesign (re)search avenues in a way that is both more user-friendly and more accurate and systematic.

Seite 189-209, Heft 2/1998, Band 9
Literaturdidaktik als kommunikative Sprachdidaktik am Beispiel der Kurzgeschichte Neighbors von Raymond Carver

Positive learner interest and achievement in schools very often derives from learner-oriented procedure. This is, of course, especially true of working with literature. It is enhanced by the fact that the discourse pattern of literary and didactic communication converge – if you allow them to.


My presentation brings together related material from different fields of research and theory to formulate an integrated model of literary reception among adolescent learners under conditions of foreign language learning in the classroom. The model is meant to be comprehensive and practical: the enclosed model analysis and interpretation of a modern short story, Neighbors, by Raymond Carver makes it a case in point. The appeal of the literary text is plural – and singular: It remains unattainable to the grasp – and invites comments, exploratory exchanges. Negotiating its meaning, the participants in the interpretive group explore, use, learn its language.

Seite 211-229, Heft 2/1998, Band 9
“Use it or lose it?” – Zum Phänomen der Foreign Language Attrition

Almost everybody who has learned a foreign language shares the experience of forgetting the acquired language skills once the period of formal instruction is over. However, the question of forgetting a foreign language has attracted serious scientific attention only since the early eighties, even though the study of the process of foreign language loss may contribute to the understanding of foreign language learning and teaching. The following article presents a review of literature on the phenomenon of foreign language attrition, i.e. the deterioration of foreign language skills. First, foreign language attrition research is introduced. Then, after a brief discussion of the relevant theories of forgetting, this paper focuses on studies that have investigated the characteristics of foreign language attrition: what is lost, how much is lost, and why are language skills lost when they are not being used? Furthermore, methodological implications of foreign language attrition research are discussed.

Seite 231-263, Heft 2/1998, Band 9
Zum Zusammenhang von Lernstrategien, Wissensrepräsentationen und Leistungen beim Lernen mit Instruktionstexten im Fremdsprachenunterricht

Previous studies provide evidence that good learners elaborate more than poor learners, and prefer a semantically higher level of processing. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the interaction between learning strategies, mental representation of the subject matter and performances of students learning an L2 grammar text.


In order to find out if and how elaborative strategies lead to better learning performances, 21 eighth graders of German high schools (Gymnasien) were examined. The influence of learning strategies on the mental representation of the subject matter was assessed by using a performance test, verbal reports (concurrent thinking aloud), concept mapping and a standardized questionnaire. Results indicate: 1. Better domain-specific knowledge leads to an increased use of learning strategies. 2. The increased use of such strategies leads to mental representations of the subject matter on a deeper level. 3. A deeper level in the mental representation of the subject matter involves a higher learning performance. 4. Good students use more elaborative strategies than do poorer students. The common claim that the number of context-specificstrategies of the students corresponds to their general use of strategies could not be confirmed. The pedagogical implications of these results are discussed.

Seite 265-290, Heft 2/1998, Band 9