Article published in:Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education
Vol. 3:1 (2018) ► pp. 117–143
“When you speak to a police officer and (call them) du”
Examining the impact of short-term study abroad on Australian students’ awareness of address forms in German
This study examines the development of pragmatic awareness of the German second person pronoun system by Australian study-abroad participants during a six-week language course in Germany. Data includes oral pre- and post- Language Awareness Interviews, semi-structured interviews and participant observation. Students displayed a greater awareness of the German address system and showed a growing confidence and sophistication in justifying their choices of address forms as well as an increased reliance on information acquired from native and expert speakers throughout their stay in Germany. Interview data and field notes indicate that students were socialised into second language (L2) practices of address term use by way of explicit correction from L2 speech community members on incorrect use of address forms. Such correction appears to have influenced their pragmatic development. The study supports previous research stating that even short stays abroad can encourage improvement in language features that are difficult to acquire in the classroom (Hassall, 2013) and shows why this is particularly beneficial in the context of German Studies due to the preference for direct and explicit speech in the German speech community.
Keywords: pragmatic competence, German address forms, language socialization, short-term study abroad, language learning
Published online: 30 March 2018
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Cited by 1 other publications
Strobl, Carola & Kristof Baten
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