Discourse Options and the Development of Pragmatic Competence by Classroom Learners of German: The Case of Address Forms

Julie A. Belz, Celeste Kinginger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the microgenetic development of second-person pronoun use in a German-American telecollaborative partnership. We discuss the sociopragmatic ambiguity of informal (T) and formal (V) pronouns of address (realised as du and Sie in German), and the precise issues that these pronouns present for American classroom learners of European languages. Tracing the history of particular learners' pronoun use over time, the study demonstrates that (a) electronically enabled interaction with expert-speaking German peers is a context in which learners experience both explicit assistance and opportunities to observe appropriate pronoun use, and (b) pragmatic awareness in this domain is reflected in learner performance that develops toward approximation of the expert norm for interaction among peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-647
Number of pages57
JournalLanguage Learning
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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