3. Receptive multilingualism in Dutch–German intercultural team cooperation

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Despite the typological proximity of Dutch and German, receptive multilingualism is seldom used in Dutch–German communication. This chapter explores the factors that influence the choice for receptive multilingualism as a mode of communication in German–Dutch encounters by reflecting on the relationship of the two languages and nation states. Furthermore, attention is paid to the institutional constellation and the relationships between the actual interactants in discourse. These theoretical preliminaries are examined in an analysis of receptive multilingualism as it occurs in the language teaching team of the Goethe-Institute in Amsterdam (cf. Roelands 2004) by analysing team discussions as a form of institutional communication (cf. Koole and ten Thije 1994). It is highlighted how institutional keywords are used in order to convey institutional knowledge that is not language-specific in order to enhance felicitous communication. The authors finally show how the discourse at the Goethe-Institute is structured interculturally, making use of Rehbein’s (2006) concept of the ‘Cultural Apparatus’.


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