Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


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.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Amendt, G.
    (1995) Du oder Sie: 1945-1968-1995. Bremen: Ikaru-Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Barron, A.
    (2003) Acquisition in interlanguage pragmatics: Learning how to do things with words in a study abroad context (Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 108). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.108
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.108 [Google Scholar]
  3. (2006) Learning to say ‘you’ in German: the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence in a study abroad context. In M. A. DuFon , & E. Churchill (Eds.), Language learners in study abroad contexts (Vol.15, pp.59–88). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bayer, K.
    (1979) Die Anredepronomina DU und SIE. Thesen zu einem semantischen Konflikt im Hochschulbereich. Deutsche Sprache, 7(3), 212–219.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Belz, J. A. , & Kinginger, C.
    (2003) Discourse options and the development of pragmatic competence by classroom learners of German: The case of address forms. Language Learning, 53(4), 591–647. doi: 10.1046/j.1467‑9922.2003.00238.x
    https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1467-9922.2003.00238.x [Google Scholar]
  6. Besch, W.
    (1998) Duzen, Siezen, Titulieren: Zur Anrede im Deutschen heute und gestern. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Blood, R. & Ludewig, A.
    (2016) Interkulturelles Lernen während eines kurzzeitigen, studienbegleitenden Fremdsprachenprogramms. Erfahrungen australischer Studierender in Deutschland. Zeitschrift für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 21(1), 227–244.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Brown, P. , & Levinson, S. C.
    (1987) Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Clyne, M. G.
    (1995) The German language in a changing Europe: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511620805
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620805 [Google Scholar]
  10. Clyne, M. , Norrby, C. , & Warren, J.
    (2009) Language and human relations: Styles of address in contemporary language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511576690
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511576690 [Google Scholar]
  11. Delisle, H. H.
    (1986) Intimacy, solidarity and distance: The pronouns of address in German. Die Unterrichtspraxis / Teaching German, 19(1), 4–15. doi: 10.2307/3530857
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3530857 [Google Scholar]
  12. Di Donato, R. & Clyde, M. D.
    (2016) Deutsch: Na Klar (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Duff, P. A.
    (2007) Second language socialization as sociocultural theory: Insights and issues. Language Teaching, 40(4), 309–319. doi: 10.1017/S0261444807004508
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444807004508 [Google Scholar]
  14. DuFon, M. A.
    (1999) The acquisition of linguistic politeness in Indonesian as a second language by sojourners in naturalistic interactions(Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations and Theses (9951181)
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Grbich, C.
    (2012) Qualitative data analysis: An introduction. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Grieve, A.
    (2010) “Aber ganz ehrlich:” Differences in episodic structure, apologies and truth-orientation in German and Australian workplace telephone discourse. Journal of Pragmatics, 42(1), 190–219. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2009.05.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2009.05.009 [Google Scholar]
  17. Hall, E. T. & Hall, M. R.
    (1983) Hidden differences, studies in international communication: How to communicate with the Germans. Hamburg: Grüner & Jahr.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Hassall, T.
    (2013) Pragmatic development during short-term study abroad: The case of address terms in Indonesian. Journal of Pragmatics, 55, 1–17. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2013.05.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2013.05.003 [Google Scholar]
  19. (2015) Individual variation in L2 study-abroad outcomes: A case study from Indonesian pragmatics. Multilingua, 34(1), 33–59.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Henery, A.
    (2014) Interpreting ‘real French’: The role of expert mediation in learners’ observations, understandings, and use of pragmatic practices while abroad(Unpublished doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved fromrepository.cmu.edu/dissertations/442/
    [Google Scholar]
  21. (2015) On the development of metapragmatic awareness abroad: two case studies exploring the role of expert-mediation. Language Awareness, 24(4), 316–331. doi: 10.1080/09658416.2015.1113982
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09658416.2015.1113982 [Google Scholar]
  22. Hickey, R.
    (2003) The German address system: binary and scalar at once. In I. Taavitsainen & A. H. Jucker (Eds.), Diachronic perspectives on address term systems (pp.401–425). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.107.16hic
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.107.16hic [Google Scholar]
  23. Hofstede, G.
    (1984) Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. House, J.
    (1996) Contrastive discourse analysis and misunderstanding: The case of German and English. In E. Ammon (Ed.), Contrastive sociolinguistics (pp.345–362). Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110811551.345
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110811551.345 [Google Scholar]
  25. (2006) Communicative styles in English and German. European Journal of English Studies, 10(3), 249–267. doi: 10.1080/13825570600967721
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13825570600967721 [Google Scholar]
  26. Iino, M.
    1996‘Excellent foreigner!’: Gaijinization of Japanese language and culture in contact situations: An ethnographic study of dinner table conversations between Japanese host families and American students (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI9627938/
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Kallmeyer, W.
    (2003) “Sagen Sie bitte zu mir:” Werner Kallmeyer, Soziolinguist am Institut für Deutsche Sprache in Mannheim über die Kunst der richtigen Anrede. Das Gespräch führte C. Schmitt . www.zeit.de/2003/27/Alltag_2fDuzen_27
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Kasper, G.
    (2001) Four perspectives on L2 pragmatic development. Applied Linguistics, 22(4), 502–530. doi: 10.1093/applin/22.4.502
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/22.4.502 [Google Scholar]
  29. Kinginger, C.
    (2008) Language learning in study abroad: Case studies of Americans in France. The Modern Language Journal, 92(s1), 1–124. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2008.00821.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2008.00821.x [Google Scholar]
  30. Klapper, J. , & Rees, J.
    (2012) University residence abroad for foreign language students: Analysing the linguistic benefits. The Language Learning Journal, 40(3), 335–358. doi: 10.1080/09571736.2011.625215
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2011.625215 [Google Scholar]
  31. Kretzenbacher, H. L.
    (1991) Vom Sie zum Du-und retour. In H. L. Kretzenbacher (Ed.), Vom Sie zum Du-mehr als eine neue Konvention (pp.9–77). Hamburg: Luchterhand Literaturverlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Kretzenbacher, H. L. , Clyne, M. & Schüpbach, D.
    (2006) Pronominal address in German: Rules, anarchy and embarassment potential. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 29(2), 1–18. doi: 10.2104/aral0617
    https://doi.org/10.2104/aral0617 [Google Scholar]
  33. Lave, J. , & Wenger, E.
    (1991) Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511815355
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815355 [Google Scholar]
  34. Marriott, H.
    (1995) The acquisition of politeness patterns by exchange students in Japan. In: B. F. Freed (Ed.), Second language acquisition in a study abroad context, (pp.197–224) Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/sibil.9.13mar
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.9.13mar [Google Scholar]
  35. Nerlich, S.
    (2015) Students from Australian universities studying abroad: a demographic profile. Australian Universities’ Review, 57(1), 52–59.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Ochs, E.
    (1990) Indexicality and socialization. In G. H. S. Herdt , A. Richard & J. W. Stigler (Ed.), Cultural psychology: Essays on comparative human development (pp.287–308). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139173728.009
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173728.009 [Google Scholar]
  37. (1996) Linguistic resources for socializing humanity. In J. Gumperz , & S. Levinson (Eds.), Rethinking linguistic relativity (pp.407–438). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Schauer, G.
    (2009) Interlanguage pragmatic development: The study abroad context. New York, NY: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Shardakova, M.
    (2005) Intercultural pragmatics in the speech of American L2 learners of Russian: Apologies offered by Americans in Russian. Intercultural Pragmatics, 2(4), 423–451. doi: 10.1515/iprg.2005.2.4.423
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iprg.2005.2.4.423 [Google Scholar]
  40. Siegal, M. S.
    (1994) Looking east: learning Japanese as a second language in Japan and the interaction of race, gender and social context(Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (9529497)
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Shively, R. L.
    (2008) Politeness and social interaction in study abroad: Service encounters in L2 Spanish(Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (3311436)
    [Google Scholar]
  42. (2011) L2 pragmatic development in study abroad: A longitudinal study of Spanish service encounters. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(6), 1818–1835. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2010.10.030
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2010.10.030 [Google Scholar]
  43. Stief, C. , & Stang, C.
    (2002) German grammar in a nutshell. Munich: Langenscheidt
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Taguchi, N.
    (2011) The effect of L2 proficiency and study-abroad experience on pragmatic comprehension. Language Learning, 61(3), 904–939. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2011.00633.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2011.00633.x [Google Scholar]
  45. (2016) Contexts and pragmatics learning: Problems and opportunities of the study abroad research. Language Teaching, 1–14. doi: 10.1017/S0261444815000440
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444815000440 [Google Scholar]
  46. Thomas, A.
    (2003) Psychologie interkulturellen Handelns. Göttingen: Hogrefe.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Turnbull, W.
    (2001) An appraisal of pragmatic elicitation techniques for the social psychological study of talk: the case of request refusals. Pragmatics, 11(1), 31–62. doi: 10.1075/prag.11.1.03tur
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.11.1.03tur [Google Scholar]
  48. Wang, C.
    (2010) Toward a second language socialization perspective: Issues in study abroad research. Foreign Language Annals, 43(1), 50–63. doi: 10.1111/j.1944‑9720.2010.01059.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.2010.01059.x [Google Scholar]
  49. Watson-Gegeo, K. A.
    (2004) Mind, language, and epistemology: Toward a language socialization paradigm for SLA. The Modern Language Journal, 88(3), 331–350. doi: 10.1111/j.0026‑7902.2004.00233.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0026-7902.2004.00233.x [Google Scholar]
  50. Yuan, Y.
    (2001) An inquiry into empirical pragmatics data-gathering methods: Written DCTs, oral DCTs, field notes, and natural conversations. Journal of Pragmatics, 33(2), 271–292. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(00)00031‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(00)00031-X [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error