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Concept-based pragmatics instruction: Teaching German address pronouns to New Zealand tertiary students

Issue: Vol 6 No. 2 (2019)

Journal: Language and Sociocultural Theory

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lst.37359


This article presents parts of a replication study on the development of sociopragmatic capacity in beginner and intermediate university students' understanding of German singular address pronouns (du/Sie) through concept-based pragmatics instruction (CBPI). The CBPI intervention consisted of six group sessions with a pre-test - instruction - post-test design. While minor inter-level differences exist, all participants in the intervention exhibited enhanced sociopragmatic capacity. Participants demonstrated a shift from rule-of-thumb-based thinking to a focus on the meaning potential of utterances. By appropriating sociopragmatic concepts through CBPI, learners also gained an understanding of their own agency in the meaning design of address pronouns as well as the consequences of creating particular meanings.

Author: Marie-Christin Kuepper, Anne Feryok

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