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ELF as a Mediating Language in German Class
Research on language use and learning during study abroad has primarily investigated students’ use of the target language (TL) in a TL environment and the convergence of their TL skills towards a native speaker norm. To date, little is known about the multilingual practices that students engage in while studying abroad. From the perspective of multilingualism, study abroad contexts in which a local language is used, of which the students may have little or no previous knowledge, represents a fascinating case as students often heavily depend on English as a lingua franca (ELF) to interact with the host community and other international students. In my PhD project I aim to shed light on the role of ELF in mediating the learning of a local language, in this case German. The central object of inquiry is the use of English as a mediating language in German language courses in Switzerland. I primarily focus on courses on tertiary education level with target groups composed of participants with different linguistic backgrounds. While the role of ELF for the English language classroom or the use of ELF as the medium of instruction in non-language courses continue to be discussed and investigated, the role of ELF as a mediating language for teaching and learning a third language in mixed-language classes remains underexplored. During the session I would like to give you insight into my work, how I proceeded so far, what problems I have encountered and where I currently stand. We will also look at and discuss language data that I collected in two German courses in September 2021. Connected to this, I would appreciate your input and suggestions on questions I am facing regarding analysis of the data. In the course of the session, I will establish connections to what we have discussed in the preceding sessions and we can think critically about the implications of this for this project.
If you would like to listen to this guest lecture, please contact Prof. Miriam Locher to obtain the necessary Zoom link.
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