The growing presence of English in Germany and other European countries is an obvious fact. In sociolinguistics, it has normally been seen as part of the general spread of English through the world. However, this means overlooking important facts. Whereas English followed the emigration of British natives and the development of the empire on the other contients, it was the Europeans themselves who fetched, as it were, the language from the British Isles to their own countries, because of a growing interest in their culture and politics. The mediating channel was therefore not political pressure but culture driven foreign language teaching. The introduction of teaching English to German schools (as a protocase of schools in other European countries) mirrors this development. This gives even the present-day teaching of English a cultural background which is different from teaching a language as a mere instrument of communication as in other parts of the world (important as this goal in itself is). The intrusion of English foreignisms into German, which worries so many people, is in no way dangerous as long as it is counterbalanced in our schools.
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The presence of English in Germany
Seite 3-26, Heft 1/2007, Band 18
Deutsch als eine dritte Sprache lernen - Überlegungen zur Tertiärsprachenproblematik aus Sicht der Psycholinguistik und der Fehleranalyse
Seite 27-41, Heft 1/2007, Band 18
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