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dc.contributor.advisorFeryok, Anne
dc.contributor.authorKuepper, Marie-Christin Ursual Chantal
dc.identifier.citationKuepper, M.-C. U. C. (2018). Sie or du? Developing Sociopragmatic Capacity in German through Concept-Based Pragmatics Instruction (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThe present study set out to investigate the extent of the development of sociopragmatic capacity at two different instructional levels of New Zealand university learners, as evident in learners’ understanding of German singular pronouns of address (‘du/Sie’) through concept-based pragmatics instruction (CBPI) – a perspective inspired by van Compernolle and Henery (2014) and van Compernolle, Weber, and Gomez-Laich (2016). CBPI is a sociocultural theory (SCT) based framework for the instruction of second language (L2) pragmatics, which is firmly grounded in a commitment to Vygotsky’s notion of educational praxis. A secondary aim of the present study was to collect comparative data from a non-native speaker (NNS) control group studying German in traditional language classrooms at three New Zealand universities, and a sample of German native speaker (NS) data across two generations to provide a look of current NS norms of pronoun usage. The overall purpose, encompassing the primary and secondary aims, was to investigate which learning environment yields the most evident development of sociopragmatic capacity by examining in particular the validity of the concepts within CBPI for the instruction of German pragmatics as well as the overall effectiveness of CBPI as an alternative approach to L2 pragmatics instruction. Consequently, a CBPI intervention was held, consisting of six group sessions, with a pre-test – instruction – post-test design. Additionally, a general questionnaire was designed, consisting of an appropriateness judgement task (AJT) and a written discourse completion task (W-DCT), to collect comparative data sets across all participants. Overall, the present study provides further evidence of the applicability of CBPI to a wider variety of contexts, in terms of instructional level and alternative L2. Although current NS norms are characterised by a common understanding of the factors influencing pronoun choices in German, NS responses also highlighted the need to adjust the sociopragmatic concepts within CBPI to better suit the instruction of German address pronouns. Furthermore, while minor interlevel differences exist, all students in the intervention exhibited enhanced sociopragmatic capacity. On the other hand, students’ sociopragmatic understanding in the NNS control group remained limited throughout the period of data collection. Despite providing many answers, the present study equally raised new questions, most notably regarding the impact of the teacher’s role and that of student motivation on learners’ overall development.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subject‘sociocultural theory’, ‘second language pragmatics’, ‘concept-based pragmatics instruction’, ‘sociopragmatic capacity’, ‘second person pronouns’, ‘German as a second language’
dc.titleSie or du? Developing Sociopragmatic Capacity in German through Concept-Based Pragmatics Instruction
dc.language.rfc3066en & Linguistics of Arts of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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