The Politics and Ideologies of Pluricentric German in L2 Teaching
Despite a history of rigorous linguistic research on the regional variation of German as well as professional initiatives to promote German, Austrian, and Swiss Standard German as equal varieties, there is still a lack of awareness and systematic incorporation of regional varieties in L2 German teaching. This essay follows two goals: First, it reviews the development of the pluricentric approach in the discourse on L2 German teaching as well as the political and ideological preconditions that form the backdrop of this discussion. Particular emphasis will be given to institutional tri-national collaborations and the standard language ideology. Second, by drawing on sociolinguistic insights on the use and speaker attitudes of (non-)standard varieties, this contribution argues that the pluricentric focus on national standard varieties in L2 German teaching falls short in capturing the complex socioculturally situated practices of language use in both (often dialectally-oriented) everyday and (often standard-oriented) formal and official domains of language use. I argue that the pluricentric approach forms an important step in overcoming the monocentric bias of one correct Standard German; however, for an approach to L2 German teaching that aims at representing linguistic and cultural diversity, it is necessary to incorporate both standard and non-standard varieties into L2 German teaching.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).