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Foreign Language Learning as Intercultural Experience

The Subjective Dimension


Edited By Arnd Witte and Theo Harden

Learning a foreign language in its cultural context has a significant effect on the subjective mind, ranging from the unsettling to the inspirational. The complex interplay between native and foreign languages, their cultural conceptualisations and discourses and the mind and body of the learner results in the subjective construction of individual positionings located «in between» the languages and cultures involved. These processes are not restricted to the cognitive level of learning but also involve deep-seated habits, values and beliefs. These habits, values and beliefs are to a certain extent the result of subjective experiences and feelings; however, they are also embedded in a socio-cultural network of concepts, norms, traditions and life-worlds, so that they are characterised both by the learner’s subjectivity and by the sociality and (inter-)culturality of their environment.
The essays in this volume explore the subjective dimension of intercultural language learning, ranging from theoretical considerations to empirical studies and providing stimulating insights into this important area of study.
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Notes on Contributors


KRISTIN BROGAN teaches German and intercultural communication at the Institute of Technology Tralee in Ireland. Apart from teaching duties she is actively involved in the promotion of languages in Ireland and in the European Union. Her research interests include language policy in Ireland and the EU, applied linguistics and intercultural studies. She has published a range of articles and book chapters in these fields.

JENNIFER BRUEN teaches German in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies in Dublin City University, Ireland. Her research interests include language planning and policy at national and EU level, aspects of foreign language acquisition and language teaching and learning, in particular the role of language learning strategies in the language learning process and the study of individual learner differences. She has published widely in these fields.

REBECCA S.C. DOMINGO teaches German at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. Her research interests include J.W. von Goethe, Thomas Mann, teaching German as a foreign language and translation studies. She has published a range of articles and book chapters in these fields.

CLAUS GNUTZMANN is Professor em. of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Braunschweig in Germany. His main research interests lie in linguistic and pedagogical grammar, language awareness, languages for special purposes as well as the globalisation of English and its classroom applications. He is currently involved in a research project on ‘“Publish in English or perish in German?” Academic writing and publishing in English...

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