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Language Variation in Foreign Language Teaching

On the Road to Communicative Competence

Series:

Claudia Kunschak

Language variation in foreign language teaching has been given little attention so far. Yet variation might be a useful tool for the development of communicative competence among learners. For this reason, awareness of and attitudes toward language variation were explored among college-level students of German. Participants were asked to listen to language samples in L1 and L2, fill out a questionnaire and volunteer for interviews. Findings indicate a high level of variation awareness, a positive attitude towards learning about variation, and a clear understanding of the role of variation in identity, culture and communication. The inclusion of variation into curricula, materials, and teacher training might thus be useful in preparing learners for real-life encounters with native speakers.
Contents: Language variation in foreign language teaching – Awareness of and attitudes toward language variation – Language, culture and communication – Learner-centered instruction – Language planning for communicative competence.