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Grußwort/Welcome address

  • “To cleanse and at the same time enrich your mother tongue is the task of the brightest people.” With this quote Goethe, the famous German poet, seemed to have described the work of EFNIL today. But is our task really that easy? Do we “cleanse” our language by deleting superfluous elements? Do we not lose the rich abundance of a language in so doing? Or is Goethe asking for other languages to be prevented from influencing his mother tongue? Would this even be feasible in a globalised world? Rudi Carrell, a famous entertainer on German TV, once said: “When I came to Germany I only spoke English. But the German language contains so many English words nowadays that I am now fluent in German!” His opinion is probably shared by many people learning German. My daily job is to support around 100,000 schools abroad that offer German as a foreign language. We ask ourselves daily: which German language should we be offering young people today? The classical German of literature? Or practical German which will enable young people to join the workforce of many German companies worldwide? And most of all: how do we motivate young people to learn German? Or any other foreign language? Yes, English, French, German, Spanish – these languages are in competition in many schools. But the most important fact is: the benefit lies in learning a foreign language, no matter which. Because by learning a foreign language we start to understand foreign cultures and other people. And THAT is what matters.

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Author:Gabriela Bennemann
Parent Title (English):National language institutions and national languages. Contributions to the EFNIL Conference 2017 in Mannheim
Publisher:Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Place of publication:Budapest
Editor:Gerhard Stickel
Document Type:Part of a Book
Language:Multiple languages
Year of first Publication:2018
Date of Publication (online):2021/03/10
Contributing Corporation:Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Institute for Linguistics
GND Keyword:Deutsch; Fremdsprache; Fremdsprachenlernen; Fremdsprachenunterricht; Institut für Deutsche Sprache <Mannheim>; Kongress; Muttersprache; Sprachpolitik
First Page:19
Last Page:21
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Linguistics-Classification:Zweitspracherwerb / Fremdspracherwerb
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt