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Saturday, October 12 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(J5) Hejná & Jespersen: Garbage language for garbage people? Linguistic integration of adult second-language learners in Denmark

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Garbage language for garbage people? Linguistic integration of adult second-language learners in Denmark

This paper focuses on the difficulties associated with learning Danish as a foreign language in Denmark and the contribution of socio-pragmatic issues involved in particular. More specifically, we investigate the impact of L1 Danish speakers’ switches into English in conversations with non-native Danish speakers who initiate conversation in Danish. Using survey data (including a RAS study), we conclude that the socio-pragmatic situation does contribute to the difficulties learners have with Danish. Non-Danes perceive Danes’ switches into English much more negatively than Danes do. Importantly, Danes’ switches into English discourage the learners from using Danish and also learning it. In some cases, the switches initiated by L1 Danish speakers extend to negative associations with the language and the L1 speakers themselves. We also report that the background of the learners does not seem to be generally relevant, although 2% of the Danes switched because the learners “didn’t look Danish”. Language proficiency does not affect the number of reported switches.

Speakers
MH

Michaela Hejná

Aarhus University
AJ

Anna Jespersen

Aarhus University


Saturday October 12, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm PDT
EMU Ballroom