English in Germany: Evidence from domains of use and attitudes

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Abstract


This paper discusses the changing role of English in Germany drawing on evidence from domains of English use and speakers’ attitudes. In so doing, it reports two case studies carried out at the University of Mannheim, Germany. The quantitative data and its methods of evaluation are discussed in the sections reporting case studies. The first study documents the use of English across formal and informal settings as well as in spontaneous interactions. In so doing, it reports the results of a survey collected from 172 students. The second study discusses the results of a survey tapping into German speakers’ attitudes towards two native (British, American) and two non-native (Indian, German) Englishes, thereby eliciting respondents’ attitudinal orientations towards English varieties including their own. This case study is based on data stemming from 94 students. The first case study shows that English in Germany has been continuously expanding its social domains of use and there is a small but stable minority of German speakers using English in spontaneous daily interactions. The second case study highlights the importance of the native-speaker model for the attitudinal mindset of the German learners; they see no value in speaking German English and clearly do not identify with this linguistic variety, a finding which reveals their exonormative orientation. Against this backdrop, I conclude that whereas English spoken in Germany shows clear signs of evolving into an ESL variety, it is still, by and large, an EFL English, at least in terms of attitudinal orientations professed by educated young adults.


Full Text

1. Introduction

English is the first truly global human language that, over the centuries, has morphed into a plethora of different lects (see, for instance, Mesthrie & Bhatt 2008, for an overview). Native vs. non-native Englishes is perhaps the most salient of these distinctions, and amongst the latter, it is the division into English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) that has sparked scholars’ attention (Mukherjee & Hundt 2011, Hundt & Gut 2012, Buschfeld et al. 2014).

Much has been written about the ESL / EFL distinction and there seems to be an implicit agreement amongst experts that different varietal types are not set in stone. Rather, different forms of language are endowed with the capacity to evolve in time (for instance, from EFL to ESL and vice versa) due to various historical and socioeconomic circumstances (Buschfeld 2014, Kautzsch 2014). Another insight stemming from this line of academic inquiry is that the ESL/EFL contexts represent a continuum rather than a dichotomous distinction (Kautzsch 2014).

Assuming that this is the case, the analyst needs a list of criteria that would allow them to determine the varietal status of the type of English under investigations. Indeed, previous research has put forward a number of factors allowing for the descriptions of the ESL / EFL differences (Kachru 1985, Mollin 2007, Buschfeld 2013, Kautzsch 2014). To give one example, Kautzsch (2014) singles out three factors relevant to the description of the status of an English – spreading bilingualism, exonormative orientation, and the nativisation of pronunciation features.

Aligned with previous studies and listed below are the definitive characteristics of English as a Second Language, which I propose here as a heuristic assessing the degree to which an English variety can be classified as either ESL or EFL.

(1) As a second language, English must have expanded its status from formal to informal settings; the formal domains of use include mostly educational contexts, whereas the informal domains of use comprise various types of social and mass-media products.

(2) Furthermore, ESL must necessarily be used as a means of interaction during daily linguistic practices within a speech community.

(3) Finally, ESL speakers are acutely aware of the fact that they speak their own form of the language that may, in part, be drastically different from the English spoken by L1 speakers. They recognise their own form of English as a variety in its own right. In other words, they exhibit an endonormative attitudinal orientation.

As a foreign language, English is mainly restricted to educational domains; it is not used for interspeaker communication in a speech community. Crucially, EFL speakers are most likely to be willing to align themselves with L1 speakers in terms of linguistic norms and cultural expectations. In other words, they demonstrate an exonormative mindset (see Davydova 2019 for an overview).

Against this backdrop, this study sets out to explore the dynamics underlying the evolution of English in Germany, a traditionally EFL variety, and in so doing, to re-assess its varietal status in the light of two types of evidence, stemming from contexts of use on the one hand and speakers’ attitudes on the other. Before proceeding to the discussion of English in Germany, let us consider the relationship between English, the global language, and German, a major European language.

To be able to understand the nature of the relations between English and German, it may be instructive to recall the Global Language System, a classification of languages proposed by de Swaan (2001), hyper- and super-central languages, as well as central and peripheral languages (see also Mair 2018). The status of each language (hyper, super, central or peripheral) reflects the socioeconomic position of the social group or the nation it represents. It is, however, the communicative value of a given language that is at the core of this classification. Communicative value describes the potential of a given language to connect speakers within a given level of the societal structure.

Within this system, English is the sole hyper-central language because of its default status as a lingua franca in various social settings across Europe and also world-wide. In turn, German is a formerly super-central language, which is now confined to four contiguous nation states (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein) and some other areas, notably South Tyrol, Italy, where it has been actively supported through various linguistic-equality measures (Stavans and Hoffmann 2015: 74–76). The factors that contributed historically to the super-central status of German include its strong presence in the countries of Eastern Europe in the first half of the 20th century and its status as a major academic language (on a par with French and English) in the 19th century (Mair 2020: 15, see also Watson 2010). And while German is undisputedly the main language of the German-speaking nation states, its relationship with English is clearly asymmetrical, as there are many more people world-wide learning English as a second (ESL) / foreign (EFL) language nowadays than there are people who are learning German with the same goals in mind. This functional asymmetry between the two languages on the level of the global societal structure has inevitable consequences for the role that English plays within the local German-speaking context.

In fact, Germany itself is a country where English is taught as the main foreign language in secondary schools, and there are more and more middle-aged Germans who take up learning English as a hobby. Perhaps even more importantly, English is viewed by many Germans as a valuable lingua franca in both international and domestic settings. In Germany, English is indispensable in both elite (academia, business) and non-elite (pop culture, asylum-seeking) social domains (Mair 2020: 27). Furthermore, there are indications that English has become an inextricable part of the linguistic repertoire of many young Germans pursuing high academic goals and social aspirations.

With this said, this contribution aims to tap into the changing status of English in Germany by way of exploring its domain of use and attitudes. This paper is structured as follows. Firstly, I provide a brief overview of the history of English in Germany. Next, I provide an overview of research by scholars investigating the current status of English while studying its forms and functions and exploring the attitudes that German speakers harbour toward native and non-native varieties of English. I will then present and comment on the results of two case studies. The first study ascertains the degree to which English is used in various types of formal and informal settings including spontaneous interactions. The second study explores the attitudinal mindset of German learners of English and in so doing, determines the degree to which they identify their English with native or non-native speaker varieties. Drawing on these two types of evidence, I will then discuss the characteristics of English spoken in Germany according to the parameters introduced in (1) through (3) above. I conclude that ESL / EFL settings form a continuum rather than a binary distinction and should be studied as such. I also conclude that whereas English spoken in Germany shows clear signs of evolving into an ESL variety, it is still, by and large, an EFL English, at least in terms of attitudinal orientations professed by educated young adults.

2. English in Germany: A brief historical overview

Although English is historically related to and derived from the Germanic dialects spoken by the Anglo-Saxon tribes in the fifth century, Anglo-German contacts remained sporadic up until the mid-17th century (Berns 1988, Busse & Görlach 2002). The 18th century saw the rise of the influence of English literature on European culture. The advent of the Industrial Revolution promoted British influence in various domains of technology, notably ship building, railway construction, weaving, and clothing production. The British also contributed to the popularisation of certain lifestyles across Europe, including sports and animal breeding (horses and dogs). Similar to many other European countries (and Russia), Germany was affected by an ever-increasing Anglomania in the 19th century. The result was the acceptance of English as a language of education by large parts of the German population. English was introduced as a school subject in many German schools and thus began to play a central role in modern foreign language teaching rivalling that of French. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, English continuously gained ground as an important academic language. It should be noticed that in those times, English competed with German and French as a language of science.

After 1945, English was introduced as the main foreign language in all secondary schools in West Germany (Busse & Görlach 2002). From that time onward, all German school children have been consistently introduced to English as a foreign language through formal education. This means that German-speaking communities have seen a continuous rise of L2 speakers of English over the past decades. German-English bilingualism in Germany is a stable trend that is likely to continue well into the future.

3. English in present-day Germany: Domains of use and attitudes

Given its historical development, English spoken by the German population exhibits one major variant. It is the main foreign language taught in secondary schools throughout the country. As much as 78% of German school children learn English as a school subject (Syrbe & Rose 2016). It is also increasingly used as a medium of instruction in international and bilingual schools, most of which, however, are private, and for that reason elitist, institutions.[1] Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that 56% of the German population claim to be able to carry out a conversation in English, a finding that places them in the top bracket of proficiency in Europe (Ozón 2016: 77).

English has also been gaining ground as a medium of instruction in German universities (Knapp 2011). Like many other countries of Western Europe, Germany is striving to obtain a fair share of the international education market. For this reason, many German universities have introduced English-taught programmes, thereby increasing their chances in the competition for foreign students. English-taught programmes are appealing to students because such programmes are widely believed to increase subsequent success on the labour market. To illustrate this point, Ginsburgh and Prieto (2011) show that enhanced proficiency in English is associated with higher income in many European countries, including Austria and Germany. Furthermore, the knowledge of English allows its speakers to participate in global socio-political developments such as the internationalisation of professional and personal domains of activity (Coleman 2006). More than a third of all German students take part in exchange programmes, which take them as far as Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (DAAD 2013, cited in Davydova & Buchstaller 2015: 467).

Increased student mobility is not the only factor fostering the spread of English in Germany. Mastery of the language also entails that one can consume and, in so doing, benefit from the products of the mainstream culture, including TV and social media goods as well as products of the entertainment industry. There are, to the best of my knowledge, no studies reporting on the amount of English mass media consumption in Germany, a gap that is addressed in this study.

Given its history, its contexts of use in Germany as well as the mode of acquisition (through formal instruction), English has been characterised as a result of foreign language learning. More recent studies, however, present evidence that English in Germany may have been changing its status from a foreign (EFL) to a second language (ESL) (Berns 1988, Hilgendorf 2005, Kautzsch 2014). Regarding that, Berns (1988) highlights the market value of English as many German employers list knowledge of English as a job requirement. Hilgendorf (2005), in turn, comments on the institutionalisation of English as a medium of instruction in the German system of higher education, a development that arguably supports the spread of German-English bilingualism. Kautzsch (2014) reports increasing German-English bilingualism that extends well beyond speakers with a high degree of education, for whom the knowledge of English, as he notes, is vital. Kautzsch (2014) explores the degree of nativisation of two phonological features but comes to the conclusion that his findings do not support the hypothesis of the ongoing nativisation of English pronunciation by the German speakers.

As a second language, English spoken in Germany has some distinctive properties. Firstly, English is usually taken up as an additional language in the context of formal education. The extent to which English might be used as a medium of communication amongst the most recent migrant groups needs further investigation (see Mair 2018). Secondly, the local use of English seems to be limited to educational contexts, such as its use as a medium of instruction (Ozón 2016: 78). Studies reporting the use of English in non-educational contexts, such as media are still few and far between.

As for attitudes towards English, existing studies indicate that German speakers consistently maintain an exonormative mindset that endorses the native-speaker model of English and reject contact varieties such as German English or Euro-English (Kautzsch 2014, Gnutzmann, Jakisch & Rabe 2015, Mohr, Jansen & Forsberg 2019).

4. Case Study: Anglophone practices in Mannheim, Germany

Has English spoken in Germany indeed been changing its status from EFL to ESL, as suggested by the previous research? And if so, what type of evidence can be adduced in order to support this contention? In order to explore this issue, I present and discuss the results of survey data which I collected from 172 students (63 males and 109 females) enrolled in Bachelor and Master’s programmes at the University of Mannheim from 2013 to 2015. Aged 20 to 25 at the time of data collection, my informants represented a young population segment, allowing me to tap into the most recent local practices of English use. An overwhelming majority, 161 students (93%), reported being monolingual native speakers of German. Seven students said they had been raised bilingually with German as one of their languages. There were four non-native speakers of German in the sample. These were international exchange students. All respondents reported having learned English at school as a foreign language.

 

Participants and materials

The questionnaire aimed at eliciting the amount of exposure to English in both formal and informal settings. It also explored the extent to which German speakers used English in spontaneous interactions both in and outside the university. The survey thus consisted of three parts, summarized in Table 1 for convenience: (1) items 6 through 9 elicited the amount of formal exposure to English; (2) items 10 through 13 tapped into the degree of contact with English through various types of informal media, notably TV and film industry; (3) items 14 through 17 ascertained the amount of English use in various types of social settings. For each item, students had to indicate whether they carried out a particular activity every day, two or three times a week, once a week, less often than once a week, or never.

 

Table 1. Questionnaire 2013–2015, University of Mannheim. Item inventory

Items

Formulations

Amount of formal exposure

Q6

How often do you have a university lecture in English?

Q7

How often do you speak English at the university in a formal context, for instance, while making a presentation or talking to a professor/lecturer?

Q8

How often do you write academically or professionally in English?

Q9

How often do you read English reference books?

Amount of informal exposure

Q10

How often do you read newspapers or magazines in English for pleasure?

Q11

How often do you use the Internet in English?

Q12

How often do you listen to English song lyrics?

Q13

How often do you watch original TV shows or movies in English?

English use in spontaneous interactions

Q14

How often do you speak English at the university in an informal context, for instance, while chatting with your friends?

Q15

How often do you speak English with your social contacts outside the university (close friends, relatives, etc.)?

Q16

How often do you speak English in your family?

Q17

How often do you use English for communication in the social networks on the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?

 

If English spoken in Germany has indeed been evolving into an ESL variety, then we should be able to attest elevated rates of English exposure and English use not only in formal but, crucially, in various types of informal settings including interpersonal communication. Exploring the contrasts in the use of English across formal and informal contexts is a relevant measure because ESL varieties develop through constant linguistic practices in every-day communication.

Results

I now explore the amount of English exposure in formal settings. Reported in Table 2, the results indicate that an overwhelming majority of the respondents (about 72%) attend university lectures in English at least two or three times a week (Q6). Table 2 instructs us further that solid 45% of all students studied here deliver academic presentations in English two or three times a week (Q7).

 

Table 2. Amount of formal exposure (total N = 172, 100%)

 

Q6

Q7

Q8

Q9

never

21 (12.2%)

21 (12.2%)

16 (9.3%)

5 (2.9%)

less than once a week

8 (4.7%)

24 (14.0%)

64 (37.2%)

36 (20.9%)

once a week

18 (10.5%)

38 (22.1%)

37 (21.5%)

30 (17.4%)

two or three times a week

98 (57.0%)

78 (45.3%)

43 (25.0%)

74 (43.0%)

every day

27 (15.7%)

10 (5.8%)

12 (7.0%)

27 (15.7%)

no data

NA

1 (0.6%)

NA

NA

 

While the writing habits of these students are quite dispersed (Q8), their habits of reading academic reference work are much more consistent (Q9). A solid 58% of the respondents read academic English at least two or three times a week. As for the amount of informal exposure to English, Table 3 informs us that our informants are moderate consumers of various print products (magazines, newspapers, etc.) in English (Q10). We also notice, however, that these young adults are in need of English whenever they go online (Q11): fully 62% report the need for English while using the Internet on a daily basis, and when compounded with those who use the Internet two or three times a week, this number adds up to 79%.

 

Table 3. Amount of informal exposure (total N = 172, 100%)

 

Q10

Q11

Q12

Q13

never

21 (12.2%)

1 (0.6%)

2 (1.2%)

3 (1.7%)

less than once a week

54 (31.4%)

20 (11.6%)

2 (1.2%)

38 (22.1%)

once a week

32 (18.6%)

13 (7.6%)

5 (2.9%)

19 (11.0%)

two or three times a week

32 (18.6%)

30 (17.4%)

15 (8.7%)

71 (41.3%)

every day

33 (19.2%)

108 (62.8%)

148 (86%)

41 (23.8%)

no data

NA

NA

NA

NA

 

Furthermore, most of the informants (86%) are avid listeners to popular songs featuring English lyrics (Q12), and more than a half (64%) watch TV series and films in English (Q13). An informative picture emerges when we consider students’ habits of English use in informal interspeaker encounters as reported in Table 4. Whereas our informants exhibit varying habits of putting English to use in their social contacts in and outside of university (Q14 through 16), 50% report relying on the language while engaging in various activities on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter (Q17).

 

Table 4. English use in spontaneous interactions (total N = 172, 100%)

 

Q14

Q15

Q16

Q17

never

25 (14.5%)

24 (14.0%)

134 (77.9%)

14 (8.1%)

less than once a week

47 (27.3%)

52 (30.2%)

26 (15.1%)

46 (26.7%)

once a week

42 (24.4%)

36 (20.9%)

6 (3.5%)

26 (15.1%)

two or three times a week

41 (23.8%)

32 (18.6%)

0 (0.0%)

39 (22.7%)

every day

17 (9.9%)

28 (16.3%)

5 (2.9%)

47 (27.3%)

no data

NA

NA

1 (0.6%)

NA

 

I also notice that even though the majority of students (77%) confess to never using English for communication in their families, there are nevertheless a few (26, 15%) who report doing so less than once a week. This finding is interesting, as it lends weight to the argument that the ESL / EFL distinction is a continuum rather than a pair of mutually exclusive categories. It is this fundamental insight that must inform our future endeavours to tap into the differences between second language and foreign language learning settings. I will return to this issue in the subsequent discussion.

5. Case study: Attitudes towards English in Mannheim, Germany

In this paper, I argue that the description of ESL / EFL differences must necessarily include the attitudinal component. Speakers’ attitudes to language determine their linguistic practices, and these, in turn, shape linguistic outcomes. Moreover, exploring learners’ beliefs and feelings about native and non-native English allows the analyst to ascertain which linguistic and cultural norms the group under study is aligned with. If the English spoken in Germany has indeed been evolving into an ESL variety, then we can expect German learners to show signs of an endonormative orientation.

With this said, I report a study (Davydova 2015) that elicited German learners’ attitudes towards native and non-native Englishes. The native speaker varieties included British English and American English; the non-native speaker varieties comprised Indian English and German English. In 2013, I asked 94 Bachelor and Master students at the University of Mannheim to fill out a survey. The students indicated the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with six statements for the four varieties under study. Reported in Figure 1 for convenience, the statements elicited German learners’ conscious attitudes towards the four varietal forms of English on the dimension of social status (statements 1 and 2), social attractiveness (statements 3 and 4), and linguistic identity (statements 5 and 6).

 

Figure 1. Participants’ instructions and the assignment of the language attitudes survey (Davydova 2015)

 

Table 5 reports the results of the repeated measures ANOVAs carried out in order to test whether the differences in the mean evaluations British English, American English, Indian English and German English were statistically significant or not for each statement.

 

Table 5. Repeated measures ANOVAs of the mean evaluations (total N = 94), Davydova (2015)

Statement

Mean Scores

F-value

D.F.

P-value

BrE

AmE

GerE

IndE

Dimension: status / prestige

1. I think X is a high-status variety

4.50

3.62

2.97

2.21

70,101

2.8, 254.8

.000

2. I think X is prestigious

4.36

3.39

2.78

2.00

89.126

2.9, 267.9

.000

Dimension: solidarity / social attractiveness

3. X is socially attractive

4.00

4.39

2.87

2.06

66.598

2.9, 268.2

.000

4. I use X to express my solidarity with others

2.30

3.58

2.56

1.29

46.075

2.7, 252.0

.000

Dimension: identity

5. X is an English that I speak

2.78

4.25

3.22

1.14

58.545

2.2, 202.2

.000

6. X is an English that I strongly identify with

2.55

3.75

2.37

1.47

45.820

1.9, 181.2

.000

If English spoken in Germany has indeed been involving into an ESL form, then we can expect that German learners will use their own form of English, i.e. German English, to express solidarity with other users. We can furthermore expect them to believe that German English is the form of language that they speak and strongly identify with.

These results indicate that the German learners tested here provide statistically different assessments of the four varieties for all six statements. Further perusal of the survey patterns yield three informative trends. Firstly, I observe that both British and American English receive higher scores for social status and social attractiveness when compared to non-native Englishes. Crucially, it is American English, not German English, that our respondents are most likely to want to recruit in order to express their solidarity with others. Finally, the majority of students also believe that American English is the variety that they (aspire to) speak and most certainly identify with. These findings are in contrast with those documented for ESL speakers of Indian English. Davydova (2019) reports on 49 Bachelor and Master students from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, who provided their opinions of British English, American English, Indian English, and European English in terms of the six statements discussed above. The data revealed that Indian students were unanimously willing to have recourse to Indian English whenever they wished to show their empathy towards other people. They were likewise aware that they spoke Indian English, which was the variety with which they strongly identified.

Against this backdrop, the findings for the German group can be interpreted as a sign of their exonormative orientation. We can conclude that in terms of their attitudinal mindset, German students behave like EFL learners, not ESL speakers.

6. Discussion and conclusions

This paper proposes that the varietal status (ESL vs. EFL) of a given form of English can be assessed with respect to three criteria: (1) the amount of English use across formal and informal domains; (2) the amount of English use in daily interactions within a speech community; and (3) speakers’ attitudinal orientations towards their own form of English. The word “amount” is important in this context, as it suggests, following previous research (Buschfeld et al. 2014), that use of an English variety can be described in terms of “more or less” rather than “either/or.” In other words, the ESL / EFL distinction forms a continuum, along which a given variety can be placed.

The first case study reported on here demonstrated that, as expected, German speakers consistently use English on various formal occasions, typically in the university context. A majority of students have to rely heavily on their knowledge of English while attending university lecturers, giving academic presentations, or consulting about academic work. However, formal occasions are not the only instances of English use by German learners. The students regularly engage in consuming mass culture products (listening to popular music, watching TV series and films, communicating on Facebook and Twitter), activities which they routinely carry out in English. The latter findings generally lend weight to the argument, also defended in some previous studies (Berns 1988, Hilgendorf 2005, Mair 2018), that English in Germany has been expanding its domains of use over the past decades, thereby developing into an ESL variety.

A further diagnostic factor allowing for the assessment of the varietal status of English in Germany is the amount of English use during spontaneous interactions. The data presented here has pointed out that, whereas English is still not part of daily linguistic practices for a majority of informants, there is a conspicuous minority (15%) who report using English in the family at least once a week. This piece of evidence can be interpreted to bolster the contention that that English in Germany has, indeed, begun making inroads into the most intimate domains of social communication and has, by this token, been developing into an ESL variety.

The second case study on the other hand, makes it clear that German learners are still very much in favour of the native speaker English model. Crucially, they see no value in speaking German English and clearly do not identify with this linguistic variety, a finding which reveals their exonormative orientation. This interpretation, in turn, suggests that as far as the attitudinal dimension is concerned, English in Germany is an EFL form of English and has apparently a long way to go before it achieves an ESL status.

Overall, then, it can be concluded that when the three parameters proposed in this paper are taken into consideration, English spoken in Germany is perhaps best classified as an EFL variety with some clear ESL developments. Most German speakers of English, as presented here, use English as the other (foreign) tongue in various academic settings and exhibit a clearly exonormative attitudinal mindset. At the same time, evidence stemming from the domains of English use also shows that formal occasions are not the only settings preserved for communication in English. English has expanded well beyond the formal academic domains, and is being increasingly recruited as an additional language for various leisurely activities. Last, but perhaps not least, English seems to be slowly developing into a language used for communication in the family.

The findings reported here are informative for two reasons. Firstly, they arguably suggest that the ESL / EFL distinction represents a continuum because we can ask how often a particular activity is carried out in English and thus quantitatively measure the degree to which the language has established itself in a given domain of use. Such quantitative measures, in turn, allow us to compare directly different varietal forms of English in distinctive domains vis-á-vis each other. To illustrate this point, we could elicit the amount of English use in the family from three population groups representing three different sociocultural settings. These hypothetical data are presented in Figure 2. Considering this data, one could argue that Variety X is more EFL conformant than Variety Y, and Variety Y is more EFL conformant than Variety Z. In contrast, it is variety Z that is the most ESL-like of the three.

Figure 2. The amount of English use in the family across three (hypothetical) varieties

Secondly, diagnosing the varietal status requires complementary evidence stemming, inter alia, from reported domains of use and reported language attitudes. Juxtaposing both types of data is important because a variety may exhibit an ESL status on one dimension and an EFL status on the other. Conclusions about the varietal status of a given variety should thus draw on converging evidence from different domains (Garrett 2010).

In conclusion, I would like to elaborate on several caveats to the arguments advanced here. Firstly, the studies reported here have addressed just one highly specific population segment, namely educated young adults pursuing ambitious goals in life, receiving a high academic degree and securing thereby a stable position in German society. Admittedly, the findings reported here cannot be generalised to all population groups living in Germany. A more comprehensive study would thus be needed in order to ascertain whether the results documented here are borne out when a wider population group is taken into account.

Secondly, what also needs to be borne in mind is that spontaneous language data has not been accounted for in this paper. Language-production data arguably adds another important dimension to the analysis of the ESL / EFL distinctions because it allows the analyst to pinpoint creative language use – lexical and morphosyntactic innovations, code-switching patterns, etc. It is spontaneous use that is indicative of a true ESL setting.

Finally, exploring the details of the acquisition of English in Germany via both quantitative and qualitative tools will surely help to provide a more fine-grained description of the varietal status of English in Germany.

 

[1] For more information see https://www.internationale-schulen.de/ (accessed: January 23 2020).

About the authors

Julia Gennad'evna Davydova

Vorarlberg University of Higher Education

Author for correspondence.
Email: julia.davydova@ph-vorarlberg.ac.at
Liechtensteinerstraße 33-37; 6800 Feldkirch, Austria

PhD, Habilitation, Professor of English Linguistics, English Linguistics. Institut 2

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