AbstractIn the area of teaching German as a foreign language, the major difficulty for learners is to master German cases. With this in mind, Wegener (1995) therefore proposed starting by conveying those syntactic and semantic roles of the case which occur most frequently, i.e., the so-called prototypical functions. Furthermore, Scheller’s (2008) study has shown that animations based on cognitive linguistic theories enhance grammar instruction, although a verification of such an effect for conveying cases is not yet available. The present study therefore examines the question whether an approach which conveys knowledge about cases through presenting prototypical functions on the one hand and using animations on the other hand can offer advantages over traditional teaching methods. Over a period of two months, such an approach, together with traditional teaching methods, has been tested on two groups of subjects learning German as a foreign language at A1 level. The results reveal that the approach which involved a combination of conveying prototypical functions and interactive animations outperformed traditional methods. An integration of such a method into textbooks and into German as a foreign language classrooms could make it easier for learners to master the German case system in the future.
Yearbook of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association (to be published December 2013) – de Gruyter
Published: Nov 1, 2016
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