Norm awarenesses

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


For some years in our department we have been doing research on different aspects of the language awareness of business students learning foreign languages. A particular focus has been on how native speakers who are neither (future) linguists nor language teachers react to non-native written and oral performances (“error and competence awareness”). Starting from the theoretical position that there is a continuum between language awareness in the narrower sense (“attention”, “noticing” etc.) and language related (lay) theories, we would like to analyze in a more general way the “norm awareness(es)” of business students. We are particularly interested in the following questions for which we would use questionnaires, partly followed up by qualitative interviews:

1) Is there a relationship between one’s own foreign language competences and general norm (correctness) representations or expectations in the foreign language domain?

2) Is there a relationship between the attittude toward typical “norm” problems in one’s L1 and foreign language “errors”?

3) Is there a relationship between the attitude toward language norm problems and other types of social norms (e.g. when one is liberal in language norm contexts, is one also liberal in other social domains, etc.)?

Especially in view of multlingual competences in increasingly multilingual societies and in a “globalized”, still shrinking world, one is often confronted to the conviction that for L2 / L3 / Ln- competences (grammatical) correctness is no longer an absolute didactic target; but it is not yet clear, whether and under which conditions “normal speakers” accept language performances which diverge significantly from the native norm.

The study of potential relationships between attitudes to language norms and other norm domains also seems extremely socially relevant.
Event titleAssociation for Language Awareness, 9th International Conference, 26-29/6/2008, Hong Kong University
Event typeUnknown
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 602004 General linguistics