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“Appropriateness” in foreign language acquisition and use: some theoretical, methodological and ethical considerations

Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2008) “Appropriateness” in foreign language acquisition and use: some theoretical, methodological and ethical considerations. International Review of Applied Linguistics 46 (3), pp. 245-265. ISSN 0019-042X.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/IRAL.2008.011

Abstract

In this contribution, I focus on the concept of “appropriateness” in the usage, the learning and the teaching of foreign languages. Using a participant-based emic perspective, I investigate multilinguals’ perceptions of appropriateness in their foreign languages. Referring to the existing literature, and using previously unpublished material collected through a web questionnaire (Dewaele and Pavlenko 2001–2003), I will show that multilinguals develop their judgements of appropriateness, a crucial aspect of sociopragmatic and sociocultural competence, as part of their socialisation in a new language/culture. However, their ability to judge appropriateness accurately does not imply that they will always act “appropriately”. Indeed, the presence of conflicting norms in their other languages may contribute to conscious or unconscious divergence from the “appropriate” norm in a particular language. Some implications for foreign language teaching will be considered.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): sociolinguistics, pragmatics, second language acquisition, emic perspective
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Dr JM Dewaele
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2008 15:01
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/715

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