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Yearbook of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association

Editor-in-Chief: Stefanowitsch, Anatol / Schoenefeld, Doris

1 Issue per year

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„Im Deutschen kan das nicht“ – Text type didactics for the teaching of German modal verb constructions

Sabine Jentges
Published Online: 2016-12-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gcla-2016-0005


In the Netherlands, the similar origin Dutch shares with German lends itself to a contrastive approach to teaching and learning German and, for this reason, is promoted on all levels. This leads to Dutch textbooks and grammars being almost exclusively contrastive in nature, irrespective of the targeted language level, which is also reflected in the unanimous scientific debate. This paper discusses to which degree construction grammar approaches and/or contrastive approaches can assist the Dutch learner of German in their language acquisition. Advanced Dutch learners of German’s use - or lack thereof - of sollen ‘are supposed to’ vs. sollten ‘should’ in written texts is analyzed and compared to the presentation of this topic in Dutch teaching materials for German as a foreign language. Furthermore, the questions are raised whether a contrastive approach mainly promotes the strategy of avoiding errors stemming from L1 inferences as well as whether a construction grammar approach leads to a more adequate acquisition of the target language. Based on these discussions, possible implementations for teaching soll(t)en to Dutch learners of German are proposed.

Keywords : German as a foreign language; construction grammar-oriented approach; contrastive approach; modal verbs; teaching material

About the article

Published Online: 2016-12-06

Published in Print: 2016-11-01

Citation Information: Yearbook of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 31–46, ISSN (Online) 2197-2796, ISSN (Print) 2197-2788, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gcla-2016-0005.

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