German as a foreign language (GFL) outside the German official-language territory

Authored by: Ulrich Ammon , David Charlston

The Position of the German Language in the World

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138717657
eBook ISBN: 9781315157870
Adobe ISBN:


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The German official-language territory includes Germany, Austria, Switzerland (German-speaking region), Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Eastern Belgium and South Tyrol in Italy (Ch. D.1: Map D.1–1). This chapter relates to the rest of the world outside this territory. But the chapter is not strictly limited to German as a foreign language (GFL); it also touches on German as a native language (especially Ch. J.3) and Germanistik [German Language and Literature and German Studies] (especially Ch. J.4). By contrast with my earlier book, Die internationale Stellung der deutschen Sprache (1991a: 511–523), the section on “Church activities overseas”, which was orientated primarily towards German-(speaking) minorities and expatriates and therefore related more to native speakers than FL speakers, has been not been included here (cf. Ch. E and especially E.5). For the same reason, the topic of “German Schools Abroad” (Ch. J.3) has been dealt with more concisely (Ammon 1991a: 442–455) but refers more consistently to schools of German-speaking countries other than Germany. In fact, the schools abroad of the German-speaking countries do largely serve German-(speaking) minorities and expatriates, i.e. German native speakers, but, as suggested by the frequently used designation “encounter schools” [Begegnungsschulen], they are open towards GFL learners. These schools are also considered in Ch. K “Policies for promoting the German language in the world”, especially Ch. K.3.

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