Germanic-speaking countries

Germany and Austria as examples

Authored by: Margit Böck

The Routledge International Handbook of early Literacy Education

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138787889
eBook ISBN: 9781315766027
Adobe ISBN: 9781317659204


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The geographical/political area in which German has historically been the first language (die Muttersprache/the mother tongue) encompasses the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany hereafter) with its 16 states (Laender); the Republic of Austria (Austria) with its nine states; and 17 cantons of the Swiss Federation in which German is the only official language, as well as three cantons where German and French are co-official languages. For reasons of brevity, Switzerland, as well as some other areas with small numbers of German speakers, such as the (Italian) region of Südtirol, the Grand Duchy of Liechtenstein, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and a small area of Belgium, are not included in this chapter. The chapter will focus on administrative, social, cultural and linguistic factors that have significant effects on early literacy.

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