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8/31/2019
CFP: Fifth Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching

CFP: Fifth Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching
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The theme of the Fifth Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching is productivity in linguistics and language teaching, the productive use of language often being marked by an undeniable magic. This magic does not only consist in the fact that people are capable of understanding each other, provided that they master the same code.

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When: Saturday, August 31, 2019
Where: Saarbrücken
Germany

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Fifth Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching

October 29-31, 2019

CFP: August 31, 2019



The Magic of Language -
Productivity in Linguistics and Language Teaching


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The theme of the Fifth Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching is productivity in linguistics and language teaching, the productive use of language often being marked by an undeniable magic. This magic does not only consist in the fact that people are capable of understanding each other, provided that they master the same code. It is also true when people talk about things they have never talked about and when new ideas occur to them or when they use notions and words that have not existed before, i.e. when they employ language productively and construct their own world. The relationship between the productivity and the magic of language works on various levels.

Productivity works on the level of pragmatics. Whenever people produce sentences and utterances, they are productive. The linguistic means that they have at their disposal allow them to create language structures and language patterns which aim at communicating information, arousing emotions and, eventually, eliciting reactions in their interlocutors.

Productivity also works on the level of languages for specific purposes. Any newly discovered phenomenon of the extralinguistic world will need to be named and classified. Neologisms, which provide a linguistic form for the corresponding notions, function at the word level and are often times of a specific nature. These languages for specific purposes, then, are productive sublanguages par excellence.

Whereas in the previous examples, the productivity of language refers to linguistics, it is equally present in the realm of language methodology. Whenever teachers instruct their pupils and students to communicate orally or in writing, they boost the latter's productivity. Teachers enable students to overcome boundaries in a language other than their mother tongue and, thus, to enter a terra incognita, which may give them a feeling for their own intellectual potential on the one hand, and a certain awareness of their chances to enter in contact with other people, who they would not have been able to communicate with if they did not master the target language. This aspect also stands for the magic of language as we understand it here.

The magic of language also refers to the interpersonal and intercultural mechanisms which are characteristic of any communication situation. In situations like critical incidents, for example, boundaries, which generally exist between individuals and also between people of different cultural imprints and socialisations, will be overcome. The processes involved will then lead to a redefinition of such relationships and, thus, be productive.

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