This glossary explains frequently used terms relating to the language/integration nexus and guides you through the apparent complexities of the relevant concepts and terminology.

ungesteuerter/gesteuerter Spracherwerb (Guided/non-guided language acquisition)

Many migrants initially learn German without any formal tuition, picking up the language through their interaction with a German-speaking environment. This process is known as “non-guided” language acquisition, as opposed to “guided” language acquisition, in which German is learned through formal instruction (e.g. on an integration course).

“Non-guided” acquisition of a second language generally means, among other things, that the learner
  • acquires an extensive vocabulary but little awareness of grammatical structures,
  • develops their own language rules, usually on the basis of their mother tongue or other languages previously learned,
  • shows a considerable skills gap: verbal proficiency is far greater than writing skills.
Guided instruction in German as a second language must take account of this language experience acquired in a non-classroom setting, and take appropriate remedial action.



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