Aspects of Modern Language Teaching in Europe

By Wolf Gewehr; Georgia Catsimali et al. | Go to book overview

10

SPICE UP YOUR GERMAN!

Teaching modal particles

Linus Jung

Introduction

Modal particles (Modalpartikel in German, also known as Würzwörter (‘spicing particles’), Abtönungspartikel, Satzpartikel or Modaladverbien (Schemann, 1982; Acosta, 1984; Thurmair, 1989; Helbig, 1990; Weinrich, 1993:843-856; Duden, 1995:371-2)), are a source of confusion for students because of the many different types of meaning they can express. These words, which are so frequent in colloquial German, are extremely difficult to explain to foreign language learners. Incredible as it may seem, German grammars barely mention these words, and German language textbooks use them without offering any type of explanation (Neuner et al., 1987:50; Aufderstrasse et al., 1993:18). However, students who wish to attain an appropriate level of communicative competence in German must be aware of the wide range of functions these words possess as well as their importance in spoken discourse.

This chapter offers a structured explanation of modal particles for use in the second language classroom, and discusses their usefulness in ascertaining the broader meaning of the context of the situation. First, we describe the grammatical and pragmatic functions of some of the most common modal particles in spoken discourse where a good understanding of the context is essential to comprehension. The second part of our study is an explanation of some of the most relevant meanings of each of these words (e.g. aber, auch, bloß, denn, doch, eben, eigentlich, etwa, halt, ja, mal, nur, schon, ruhig, vielleicht, wohl), as well as the different attitudes they can convey. This explanation is followed by a series of exercises through which students can practise the identification, function and general usage of these terms.

Classification of the modal particles

All modal particles are function words, and thus belong to the same category as adverbs, prepositions and conjunctions. Students must be made aware of

-148-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Aspects of Modern Language Teaching in Europe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 238

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.