ERIC Number: ED383203
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-May-21
The Past Perfect Tense in English and German: Using One to Teach the Other.
This paper illustrates the functional similarities between the English and German past perfect tense which are extremely difficult for native Japanese-speaking learners of the two languages. By the time that Japanese university students begin study of the German language, most have had at least 6 years of English language study. Yet, German is taught as a completely new language, unrelated to their already acquired English-language abilities. It is suggested that this approach is counterintuitive and that German teachers should capitalize on the Japanese students' English-language abilities, both to teach German as well as to reinforce existing knowledge of English language structure. Analysis of the similarity between the English and the German tense was assessed from approximately 70 pages of German short stories; 75 occurrences of the German past perfect were identified and analyzed with the equivalent English past perfect. It was noted that tenses in English and German display equivalent semantic properties and discourse-level functions. Findings evidence the usefulness of English abilities for Japanese-speaking, German language learners and of German text analysis as a primary learning tool. (Contains 28 references.) (NAV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at JALT, SW Regional Conference (Kitakyushu City, Kyushu, Japan, May 14, 1995).