Processing and Acquisitional Foci for Level II

Processing and acquisitional foci at Level II

Students consolidate their syntactic awareness and increasingly routinize major sentence patterns in interactive language use, freeing up processing space for greater creativity within these boundaries and beginning to expand into narrative language in interactive, personal contexts.

I. Increase build-up from the simplex to the complex sentence, including its intonational rhythm

  • Continued verb centrality in terms of temporality, realis — irrealis; action — result/state; modality; but with more expansive complements
  • The previously stated “wurde” vs. “würde” , “hatte” vs. “hätte” problems are now further complicated by the increasing use of passive constructions and the range of past narrations
  • Verb-dependent prepositional complements; da- and wo/compounds
  • Modification, prenominal and postnominal: adjectives, relative clauses modification with adjectives
  • Verb centrality in narration: The narrative tenses and their relationships in different modes/genres of language use and in their discursive environment (backgrounding of scene/situation – foregrounding of action)
  • Historical present (engagement, liveliness of narration) — Perfekt in direct quotes
  • Imperfekt — Plusquamperfekt
  • Habitual performance (“we would go to the country”)
  • Strong emphasis on the semantics of case: directionality, location, time (duration/point in time)

II. Locate the sentence within discourse, at this level particularly narrativity

  • Focus and topicalization, background and foreground, presumed known and unknown
  • Explicitly link suprasegmentals (intonation, pitch, stress, speed, pausing) and segmentals (grammar, lexicon)
  • Watch particularly in writing that topicalized adverbs adverbials are not set off by commas. These are part of the sentence, therefore need to be treated like that intonationally and with regard to word order
  • Work with sentence connectors according to various discourse organizations, genres (chronology, comparison, contrast, cause-and-effect, deductive, inductive, summative)

III. Continue to expand awareness of the transparency of lexical classes and appropriate domains of use for certain vocabulary and the semantic/syntactic implications of certain categories.

Discoursally exemplify and use in their appropriate domains prepositions/prepositional phrases, conjunctions, adverbials (e.g., trotz, obwohl, trotzdem). Given particular attention to plural formation.

Important note:
Increasing accuracy must be attended to under certain specified conditions fo use. As students start are processing more holistically in terms of the overall message they wish to convey (including discourse features) they should be carefully directed to attend to local-level phenomena (primarily inflectional morphology of gender, case, number, tense, realis/irrealis, and word order). Emphases can be varied with different tasks and under different task performance conditions.


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