S1E3: Sounds Tricky

German is full of sounds and consonant clusters that might seem completely alien or unattainable to learners. How do you deal with the pronunciation of Knopf, Eichhörnchen, or Streichholz? What ways are there for learners to get to grips with these unfamiliar speech sounds? 

In this episode I'm joined by Anke Sennema (University of Vienna) as we discuss German speech sounds that might be particularly tricky for non-native speakers. There'll be some tips and tricks too.

Read the transcript here.

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About this episode's guest

Anke Sennema. Photo © Anke Sennema

Anke Sennema teaches at the Department of German Studies at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on German as a second and foreign language, teaching and learning in multilingual contexts, speech perception and production, and language acquisition. Her habilitation project is called "Phonotaktik im Erwerb von Deutsch als Fremdsprache" ('Phonotactics in the acquisition of German as a foreign language').

Email: anke.sennema@univie.ac.at



Deutschpflicht auf dem Schulhof? Warum wir Mehrsprachigkeit brauchen.
With Heike Wiese and Rosemarie Tracy
Dudenverlag 2020

Students who mix two languages in one sentence - wouldn't it be better if they spoke to each other in German? Which German should it be, that of the middle class and dialect-free? Should there be a regulation for it? We advocate choosing ways out of monolingualism. Because linguistic diversity is an asset, and one that goes beyond established foreign languages at school.

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Journal article:

"Mehrsprachigkeit in Mikrosequenzen hochschulischer Lehre". Available to access at https://tujournals.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/index.php/zif/article/view/1062/1059.

Full reference: Sennema, Anke. 2020. "Mehrsprachigkeit in Mikrosequenzen hochschulischer Lehre". Zeitschrift für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht (ZIF) 25(1), 1137–1162.

Links and information


This episode was first released on 09.02.2021.

YOTE theme music by Vincent Tone (PremiumBeat.com)

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