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Language Learning Motivation - Why Learn German?

Students sit in the library and do research on German philology.
© DAAD/Hüttermann

Between 2011 and 2014, a group of DAAD lectures in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania conducted a study for investigating why people in the Baltic states learn German – or why they opt against it.

After a piloting phase, about 1.000 respondents in each of the three countries filled in a questionnaire – mostly high school and university students. The results show that the German language generally has a good reputation in the Baltics. German is considered an important language to learn – behind English, close to Russian, but ahead of any other possible target languages. Many people, however, consider learning German to be challenging.

Language learning motivation in general and with regard to German is largely based on pragmatic reasons: German is considered to be useful in getting a good education, for studying and enhancing one’s career, and for travelling. Cultural aspects, access to German-speaking media or using German in one’s leasure time, in contrast, are of less importance. In all this, the respondents predominantly look at the current role of German – the history of Germans in the Baltic states plays a rather marginal role in the evaluation of whether to learn German or not.

The presentations are only in German!

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