Deutsch als Zweitsprache im mehrsprachigen Kontext: zum Erwerb von Konjunktionen als Indikatoren für Textqualität = Multilingual Pupils on Their Way to Literacy: a Focus on German L2 Learners and Quality of Texts
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The article is based on a transversal study carried out among trilingual pupils in the Ladin Valleys of the Autonomous Province of Bozen-Bolzano (2008–2010). There is a proof that literacy in trilingual pupils undergoing alphabetization in the same time (Italian, German, Ladin) is not significantly different from L 1 learners. The data that covers pupils from the age of 11 up to the end of school could give an overview of how they are on the way of acquiring writing abilities in three languages. Very important in that age is to construct coherence relations. They can be made explicit by using linguistic markers such as connectives. The article focuses on subordinating conjunctions for various reasons: This word class is invariant and limited but in its relationship between form and function complex. It can be shown that the differences between German L1 writers and trilingual writers in writing texts and using subordinators are not that big. Where one can find differences (e.g. wenn, wo in its different functions local/temporal/conditional) pupils are to be seen as in phase of “fine-tuning”. Ladin L 1 writers do not avoid those forms with different functions. Their strategy is to explore and to compensate a “lack” of vocabulary. The process of language acquisition as a whole can be described as very productive and positive. The exceptional trilingual educational system implemented in the Ladin Valleys brings astonishing results concerning literacy, text quality and language acquisition.