Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

"After all, History Has ever Been a Language Subject" - Language Awareness and Historical Learning

Georg Marschnig, University of Graz (Austria)


The production of historical knowledge, and in consequence historical thinking, too, is always very closely connected to language. Without language, history is simply unthinkable. “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”, as Ludwig Wittgenstein [1] put it over a hundred years ago. Although the connections between the concepts of historical thinking and language awareness are obvious, it is quite a young question in German History Didactics, how to deal with the acquisition of the so called “hidden curricula” (Halliday, [2]). The contribution presents the theoretical basis of language-sensitive history teaching as it was designed by Saskia Handro [3] [4] in the recent years and discusses its broad effects to the teaching of history in a multilingual, immigration-society, characterized by a wide range of diversity. The core of the contribution is the presentation of empirical research aiming on the verbal manifestation of perspectivity.[5] It deals with the Autor’s post-doctoral thesis (Habilitation-project), which was conducted within’ eight 11th-grade-history classes in winter 2018. After the presentation of the research design and the main finding, the consequences for initial and in-service teacher training will be discussed.

Keywords: Language awareness; historical thinking; historical learning, perspectivity, CLIL.

[1] Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung, Tractatus logico-philosophicus. Kritische Edition. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1998.
[2] Halliday, Michael: Some grammatical problems in scientific English. In: Ders./Marin, James R. (Hg.): Writing science: literacy and discursive power. London: The Falmer Press, 1993. S. 69-85.,
[3] Handro, Saskia; Schönemann, Bernd: Eine Einführung. In: Dies. [Hrsg.]: Geschichte und Sprache. Münster: 2010.
[4] Handro, Saskia: Sprachbildung im Geschichtsunterricht. Leerformel oder Lernchance? In: Katharina Grannemann/Sven Oleschko/Christian Kuchler: Sprachbildung im Geschichtsunterricht. Zur Bedeutung der kognitiven Funktion von Sprache. Münster, New York 2018, S.13-42.
[5] Bergmann, Klaus: Multiperspektivität. Geschichte selber denken, Schwalbach/Ts.: 2000.

Back to the list

Reserved area

Media Partners:

Pixel - Via Luigi Lanzi 12 - 50134 Firenze (FI) - VAT IT 05118710481
    Copyright © 2023 - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy