Learning Dutch in Flanders. The acquisition of sociolinguistic variation with adult L2 learners

01 March 2023 → 28 February 2027
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Language acquisition
    • Sociolinguistics
Developmental sociolinguistics Colloquial Belgian Dutch Dutch as a second language
Project description

Acquisition of sociolinguistic variation is increasingly considered essential for L2 speakers. At the same time it poses challenges, especially for late language learners. This project focuses on the acquisition of sociolinguistic variation by late starting learners in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. Flanders offers a fascinating context for this project, because the linguistic landscape is strongly dominated by non-standard language variation (mainly Colloquial Belgian Dutch), while Standard Dutch still occupies a superior position ideologically (also in L2 education). More specifically, the following questions are focused on

- What are L2 speakers' attitudes towards Standard and Colloquial Belgian Dutch?

- To what extent do L2 speakers incorporate non-standard language variation into their L2 system?

These questions will be answered by compiling and analyzing a corpus of sociolinguistic interviews with L2 speakers and informal conversations between L2 and L1 speakers.