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Elsen, Hilke (2019): On the Status of Word Formation in Textbooks for German as a Foreign Language (DaF) Suggestions for a New Concept. In: Muttersprache, Vol. 129, No. 2: pp. 141-157
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German offers numerous productive ways to form complex words, many of them semi- or non-transparent. Neither training courses nor dictionaries can include all of them. This is one reason why learners need well-devised teaching concepts from the beginning to decode and form complex words. Furthermore, native speakers are not aware of many structural and semantic characteristics of word formations, so that they have to become sensitized to problems that may lead to difficulties for learners. Accordingly, word formation is an important subject for the study of German as a foreign language. This article examines how textbooks deal with word formation. As the findings turn out to be hardly satisfactory, the article closes with neurologically and cognitively based suggestions for a more systematic approach to word formation.