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The paper investigates placeholders, such as German Dings(bums) or English thingy. They are used in informal speech particularly for person or place names, when the speaker has forgotten them or doesn’t know them. As it turns out, in a sample of twenty-nine languages, more than half of them show only phrases or phrasal compounds of the question type (e.g. what is s/he/it called) or the deictic type (e.g. that/this). The other half use simple words or word formations, usually with a negative meaning. Compounds and derivations exist solely in Romanic and Germanic languages, however. Therefore, in a second step, I will take a closer look at placeholders in Modern German.
Chapter 6 presents an educational perspective on TBLT. The chapter begins by summarizing general educational theories that support an approach to learning that emphasizes experience and ‘doing’ over knowing and ‘telling’ - such as that of Dewey (1938) - and recent work on complex skill acquisition and training. It then considers research that draws on educational accounts of the role of ‘engagement’ in task performance and learning and the importance of investigating learners’ perceptions of the tasks they perform as well as their actual performance.
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