In this article, we examine the origin of the following terms used in research literature to designate a non-L1: German as a foreign language, German as a second language, German as a tertiary language as well as the Brazilian expression língua adicional. The theoretical basis is given by the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (Keller 2011a27 KELLER, Reiner. Diskursforschung. Eine Einführung für SozialwissenschaftlerInnen. 4. Aufl. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2011a., 2011b28 KELLER, Reiner. Wissenssoziologische Diskursanalyse. Grundlegung eines Forschungs-programms. 3. Aufl. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2011b.), which analyzes knowledge regimes in different areas and contexts and investigates the conditions of possibility of certain knowledge orders. It is argued that the terms German as a foreign language and German as a second language were coined in the German-speaking countries and assign subject positions for German as non-L1 learners which however do not seem sufficently suitable and appropriate to themselves. Therefore, língua adicional has been proposed as a counter-concept from the perspective of non-L1 speakers with the aim of neutralizing certain hierarchical meaning components of the terms foreign language and second language. From this point of view, it is accepted and even considered an advantage that this more general term doesn’t provide any further meaning differentiation concerning, for instance, the place of learning or the quality of the process of learning languages after L1.
German as non-L1; concepts; sociology of knowledge approach to discourse; subject positions