The Cult of personal responsibility

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    Ads for a campaign to speak German are currently all over Germany. The campaign is called “Ich spreche Deutsch” (I speak German) and aims to convince migrant youths to learn more German or learn German faster. The campaign’s clever slogan “Raus mit der Sprache” (lit. Out with language! Meaning Speak! Confess! Out with it!) accompanies images of so-called “ambassadors:” German pop stars, TV personalities or sports stars with a migrant background who pose with their tongue sticking out and painted in the colors of the national flag. The campaign is headed by the Federal Minister for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Professor Maria Böhmer, although it does not seem to be a governmental campaign but is organized by the “Germany Foundation for Integration.” This foundation is headed by a group of politicians and media people none of whom know anything much about language learning or migration as far as I can tell.
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationLanguage on the move
    PublisherLanguage on the move
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2011

    Bibliographical note

    Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
    • 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)


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