|Title||Instruction practices in German driving lessons: Differential uses of declaratives and imperatives|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Driving, German, Imperatives, Grammar, Instructional settings, declarative|
|Journal||International Journal of Applied Linguistics|
Building on a corpus of 70 hours of German driving lessons, this paper studies the use of declaratives vs. imperatives for instruction. It shows how these linguistic resources are adapted to different praxeological, temporal and participant-related environments. Declaratives are used for first instructions, task-setting and post-trial discussions. They exhibit complex syntax and do not call for immediate compliance. Their high degree of explicitness conveys how the action is to be carried out. Imperative instructions overwhelmingly correct ongoing actions of students or respond to their failure to produce expected actions. They exhibit minimal argument structure. They are reminders which presuppose that the student monitors the scene and can perform the action unproblematically. They index that requests have to be complied with immediately or even urgently.