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Native/ intercultural speaker: Evidence from tandem learner conversations Jane Woodin University of Sheffield.

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Presentation on theme: "Native/ intercultural speaker: Evidence from tandem learner conversations Jane Woodin University of Sheffield."— Presentation transcript:

1 Native/ intercultural speaker: Evidence from tandem learner conversations Jane Woodin University of Sheffield

2 Tandem Learning defined as a language learning activity involving two native speakers and learners of each others’ language who get together to learn from each other and to help each other learn. Based on the principles of - autonomy - reciprocity; and - assumed to be ‘intercultural’ in nature (Brammerts 1995).

3 ‘native speaker’ Tandem ‘native speaker’ is becoming less clear Students still report they want to meet a ‘real’ Spaniard/British student

4 ‘How tandem learners talk about word meaning’ 20 tandem learners (10 Spanish, 10 British) 20 conversations (10 in Spanish, 10 in English discussing the meaning of a word Pre-and post word association task Analysis of conversations

5 Discourse/conversation analysis approach focused on how people draw on culture as one possible element in interaction ‘Who has introduced culture as a relevant category, for what purposes and with what consequences?’ (Scollon & Scollon (2001:545)

6 country/culture/individual categorisation e.g. In Spain/ For me the word means….. includes the following purposes : To understand/make understood perspectives on the conversation (own or partner’s), including asking one’s partner for their opinion/view To mark difference in the meanings of the word To mark similarity in perspectives on the meaning of the word To identify a need for help from one’s partner e.g. help with vocabulary To identify with the ‘other’ culture/country/language (i.e. that normally associated with their partner )

7 country/culture/individual categorisation (2) To relativise one’s view of the word (e.g. where they state that something is just their opinion) To stick to one’s opinion and indicate no change in meaning To move the conversation on (for example where it becomes evident that there is no development in the word meaning discussion) To refer forwards or backwards in time through the conversation – e.g. incorporating or comparing earlier perspectives on the word meaning

8 Country/culture/individual categorisation (3) is not necessarily the same as native/non-native speaker identification: - (e.g. Alison: I think of society as the population of Britain um (.) I (.) because I think of our my society…( Alison and Xairo, society) VS -‘How do you say X in English?’ they are clearly marking themselves out as the non-native speaker (i.e. English foreign language speaker), and their partner as the native speaker (i.e. English mother tongue speaker).

9 Examples of NS-NNS distinction Most common examples: self-initiated repairs where the NNS asks for some linguistic help in the middle of a conversation. some instances of other-initiated repair.

10 Repair ‘organised ways of dealing with various kinds of trouble in the interaction process.’ (ten Have, 1999).

11 Lily & Maica (cooperar) Sequence 4 1. M: pero para ti cooperar significa (.) ayuda, o? but does co-operar mean (.) help for you, or? 2. L: um (.) no, no ayuda um (.) no, not help 3. M: ¿no? no? 4. L: hablar, pero... to speak, but…. 5. M: para mí significa ayuda, (L jeje) significa completamente distinto (.) tiene un significado completamente distinto. for me it means to help (L laughs) means completely different, it has a completely different meaning

12 6. L: estos son las dos para mí. Ayudar (.) y hablar. it’s both for me. to help and to speak 7. M: pero hablar, cómo? but to speak, in what way? 8. L: hablar (.) si tú um (.) di, dices a mí, um vas a, quiero que, no (.) co- operas? con yo to speak, if you um, say to me you are, I want, you (.) are not co- operating with I 9. M: conmigo with me 10. L: conmigo, Y (..) yo coopero? jeje with me and (..) I co-operate (laughs) 11. M: pero no sé no entiendo (2.0) no lo sé (1.0) es que para mí, cooperar es ayudar, en todos los sentidos but I don’t understand (2.0) I don’t know (1.0) for me, co-operate is to help in all its meanings

13 Lily & Maica, Sequence 6 1. L: emmm sí creo que en tu (..) what’s opinión? ummm yes I think that in your (..) what is ‘opinion? 2. M: opinión jeje opinión (laugh) 3. L: opinión la palabra cooperar significa ayudar, pero a mí um significa un poco más serioso? opinion, the word co-operar means to help, but for me it means a little more serious (serioso) 4. M: serio serious/formal (serio)

14 5. L: serio (..) um cuando pienso de la palabra cooperar, pen pen pienso de la palabra cooperar, um pienso de una un situación bastante serio, como en una comisaría, porque serio (..) um when I think of the word cooperar, I think of the word um I think of a quite a formal situation like in a police station, because 6. M: ah ah 7. L: La palabra es bastante formal the word is quite formal 8. M: yo, sí la utilizaría (.) además por ejemplo, también (..) sí, es que para mí es igual que ayudar. (..) no (.) es igual, no es el mismo significado, pero prestar tu servicio a alguien o eso, ayudar, sí, lo que tú has dicho I would use it as well for example, also (..) yes, for me it is the same as ayudar, (..) it isn’t (..) the same, not the same meaning, but to offer your help to someone, or to help, yes, what you have said

15 Gill (NS) and Eva (NNS): (cooperate) Sequence 1 6 G like um the people who have contact with do you generally co- operate well with them or 7 E oh then I might not have a good understanding of the word um= 8 G =what did you think, what did you say that you thought it meant co- operate 9 E um for example um two countries that co-operate uh with um fighting against terrorism [for example 10 G okay yeah] what you use this word for uh States and Britain co- operating to to fight terrorism and

16 11 E yeah 12 G what in this case you mean it's bad cooperation 13 E Well maybe it's maybe they have a good co- operation but [for bad purposes= 14 G oh I see] sure

17 The intercultural speaker: (Knowledge, objective c) (Byram, 1997:97) The intercultural speaker knows about conventions of communication and interaction in their own and the foreign cultures, the unconscious effect of paralinguistic and non-verbal phenomena, alternative explanations of shared concepts, gestures, customs and rituals

18 Skills of interpreting and relating, objective c) (1997:98): The intercultural speaker can use their explanations of sources of misunderstanding and dysfunction to help interlocutors overcome conflicting perspectives; can explain the perspective of each in terms accessible to the other; can help interlocutors to identify common ground and unresolvable difference.

19 Skills of discovery, objective a) (1997:99): The intercultural speaker can use a range of questioning techniques to elicit from informants the allusions, connotations and presuppositions of a document or event, and can develop and test generalisations about shared meanings and values………and establish links and relationships among them.

20 “a second language learner’s understanding of conceptualisations and constructs in second culture is fundamentally affected by his or her culturally defined worldviews, assumptions, and presuppositions” (Hinkel,1999:6).


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