Facilitating participation : communicative practices in interaction between native and nonnative speakers of Japanese



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This dissertation presents microanalyses of interactional practices employed by native (NS) and nonnative speakers (NNS) of Japanese. Drawing on videotaped interaction among Japanese and international students enrolled in an intercultural communication class at a university in Japan, I investigate ways in which NSs facilitate NNSs' participation in interaction during various group activities. I focus on three communicative practices employed by NSs: (1) co-participant completion, a phenomenon in which a participant continues or completes a turn at talk initiated by another participant, (2) translation of another participant's utterance into talk or gesture for the third party, and (3) impromptu vocabulary lessons in which NSs utilize talk and gestures to display understanding of their NNS co-participants' troubled production efforts and supply appropriate words or expressions while at the same time demonstrating their meanings gesturally. Using the methodological frameworks of microethnography and conversation analysis (CA), I examine the moment-by-moment unfolding of interaction, focusing on how participants with differential language expertise organize participation through talk and embodied action. I provide a detailed description of ways in which interactional resources such as syntactic structure, vocal features (i.e., perturbation), and certain features of embodied components (e.g., gaze shift and gesture) of the current speaker's turn afford the recognition of opportunities for co-participant completion. I also discuss how these resources provide opportunities for the projection of the next item in the turn in progress. In addition, I identify three specific actions accomplished by employing this practice: (1) providing lexical assistance, (2) joining another NS (i.e., a current speaker) in offering explanations to a NNS, and (3) proffering anticipatory agreement and displaying affinity. Examination of the phenomena of translating and providing vocabulary assistance reveals the crucial role that embodied action plays in such vernacular teaching. Multifunctional sequences that constitute impromptu vocabulary lessons in particular point to the significance of gesture as a resource for speakers and listeners. These multimodal practices resemble communicative practices of language teachers. This suggests the ubiquity of opportunities for language teaching and learning in everyday situations. This dissertation presents being able to facilitate NNSs' participation in interaction as part of NSs' interactional competence.