Developing Interactional Competence in a Japanese Study Abroad Context

Author: Naoko Taguchi

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Multilingual Matters
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In the process of second language acquisition, the ability to interact effectively is critical. But what does it mean to be interactively competent? This book addresses this question by presenting research on the development of interactional competence among learners of Japanese as a second language. Qualitative data collected on learners studying abroad in Japan is evaluated to explain changes in their interactional competence and provides specific insights into the learning of Japanese. The situated analysis of multiple data sets generates meaningful interpretations of the development of interactional competence in the development of interactional competence and the learner-specific factors that shape developmental trajectories. Moreover, the context of the research provides insights into the types of learning resources and experiences that study abroad provides to assist learners' in their progress towards becoming a competent speaker in the target community.

Written by a distinguished applied linguist, this book describes the development of interactional competence by learners from a wide variety of backgrounds studying abroad in Japan. These individuals learn not only the forms of a new language but how their new language creates identities of them in social situations, some of which the learners desire and some of which their interlocutors find strangely impolite. Through her innovative study of how interactional competence develops, the author paints an optimistic picture of how language learning develops through language use.

This novel work examines the development of interactional competence among L2 Japanese learners studying in Japan for one semester, focusing on their use of oft-undervalued, yet significant interactional resources: style-shifting and incomplete sentences. Case histories of four of the learners further reveal what contributed to their development. This book is undoubtedly a valuable contribution to those teaching Japanese or researching L2 acquisition.

This book is essential for language learners and researchers, especially learners acquiring a second language in a study abroad context. Each chapter explores and explains clearly step by step how the author analyzed the process of second language acquisition. This study mainly discusses interactional competence focusing on speech style, and style shifting and incomplete sentences in the Japanese language. A study abroad setting was also considered as facilitator of second language acquisition in this study. 

LINGUIST List 27.3429

Naoko Taguchi is Associate Professor in the Modern Languages Department at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests include second language pragmatics, classroom-based research, English-medium education and Japanese SLA. Her recent publications include Context, Individual Differences and Pragmatic Competence (Multilingual Matters, 2014) and Technology in Interlanguage Pragmatics Research and Teaching (coedited with Julie Sykes, John Benjamins, 2013).

Chapter 1 – Interactional Competence in Japanese Study Abroad: An Introduction
Chapter 2 – Linguistic and Interactional Resources in Japanese Conversation: Speech Styles and Incomplete Sentence Endings
Chapter 3 – Context of Study: Study Abroad as a Site for Language Learning
Chapter 4 – Methods of the Study 
Chapter 5 – Speech Styles
Chapter 6 – Style Shifting Across Discourse Boundaries
Chapter 7 – Incomplete Sentences in Joint Turn Construction
Chapter 8 – Case Histories of Interactional Development and Study Abroad Experience
Chapter 9 – Conclusion

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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