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Study abroad and the development of L2 requests: the development of pragmalinguistic behaviour as operationalised in request realisations of UK based study abroad students in Germany/Austria

Study abroad and the development of L2 requests: the development of pragmalinguistic behaviour as operationalised in request realisations of UK based study abroad students in Germany/Austria
Study abroad and the development of L2 requests: the development of pragmalinguistic behaviour as operationalised in request realisations of UK based study abroad students in Germany/Austria
This longitudinal mixed methods study traces the request development of eight UK based students learning German in Germany and Austria. Although language socialisation was used as an underlying contextual framework, the main focus was on the development of politeness as operationalised in requests, and the factors which may have influenced this development such as the establishment of an L2 identity and membership in communities of practice (CofPs).

Five participants were English native speakers, two had grown up bilingually, one speaking Croatian and English and the other Italian and Twi, and one was a French native speaker. The requests were primarily elicited in semi-structured role plays carried out with German native speakers, yet the participants were also asked to record authentic interactions in service encounter scenarios, expected to lead to the utterance of requests. The role play data, which amount to 144 role plays, were collected before, during and after the students’ stay abroad. In-sojourn, the participants were also asked to record authentic exchanges, three of which were used in the present study. In addition, the students were also interviewed pre-in-and post-sojourn (24 interviews) and were asked to fill in an online background questionnaire before going abroad and a language engagement questionnaire while they were abroad.

The role plays were coded based on the CCSARP coding scheme to determine the degree of directness and of internal and external mitigation in learner requests. The authentic data were analysed with Conversation Analysis. The data show a shift towards more directness, i.e. less internal and more external mitigation in-sojourn, thus indicating an adaptation to target community specific language behaviour. However, the degree of adaptation varied partly in line with participants’ degree of awareness of differences in linguistic politeness and identification with German society, and partly in line with the extent of their engagement with local CofPs. The variables which mostly influenced the change between pre-and in-sojourn request realisations, were the awareness of differences in linguistic politeness and the successful establishment of an L2 identity. Interaction with the host-community, which did not have a noticeable influence on the general pre- to in-sojourn change data, and awareness of difference in linguistic politeness, did however impact the change in pre- to in-sojourn request variation.

The CA analysis of the authentic exchanges and the corresponding role plays both show the same preference structure for requests, thus providing researchers in the field with important new validation for role play methodology.
Kaltschuetz, Denise
598f7574-2fd4-47c0-bd81-b5b6bfa6f4b1
Kaltschuetz, Denise
598f7574-2fd4-47c0-bd81-b5b6bfa6f4b1
Mitchell, Rosamond
de2eabed-7903-43fa-961a-c16f69fddd7e

Kaltschuetz, Denise (2014) Study abroad and the development of L2 requests: the development of pragmalinguistic behaviour as operationalised in request realisations of UK based study abroad students in Germany/Austria. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 282pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This longitudinal mixed methods study traces the request development of eight UK based students learning German in Germany and Austria. Although language socialisation was used as an underlying contextual framework, the main focus was on the development of politeness as operationalised in requests, and the factors which may have influenced this development such as the establishment of an L2 identity and membership in communities of practice (CofPs).

Five participants were English native speakers, two had grown up bilingually, one speaking Croatian and English and the other Italian and Twi, and one was a French native speaker. The requests were primarily elicited in semi-structured role plays carried out with German native speakers, yet the participants were also asked to record authentic interactions in service encounter scenarios, expected to lead to the utterance of requests. The role play data, which amount to 144 role plays, were collected before, during and after the students’ stay abroad. In-sojourn, the participants were also asked to record authentic exchanges, three of which were used in the present study. In addition, the students were also interviewed pre-in-and post-sojourn (24 interviews) and were asked to fill in an online background questionnaire before going abroad and a language engagement questionnaire while they were abroad.

The role plays were coded based on the CCSARP coding scheme to determine the degree of directness and of internal and external mitigation in learner requests. The authentic data were analysed with Conversation Analysis. The data show a shift towards more directness, i.e. less internal and more external mitigation in-sojourn, thus indicating an adaptation to target community specific language behaviour. However, the degree of adaptation varied partly in line with participants’ degree of awareness of differences in linguistic politeness and identification with German society, and partly in line with the extent of their engagement with local CofPs. The variables which mostly influenced the change between pre-and in-sojourn request realisations, were the awareness of differences in linguistic politeness and the successful establishment of an L2 identity. Interaction with the host-community, which did not have a noticeable influence on the general pre- to in-sojourn change data, and awareness of difference in linguistic politeness, did however impact the change in pre- to in-sojourn request variation.

The CA analysis of the authentic exchanges and the corresponding role plays both show the same preference structure for requests, thus providing researchers in the field with important new validation for role play methodology.

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Published date: September 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages

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Local EPrints ID: 376524
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/376524
PURE UUID: 685e7737-b8b3-4f7a-a695-955743ad2778

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Date deposited: 03 Jul 2015 15:35
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:08

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