Pragmatics SIG of JALT:

(1) Interactional Competence vs. Pragmatic Competence; (2) Seeing Learning in Interaction

Date: Saturday, September 7th, 2013 Time: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: (1) Christopher Jenks (City University of Hong Kong); (2) Adam Brandt (Newcastle University)

Two presentations, co-hosted by JALT's Pragmatics SIG and Osaka Chapter:

Interactional Competence versus Pragmatic Competence: Implications for Language Teaching
Chris Jenks (City University of Hong Kong)

Interactional competence (IC) is the ability to jointly communicate in setting-specific ways; it is about using communicative resources to co-construct understanding and co-accomplish context-specific goals. Like learning and using the grammatical structure of a language, language users must possess interactional competencies in order to communicate in a second language (e.g., establishing participatory roles in a pedagogical task when no directions are given).

Pragmatic competence, on the other hand, is an individual language user's knowledge of communicative norms and conventions. Pragmatic competence entails a number of different competencies, many of which have been identified and discussed extensively (e.g., a greeting should be returned in kind).

In this talk, the presenter will show how speakers of English as an additional language manage their interactions in a second language chat room, demonstrating that having pragmatic competence does not necessarily mean interaction will unfold successfully or without troubles or difficulties. Talk in chat rooms, like any communicative setting, requires not only displaying pragmatic competence, but also negotiating communicative norms and conventions on the fly, a key feature of IC. These observations lead to the conclusion that language teachers must expand their current understanding of communicative competence to include IC.

The presentation will also explore the pedagogical implications of IC. Christopher Jenks' main research approach is microanalysis (e.g., conversation analysis and interactional sociolinguistics).

His research deals primarily with computer-mediated communication, intercultural communication, English as a lingua franca, and second language acquisition. Other research expertise includes epistemological and methodological issues in applied linguistics research. He reviews for a number of top international journals, including Applied Linguistics, and is an editorial board member for Classroom Discourse. His 2010 co-edited book, Conceptualising Learning in Applied Linguistics, was runner-up for the BAAL 2011 Book Prize. He is currently working on several journal articles, has recently published a book on the theoretical and practical issues of transcribing communication data, and is co-editor of an 8-book series on social interaction by Edinburgh University Press. Other large-scale projects include a book on social interaction and technology and an edited collection on international perspectives on classroom interaction. He also has several forthcoming journals articles that will be published in 2013 and 2014.

'Seeing Learning' in Interaction: an Overview of CA Approaches to Longitudinal SLA Research
Adam Brandt (Newcastle University)

For obvious reasons, researchers in second language acquisition (SLA) have often adopted a longitudinal approach, trying to track and understand how second language (L2) users' proficiencies develop over time. Similarly, conversation analysis (CA) has been applied to the study of L2 interaction for over 25 years now, catalyzed (although not begun) by Firth and Wagner's (1997) call-to-arms. Despite this, it is only fairly recently that CA studies in SLA have attempted to adopt a longitudinal design, with what has been labeled 'longitudinal CA-SLA' research. Such studies seek to unpack, through the micro-analysis of social interactions involving L2 speakers, changes in "action formats, participation styles, and use of linguistic resources over shorter or longer spans of time" (Kasper and Wagner 2011: 127).

In this talk, Adam Brandt will present the background to the sub-field of CA which has been described as 'developmental CA' (Wootton, 2006) - the study of changes of an individual's interactional practices over time. He will explain how this has led to the emerging body of longitudinal CA-SLA studies, and explain the different approaches that such studies have taken. Finally, the presenter will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to SLA research, and consider future directions which it may take.

Adam Brandt is lecturer in Applied Linguistics at Newcastle University in the UK, where he is a degree programme director on the MA in Cross-Cultural Communication, and teaches Methods in Cross-Cultural Communication Research and Sociolinguistics. His primary research interests are in social interaction and language in use, particularly in relation to intercultural communication, second language use, English as a lingua franca, and identity in interaction. His PhD research, funded by the ESRC and conducted at Newcastle University, was concerned with second language speakers' management of mutual understanding in online, English speaking practice chat rooms. Using the same data set, he has also published (with Dr. Chris Jenks) papers in Language and Intercultural Communication, Discourse Processes and Language@Internet. Following his PhD, he spent two years in Japan, conducting a JSPS-funded postdoctoral research project on interactions involving international students in various university settings. He is an active member of a number of research groups, including Newcastle University's Micro-Analysis Research Group (MARG), and Conversation Analysis Network Asia (CAN-Asia).

Organization: Pragmatics Special Interest Group, Japan Association for Language Teaching (Pragmatics SIG of JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 500 yen

Venue: Temple University Japan, Osaka Campus, Osaka Ekimae Bldg. 3, 21st Floor, 1-1-3-2100 Umeda, Kita-ku, Tel: 06-6343-0005

Location: Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan


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