ERIC Number: ED366173
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Cross-Cultural Pragmatics in Oral Proficiency Interview Strategies.
Berwick, Richard; Ross, Steven
The influence of discourse and pragmatic transfer in cross-cultural encounters has received little consideration in studies on the construct validity of performance tests. With the current emphasis on direct assessment of speaking proficiency following the protocol of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), the potential importance of cross-cultural pragmatics is evident. The study reported here explores cross-cultural phenomena in the OPI by comparing the accommodative discourse of six English-as-a-Second-Language interviews matched according to rating outcomes with six Japanese-as-a-Second-Language interviews. Tallies of features of accommodation and control from the 12 interviews are compared to show a clear tendency on the part of the Japanese language interviewer to avoid interactional trouble and communication breakdown by providing highly accommodative questioning and topic-maintaining interviewer turns. Results suggest that comparable ratings, based exclusively on the speech of the interviewee, may not be equivalent in terms of the discourse and accommodation used by the interviewers, and that interviewer strategies for avoiding trouble may be linked to underlying cultural and pragmatic phenomena. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Oral Proficiency Testing
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Language Testing Research Colloquium (15th, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom, August 2-4, 1993; Arnhem, The Netherlands, August 5-7, 1993).