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ERIC Number: ED521338
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 337
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-9765-1
Becoming a Good Conversationalist: Conversational Competence as a Target of JFL Instruction
Iwai, Tomoko
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'I at Manoa
This study investigated the effects of instruction on the JFL learners' ability to engage in small talk using an instructional approach that uses activity as a target of instruction and pragmatics-focused instruction. Small talk was selected as the target of instruction because of its function to fulfill the intrinsically human needs for sociability. The activity of small talk was operationalized for instruction in a second-semester Japanese class through the construct coined conversational competence, the ability to co-construct involved small talk that features eight pragmatic resources. The involved small talk refers to the active and willing participation by the learners with the effective use of these resources, co-constructing such social meanings as sociability and rapport as well as various stances associated with their situated and discourse identities. By placing the focus of instruction on conversational competence, the study proposed innovation for language instruction: the adoption of activity as the main target of instruction (Yoshimi, 2003, p. 9, 2008), and the use of pragmatics-focused instruction as the main instruction. The instruction provided the students with metapragmatic information about what small talk is, it's organizational features including relevant resources, appropriate topics, and how it is jointly accomplished by participants using explicit instruction of pragmatics. The instruction aimed to foster the students' orientation to small talk as a social activity in which participants strive to achieve sociability, building rapport and self-presentation. The instruction also provided ample opportunities for the students to practice using the resources to engage in small talk in an open-ended, unscripted, and contingent interaction, as well as feedback. The study found that the activity-based, pragmatics-focused instruction had a facilitative role in bringing about changes in the students' participation between the two observations before and after the instruction. Students showed their orientation to small talk as a social activity and used the resources effectively to co-construct sociability, rapport, and identity in the interaction with a native speaker. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A