ERIC Number: EJ1071143
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
Using Phatic Expressions in Introductions in Intercultural Online Discussions
Zimmerman, Lynn W.
Journal on English Language Teaching, v1 n3 p53-59 Jul-Sep 2011
This study examines the use of formulaic language in an intercultural communication encounter. It focuses particularly on phatic expressions used in an online discussion about gender stereotypes in English among 167 undergraduate university students in Taiwan, Israel, and the US. Content analysis methodology was used to examine whether there are differences in the openings and closings that the students from the different countries used in their self-introductions. The analysis also sought to discover whether the participants regard online discussion as writing or speaking by analyzing the types and frequency of expressions used. While the results did offer strong support for there being cultural differences in the usage of phatics, the analysis of these formulaic responses does point to the use of an informal style of writing rather than the interactions imitating oral communication. Therefore, rather than being a form of speaking or writing, or a combination of the two, perhaps online writing is evolving into a specific form of communication with its own conventions for using phatics to establish and maintain connections in the online environment.
Descriptors: Discussion Groups, Electronic Publishing, Computer Mediated Communication, Intercultural Communication, Sex Stereotypes, Undergraduate Students, English, English Language Learners, Content Analysis, Profiles, Cultural Differences, Phrase Structure, Communicative Competence (Languages), Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel; Taiwan; United States