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ERIC Number: EJ1153532
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Facework among L2 Speakers: A Close Look at Intercultural Communication
Jwa, Soomin
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v38 n6 p517-529 2017
Although significant attention has been devoted to the notion of facework and its functions, facework among L2 speakers, whose cultural backgrounds and language proficiencies vary, has remained unexplored. The present study attempts to explore situations of intercultural communication in which facework is used as a way to remedy moments of potential face loss. The data are drawn from communication among Korean, Malaysian, and Japanese students who were enrolled in an online synchronous class. On the basis of these data, three different types of facework were identified: self-mocking humour, group embarrassment, and attempts to build group cohesion. Tensions among the intercultural group, which could have led to a potential break in face maintenance, emerged. These tensions resulted from discrepancies within the cultural groups concerning recognition of face, cultural assumptions, and language use. When participants did not find an equitable resolution of tension in words, nonverbal face-saving strategies functioned to resolve conflict and mitigate loss of face by re-contextualising the interaction. Overall, this paper highlights the complexities of intercultural communication in relation to face maintenance and offers insights for future research into L2 speakers' use of facework in intercultural communication.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea; Japan; Malaysia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A