Interactional accommodation and the construction of social roles among culturally diverse undergraduates
AuthorVickers, Caroline H.
KeywordsEducation, Bilingual and Multicultural.
AdvisorPhilips, Susan U.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study explores the interactional achievement of intersubjectivity between native speakers (NS) and nonnative speakers (NNS) of English engaged in high stakes teamwork. I term the interactional achievement of intersubjectivity Interactional Accommodation. In particular, this study examines how strategies that NSs and NNSs employ to interactionally accommodate are related to language proficiency, successful team outcomes, and to the construction of team hierarchy. The context of the study is the team meeting associated with a design course in the department of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) at an American university, a setting in which NSs and NNSs work together on teams throughout the year to design operable electronic devices. Data was collected during one year from seven teams and a total of 27 participants through participant observation, video and audio taping of team meetings, and participant playback sessions. Data analysis incorporated an integrated approach informed by a variety of discourse analytic approaches. Findings demonstrate that the ability of teammates to interactionally accommodate to each other is correlated with the team's success. However, NSs and NNSs tend to employ strategies with different frequencies and in qualitatively distinct ways. These differences become important to the development of team hierarchy because strategies that NSs and NNSs employ tend to allow NSs control over the interpretive frame, which contributes to the construction of NSs as higher status team members than NNSs. The ability to control the interpretive frame is related to language proficiency, but in some cases NNSs develop strategies that allow them to control the interpretive frame and gain high status.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching