Noriko Iwasaki |
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London
This chapter first discusses an expanded construct of language proficiency, to highlight interpersonal/social dimensions of language, in my work on language learning abroad. I then report on an interpersonally significant but often neglected aspect of learners’ language – hedges. It was found that, after study abroad, learners used a wider variety of hedges and did so more frequently. Two participants whose speech segments were highly rated for sociability appeared keen to emulate young L1 Japanese speakers’ overuse of some hedges such as nanka ‘somehow.’ Their hedges allow them to socially package their messages (i.e. provide a buffer zone to monitor and accommodate the interlocutor’s emotions and feelings) (Maynard 1989). One learner also used sentence-final mitaina ‘like,’ also associated with young speakers.
2015. The Self-Other Positioning of International Students in the Japanese University English Language Classroom. In Transcultural Interaction and Linguistic Diversity in Higher Education, ► pp. 188 ff.
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