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A cross-cultural study of communication during social visits : Japanese ESL students as ethnographers… Carney, Laura Jane 1997

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A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF COMMUNICATION DURING SOCIAL VISITS: JAPANESE ESL STUDENTS AS ETHNOGRAPHERS IN INTERLANGUAGE PRAGMATICS RESEARCH by LAURA JANE CARNEY .A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1980 k THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Language Education We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1997 ® Laura Jane Carney, 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at : the University of British Columbia/ I agree that the Library shall make it. freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of , my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis .for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. ' ' • Department of j^O-i^uiA^ E^u^oxhen^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date CXuljxfd II) mi . DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT The present study examines how native speakers of English, Japanese ESL students, and native speakers of Japanese communicate during s o c i a l v i s i t s . It contributes to research i n the f i e l d of interlanguage pragmatics by: (a) examining speech acts which have not been investigated extensively, (b) involving students as ethnographers i n the data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis procedures, and (c) improving upon research methods used thus f a r . Speech acts such as giving and receiving g i f t s , making compliments, o f f e r i n g and accepting food and beverages, making an excuse to leave, and expressing gratitude are examined cross-c u l t u r a l l y i n t h e i r f u l l discourse context. The data include f i v e interactions of Japanese ESL students v i s i t i n g Americans, f i v e of Americans v i s i t i n g fellow Americans, and six of Japanese v i s i t i n g fellow Japanese. These interactions were videotaped i n the actual apartments or dorm rooms of the participants. A descriptive, exploratory analysis of the transcribed data reveals p a r t i c u l a r areas i n which Japanese ESL students should receive further t r a i n i n g and practice. Some of these areas include: using more compliments i n the opening segment of the i n t e r a c t i o n , responding p o l i t e l y to the o f f e r of beverages i n the h o s p i t a l i t y segment, asking questions to develop or i n i t i a t e conversation topics i n the small t a l k segment, and taking the i n i t i a t i v e to express gratitude i n the closing segment. One unique feature of the study i s the involving of 31 ESL students i n the data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis procedures i n order I l l to test out pedagogical implications. The res u l t s show that Japanese ESL students at an intermediate l e v e l of proficiency are able to learn something about the cross - c u l t u r a l pragmatics of a s o c i a l v i s i t by being t h e i r own ethnographers, but not without considerable guidance and assistance. Methodology i s central to the discussion. Clear advantages are seen i n videotaping semistructured interactions i n a natural s e t t i n g and conducting retrospective interviews. A number of changes i n the methodology are suggested for future studies, and additional questions for further research are presented. The study provides many insights for those involved i n second language learning, teaching, or research. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents i v L i s t of Tables v i i Acknowledgements v i i i Chapter One: Introduction 1 1.1 Background of Interlanguage Pragmatics Research 1 1.2 Problems with Methodology of Previous Studies and Significance of the Present Study 2 1.3 Research Questions 5 1.4 Organization of the Thesis 7 Chapter Two: Literature Review 8 2.1 Theoretical Background of Speech Act Studies 8 2.1.1 Interlanguage Pragmatics and SLA 8 2.1.2 Speech Act Theory 11 2.2 Methodology Employed i n Speech Act Studies 13 2.2.1 Studies Using One or More Methods 15 2.2.1.1 Discourse Completion Tests (DCT) 15 2.2.1.2 Closed and Open-ended Role Plays 19 2.2.1.3 Observation of Natural Data 22 2.2.1.4 Combination of Methods Including Verbal Report or Interviews .....24 2.2.2 Studies Comparing Data C o l l e c t i o n Methods..29 2.2.3 Studies Focussing on Pragmatic Development and Instruction 37 2 . 3 Conclusion. . . •. 45 Chapter Three: Methodology. 48 3.1 Description of Subjects 48 3.2 E t h i c a l Considerations 49 3.3 Data Co l l e c t i o n Procedures as Planned 50 3.4 Data Analysis by the Students as Planned 52 3.5 Data C o l l e c t i o n and Analysis as "Lived" 53 3.6 Data Analysis by the Researcher 5 7 3.7 Conclusion 59 Chapter Four: Results (Part I) ....60 4.1 The Opening Segment 63 4.1.1 Greetings and Introductions 63 4.1.2 G i f t Giving and Collaborating i n Expressing Gratitude 65 4.1.3 Compliments 70 4.2 The H o s p i t a l i t y Segment 72 4.2.1 Responding to the Offer of Beverages 73 4.2.2 Helping Oneself to Food 75 V 4.2.3 Summary 7 7 4.3 The Small Talk Segment 78 4.3.1 Responding to Topics I n i t i a t e d by Host 7 9 4.3.2 Asking Questions to Develop or I n i t i a t e Topics 81 4.3.3 Making Verbal Responses 83 4.3.4 Negotiating for Meaning '.84 4.3.5 Summary 86 4.4 The Closing Segment 87 4.4.1 Leave-Taking Signals and Responses 88 4.4.2 Preclosing Routines and Responses 90 4.4.3 Mutual Expressions of Gratitude 91 4.4.4 Indefinite Suggestions to Meet Again 95 4.4.5 Farewells....... 95 4.4.6 Summary.. 9 7 4 . 5 Conclusion 98 Chapter Five: Results (Part II) 99 5.1 The Project Assessed Pedagogically: F i n a l Reports.... 99 5.2 The Project Assessed Pedagogically: Role Plays 102 5.3 The Project Assessed Pedagogically: Questionnaire... 103 5.4 The Textbook Evaluated 104 5.5 Conclusion 106 Chapter Six: Summary and Conclusion 109 6.1 Summary of the ; Project. 109 6.2 Implications: Advantages of the Methodology I l l 6.2.1 Advantages oyer Other Methods I l l 6.2.2 Implications of the Results 113 6.2.3 Summary 117 -6.3 Limitations: Disadvantages of the Methodology 117 6.3.1 Structuring the Situation ...118 6.3.2 Videotaping the Interactions 120 6.3.3 Interviewing the Participants 123 6.3.4 Summary. 127 6.4 Conclusion: Suggestions for Future Research 127 6.4.1 The Cross-cultural Pragmatics of a Social V i s i t 127 6.4.2 Students as Ethnographers 130 6.4.3 Methodological Issues i n ILP 131 References. 134 Appendix A: Advertisements for Volunteers (2 pp.) 141 Appendix B: Consent Forms (4 pp.) 143 Appendix C: Role Play: V i s i t i n g People's Homes (1 p.) 147 Appendix D: Guidelines for Hosts and Guests (4 pp.) 148 Appendix E: Tricks for Easier Transcribing (1 p.) 152 v i Appendix F: Analyzing Native Speaker Data (Part I) (2 p p . ) - - - - 1 5 3 Appendix G: Analyzing Native Speaker Data (Part II) (1 p.)....155 Appendix H: Plan for The Conclusion of the Project (1 p.) 156 Appendix I: Comparing the Data Cross-Culturally (2 pp.) 157 Appendix J: Questionnaire (2 pp.) 159 V l l LIST OF TABLES Table 2.1 Studies Using One or More Methods (a): DCT and Role Plays 16 Table 2.2 Studies Using One or More Methods (b): Observation of Natural Data and Combination of Methods 25 r Table 2.3 Studies Comparing Data C o l l e c t i o n Methods 32 Table 2.4 Studies Focussing on Pragmatic Development and Instruction 40 Table 2.5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Data C o l l e c t i o n Methods i n ILP 46 Table 3.1 Data Co l l e c t i o n and Analysis as Planned and as Lived. 54 Table 4.1 Gender Breakdown for JE/AE V i s i t s 62 Table 4.2 Gender Breakdown for AE/AE V i s i t s 62 Table 4.3 Compliments Made i n AE/AE V i s i t s ...70 Table 4.4 Compliments Made i n JE/AE V i s i t s 71 Table 4.5 Topic.Change -Initiation i n JE/AE V i s i t 1... 80 Table 4.6 Leave-Taking Signals i n AE/AE and JE/AE Visits..89 Table 5.1 Results of the Students' Cross-Cultural Comparison 101 Table 6.1 Areas for Further Training and Practice 115 V l l l ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am indebted, to a number of individuals whose guidance and support enabled me to complete t h i s study. F i r s t and foremost, I would l i k e to thank Dr. P a t r i c i a Duff whose wealth of knowledge and expert advice kept me on the right track i n a l l stages of my research. I consider myself extremely p r i v i l e g e d to have had Dr. Duff as my advisor throughout my four years i n graduate studies. I would also l i k e to thank the other members of my committee, Dr. Stephen Carey and Dr. Margaret Early, whose i n s i g h t f u l comments and questions during the defence gave me much to r e f l e c t on, and L i Duan Duan who read the f i r s t d r a f t and offered valuable suggestions. I am grateful to B i l l Pech, Director of the Asia University America Program (AUAP) at Western Washington University, who graciously gave me permission to conduct the study; to Sue Pratt, i n s t r u c t o r of the Functions course for AUAP, who gave me many helpf u l suggestions throughout the ten-day data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis period i n her class; to the 31 AUAP students, who- agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e as ethnographers; and to the 22 volunteers from Orchard Meadows Apartments, who participated i n the study and opened t h e i r homes as the setting for the v i s i t s . I am also grateful to my classmate, Akihiko Haisa, who put much time and e f f o r t into c o l l e c t i n g data for me i n Japan, and to the nine students, from the university where he teaches, who volunteered as participants i n the project. On the home front, I am espec i a l l y thankful to Carol Powers, godmother of my two children, who provided loving care for the children so that I could devote whole days to my research without d i s t r a c t i o n . I am also very appreciative of my mother, E l l e n Harwood, who stayed with us for days and weeks at a time caring for the children and doing a l l the housework during intense periods of data c o l l e c t i o n or writing. My mother i s also to be acknowledged for her expert job i n proofreading the manuscript. I would l i k e to thank my s i s t e r , Jean, and brother-in-law, Bob Garnett, for timely f i n a n c i a l aid, and other family members and numerous friends for t h e i r interest', support, and prayers. I thank God, to Whom every aspect of second language ac q u i s i t i o n i s no mystery, for the insight and strength to complete t h i s study and for many miracles throughout the course of my graduate work—especially the b i r t h s of two very precious children. I am thankful to my children, Austin (3) and Emily (lh), for t h e i r willingness to share t h e i r Mommy with the research process and for t h e i r cheerfulness which has been a constant source of encouragement. F i n a l l y , I would l i k e to thank my l i f e l o n g partner and soul mate, Jim, for keeping me focussed when s t r e s s - l e v e l s rose and for giving me valuable advice on the presentation. To one and a l l , I extend h e a r t f e l t thanks for making t h i s study possible from s t a r t to f i n i s h . 1 C h a p t e r 1 I n t r o d u c t i o n In t h i s chapter we w i l l discuss the background of interlanguage pragmatics research, the problems with the methodology of previous studies, and the significance of the present study. The research questions which have formed the basis for the present study w i l l be presented, followed by a b r i e f outline of the organization of the thesis as a whole. 1 .1 B a c k g r o u n d o f I n t e r l a n g u a g e P r a g m a t i c s R e s e a r c h Extensive research on the development of a learners 1 communicative competence i n a second language has led to growing in t e r e s t i n an area of second language a c q u i s i t i o n research known as interlanguage pragmatics. This r e l a t i v e l y new area of research has been defined narrowly as the study of nonnative speakers' use and ac q u i s i t i o n of speech acts i n a second language (Kasper & Blum-Kulka, 1993). Investigations i n interlanguage pragmatics have focussed primarily on comparing native speakers' and nonnative speakers' comprehension and production of speech acts, such as requests, apologies, refusals, and so on. Speech acts have been claimed by some (Austin, 1962; Searle, 1969) to operate by universal pragmatic p r i n c i p l e s , but research has shown that rules governing speech acts vary considerably across languages and cultures. It i s not enough for learners to know the l i n g u i s t i c rules of a second language, but they must also learn the soc i o c u l t u r a l rules of appropriate use of the language. When they do not know these rules they may f a l l back 2 on pragmatic conventions i n t h e i r f i r s t language (LI). This phenomenon i s known as pragmatic transfer (see Kasper, 1992). Pragmatic transfer can be more serious than l i n g u i s t i c t ransfer because i t may not only res u l t i n miscommunication, but may also r e f l e c t badly on the speaker and lead to national stereotyping (Thomas, 1983). Pragmatic transfer -is most serious i n the case of face-threatening speech acts (Brown & Levinson, 1978), such as requests, refusals, complaints, expressing gratitude, and so on, where nonnative speakers (NNSs) are p a r t i c u l a r l y at r i s k i n offending the inte r l o c u t o r or looking bad themselves. The problem with these speech acts i s that even native speakers do not always agree on what sociocultural rules are conventional i n t h e i r own language and culture, and t h e i r i n t u i t i o n s can be misleading (Wolfson, 1983b). This i s one reason why speech act studies of t h i s kind are so relevant: they provide data for language instructors and learners a l i k e on how speech acts are used i n various contexts. 1.2 Problems with Methodology in Previous Studies and Significance of the Present Study It has been pointed out, however, that i f the data c o l l e c t i o n methods i n speech act studies are inadequate then the v a l i d i t y of the findings may also be questionable (Kasper & Dahl, 1991). The study described here was designed to address t h i s issue. The focus of the study was to compare how native speakers of English, native speakers of Japanese, and Japanese ESL students communicate during s o c i a l times of v i s i t i n g one another. 3 In t h i s study, speech acts such as greetings and introductions, giving and receiving g i f t s , making compliments, o f f e r i n g and accepting food and beverages, s t a r t i n g a conversation and keeping i t going, making an excuse to leave, and expressing gratitude were examined i n t h e i r f u l l discourse context. Retaining the f u l l discourse context i s one thing that sets t h i s speech act study apart from many studies where i n d i v i d u a l speech acts are examined out of context by c o l l e c t i n g the data through a Discourse Completion Test (DCT) (Requests: Blum-Kulka, 1983; Blum-Kulka & Olshtain, 1986; Kasper, 1989; Faerch & Kasper, 1989; Apologies: Bergman & Kasper, 1993; Gratitude: Eisenstein & Bodman, 1986; Refusals: Beebe, Takahashi & Uliss-Weltz, 1990; Takahashi & Beebe, 1987). DCTs may not r e f l e c t what a person would actually say because they are generally written responses or o r a l responses i n i t i a t e d i n a simulated setting. However, t h i s study was conducted right i n the home where the participant was v i s i t i n g thus providing more natural and spontaneous data. Some speech act studies also make use of natural data co l l e c t e d i n the f i e l d by observation (Disagreement and Chastisement: Beebe & Takahashi, 1989a; Disagreement and Embarrassing Information: Beebe & Takahashi, 198 9b; Corrections: Takahashi & Beebe, 1993; Compliments: Wolfson, 1989). As Beebe and Takahashi (1989a) have pointed out, f i e l d note-taking of natural interactions without knowing the speech context has i t s l i m i t a t i o n s i n that the data are not comparable i n terms of the r e l a t i v e s o c i a l status of the interlocutors and the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n , and so on. The present study was not a purely natural s i t u a t i o n because the v i s i t s were set up and a few guidelines 4 were given to the hosts and guests so that there would be some comparability between interactions. Other speech act studies have made use of role plays (Apologies: Olshtain, 1983; Gratitude: Eisenstein & Bodman, 1993). Role plays provide some context and structure while at the same time allowing for more natural and spontaneous responses. However, one drawback i s that they often force subjects to play roles which they may not be f a m i l i a r with (such as a business executive or university professor). This study allowed subjects to be themselves (a host or guest) i n a context with which they were probably f a m i l i a r ( v i s i t i n g people's homes). Tape-recording seems to have been the dominant method of c o l l e c t i n g role play data thus far, but t h i s study made use of a video camera i n order to sort out who said what and to provide d e t a i l s of nonverbal communication such as gestures, f a c i a l expressions, and so on. Some speech act studies have combined DCTs with retrospective interviews to t r y and get at the reasons for the subjects' responses (Gratitude: Eisenstein & Bodman, 1986; Refusals: Robinson, 1992). In t h i s study subjects were also interviewed immediately following t h e i r v i s i t to get feedback from them about the in t e r a c t i o n . F i n a l l y , i n a l l of the speech act studies referred to above, data were co l l e c t e d and analyzed by the researcher(s), and pedagogical implications may have been suggested but not tested out (see, for example, Olshtain & Cohen, 1989). In the present study an attempt was made to involve students as ethnographers i n the actual data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis procedure to see how they 5 might benefit from a study of t h i s kind and to t r a i n them for future pragmatic research endeavours of t h e i r own. The use of the term "ethnographer", here and throughout t h i s work, refers to a researcher who employs ethnographic techniques such as doing observations, transcribing, and looking for c u l t u r a l (and l i n g u i s t i c ) patterns i n the observed behaviors. It does not purport to carry the f u l l meaning of "ethnographer" i n the h o l i s t i c and technical sense of the word, which would involve intensive, detailed observation over a longer period of time. (For a discussion on what "pure" ethnography comprises, see Wolcott, 1985 and Watson-Gegeo, 1994.) 1.3 Research Questions Gaining pragmatic knowledge i n a second language i s a v i t a l part of developing communicative competence. However, how are language learners to acquire such knowledge and become p r o f i c i e n t at using i t appropriately? This i s an all-important consideration for language instructors and students a l i k e , but i t i s e s p e c i a l l y true i n the case of college-age Japanese students who have studied English grammar for years i n school but have d i f f i c u l t y communicating i n English. This consideration has given r i s e to a number of research questions which have formed the basis for the present study: l a . Without s p e c i f i c pragmatic t r a i n i n g i n language and culture, how well do Japanese ESL students interact i n English during a s o c i a l v i s i t i n an American home? How does the production of speech acts (such as greetings and introductions, g i f t giving, making compliments, accepting the o f f e r of food and beverages, s t a r t i n g a conversation and keeping i t going, making an excuse to leave, and expressing gratitude) by Japanese ESL students compare with the i l l o c u t i o n of the same speech acts by native speakers of English? lb. How does the interaction of Japanese ESL students with Americans compare c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y with the in t e r a c t i o n of native speakers of Japanese during a s o c i a l v i s i t ? Is there any evidence of pragmatic transfer from t h e i r LI coming into play i n the interlanguage of the Japanese ESL students? 2a. How well do Japanese ESL students learn c r o s s - c u l t u r a l pragmatics by doing t h e i r own ethnographic research? What are the problematics and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of such an approach? 2b. How might s p e c i f i c pragmatic t r a i n i n g i n the classroom have enhanced the learning process of Japanese ESL students? How e f f e c t i v e would the textbook have been i n preparing them for t h e i r v i s i t ? 3a. What are the advantages and disadvantages of c o l l e c t i n g speech act data by videotaping semi-structured interactions i n a natural s e t t i n g and by conducting retrospective group interviews? 3b. How might research methods i n interlanguage pragmatic studies of t h i s kind be improved? 7 1.4 Organization of the Thesis In Chapter One, the background of interlanguage pragmatics research, problems with the methodology of previous studies, significance of the present study, and the research questions were presented. In Chapter Two, we w i l l look i n more d e t a i l at relevant l i t e r a t u r e on interlanguage pragmatics and the advantages and disadvantages of methods used so far i n speech act studies s i m i l a r to t h i s one. In Chapter Three, the methodology adopted for the present study w i l l be described. In Chapters Four and Five, r e s u l t s w i l l be reported i n two parts: In Part I, the speech acts w i l l be compared c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y with p a r t i c u l a r focus on the interlanguage of the Japanese ESL students (Research Questions l a and lb) and i n Part II, the pedagogical findings of the present study w i l l be reported (Research Questions 2a and 2b). F i n a l l y , i n Chapter Six, we w i l l conclude by examining the methodology and making suggestions for future research (Research Questions 3a and 3b). 8 Chapter 2 Literature Review In t h i s chapter, we w i l l take a look at the interlanguage pragmatic research relevant to the present study with a view to answering two pertinent questions regarding theory and methodology: (1) Why study speech acts?; and (2) What data c o l l e c t i o n methods should be employed? In the f i r s t section, we w i l l take a b r i e f look at the major theories behind speech act research. In the second section we w i l l discuss at length the data c o l l e c t i o n methods used i n speech act studies thus far and give rationale for the methodology chosen i n the present study. 2.1 Theoretical Background of Speech Act Studies 2.1.1 Interlanguage Pragmatics and SLA F i r s t of a l l , what i s interlanguage pragmatics (ILP) and how does i t relate to second language a c q u i s i t i o n (SLA) research? Interlanguage pragmatics has been defined by Kasper (1996) as "the study of nonnative speakers' use and ac q u i s i t i o n of L2 pragmatic knowledge" (p. 145). Pragmatics has to do with "contextualized language use" (Kasper, 1992, p. 204). According to Hatch, 1992, "the study of what speakers mean to convey when they use a p a r t i c u l a r structure i n context i s c a l l e d the study of pragmatics" (p. 260). Interlanguage i s the term coined by Selinker (1972) to refer to the developing language system of second language learners which i s not synonymous with either t h e i r LI or the L2 that they are i n the process of learning ( E l l i s , 1985). Larsen-Freeman and Long (1991) suggest that i t 9 can be thought of as a continuum between the LI and L2 along which learners traverse as they become more and more fluent i n the L2. The rules that they follow may not be t a r g e t - l i k e yet, but t h e i r language i s rule-governed and systematic at any given point along the continuum. The inter e s t i n ILP stems from a growing focus i n second language learning and teaching on the development of a learner's communicative competence, a term f i r s t used by Hymes (1972) to ref e r to a learner's a b i l i t y to communicate based not only on the grammatical rules of a language, but also on the knowledge of when to say something and how to say i t depending on the context. Canale and Swain (1980) broke t h i s down further into a framework consisting of four components: grammatical competence, which means knowledge of the l i n g u i s t i c code; sociolinguistic competence, a term sometimes used interchangeably with pragmatic competence including comprehension and production of speech acts; discourse competence, which i s the a b i l i t y to produce a coherent text i n various genres; and strategic competence, which refers to the a b i l i t y to make oneself understood despite a lack i n the other three components of communicative competence. It has been pointed out that the bulk of ILP studies so far have focussed on L2 use rather than development, thus weakening the connection between ILP and SLA: That those interested i n ILP have devoted l i t t l e attention to developmental issues i s also i n marked contrast to the prominent role played by pragmatics i n communicative language teaching and testing. Approaches to language i n s t r u c t i o n and assessment should be informed by theory and 10 research on pragmatic development, but as yet ILP does not have much to o f f e r to second language pedagogy. (Kasper & Schmidt, 1996, p. 149) Kasper and Schmidt go on to say that most studies i n ILP derive t h e i r t h e o r e t i c a l underpinnings, research questions, and methodology from cross-cultural pragmatics rather than SLA, with the exception of those ILP studies that focus on the issue of pragmatic transfer which more closely aligns ILP with SLA. As b r i e f l y mentioned i n the introduction, pragmatic transfer i s the phenomenon where NNSs, attempting to communicate i n the L2, f a l l back on t h e i r LI pragmatic knowledge sometimes r e s u l t i n g i n pragmatic failure, one of the main sources of cr o s s - c u l t u r a l communication breakdown ranging from the humorous to the serious (Thomas, 1983). Based on terms she appropriated from Leech, 1983, Thomas i d e n t i f i e d two types of pragmatic f a i l u r e which Kasper (1992) then extended to describe two types of pragmatic transfer: pragmalinguistic transfer which occurs when learners transfer a l i n g u i s t i c form from t h e i r LI to the L2, where i t may not have the intended meaning, force or politeness value; and sociolinguistic transfer which occurs when second language learners comprehend or produce speech acts based on t h e i r own so c i o c u l t u r a l perception of s o c i a l status or distance, rights or obligations, the degree of imposition, and so forth. Numerous studies have focussed on finding evidence for t h i s phenomenon and on determining what conditions might cause learners to transfer (for a review see Kasper,-1992). Another issue which aligns.ILP with SLA i s the role that i n s t r u c t i o n plays, i n the development of s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c 11 competence. As w i l l be seen i n the next section, only a few studies have touched on t h i s so far (e.g. Olshtain & Cohen, 1990; House, 1996). The l i t e r a t u r e on language s o c i a l i z a t i o n ( S c h i e f f e l i n & Ochs, 1986) has made i t clear that, when acquiring pragmatic knowledge i n t h e i r LI, children receive considerable input and t r a i n i n g from parents and teachers. It i s reasonable to suspect that instruction ;plays, an important role i n the ac q u i s i t i o n of L2 pragmatic knowledge for adult NNSs as well. Porter ( 1986) discovered that small, group interactions and pair work among NNSs i n the classroom did not provide the kind of input they needed to develop t h e i r pragmatic competence. Instruction i n pragmatics would especially be necessary i n the EFL classroom setting where exposure to NS use of speech acts i s limite d , but i t i s also thought that pragmatic competence develops through noticing relevant features i n the input (Schmidt, 1993). One of the unique focusses of the present study i s to see what learners notice when engaged i n speech act data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis as ethnographers. As more attention i s paid to these and other developmental issues, ILP w i l l become much more closely aligned with the f i e l d of SLA and w i l l have much more to of f e r i n terms of pedagogical implications. 2.1.2 Speech Act Theory The great majority of ILP studies to date have focussed on comparing NNSs' and NSs' comprehension and production of speech acts. The questions that need to be addressed here are: just what are speech acts, and why did they come to be investigated so 12 extensively? Philosophers Austin (1962) and Searle (1969) were the f i r s t to i d e n t i f y and provide a detailed analysis of speech acts. This notion of speech act has been investigated i n a number of d i f f e r e n t f i e l d s besides philosophy, such as: anthropology (Hymes, 1974; Gumperz, 1982); l i n g u i s t i c s (Sadock, 1974); and c h i l d language (Ochs & S h i e f f e l i n , 1979), to name a few (Gass, 1996). These studies are based on the assumption that the minimal unit of human communication i s not a l i n g u i s t i c expression, but rather the performance of a certain kind of act through words (Blum Kulka et a l . , 1989) such as: greeting, requesting, refusing., thanking, and so on. Hatch (1983) and Wolfson (1981) were among the f i r s t to encourage investigations into how second language learners use and acquire speech acts. Hatch pointed out that one speech act function can be expressed i n a variety of d i f f e r e n t utterances or forms depending on context and t h a t the basic meaning of the form may not always be what the speaker intends. (In fact, i t may be opposite, such as i n sarcasm.) For example, the utterance "Gee, i t ' s hot i n here." looks l i k e a statement, but could be intended as a request to open a window. Nevertheless, utterances have been c l a s s i f i e d into a small set of functions which can be further divided into a number of sub-functions, and these have formed the basis for notional-functional s y l l a b i i n language teaching (van Ek, 1976).. What evolved were a number of empirical investigations into how speech acts were performed;cross-culturally and cross-l i n g u i s t i c a l l y . As stated i n the introduction, i t soon became 13 evident that speech acts do vary across languages and cultures. Cohen (1996) describes the goal of speech act studies as follows: "to i d e n t i f y universal norms of speech behavior and to d i s t i n g u i s h these from language-specific norms i n order to better understand and evaluate interlanguage behavior" (p.21). He argues that the f i r s t concern of the researcher i s to determine the set of strategies for r e a l i z i n g a p a r t i c u l a r speech act which he c a l l s a speech act set. The second step would be to evaluate the learner's so c i o c u l t u r a l and s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c a b i l i t y to successfully plan and produce appropriate speech act sets i n a second language. "Ideally, 1 1 Cohen argues, "this information could then be used to prepare a course of i n s t r u c t i o n that would teach to the gaps i n language, knowledge" (p. 40). However, as has been pointed out i n the introduction, speech act studies are valuable only to the extent that the data c o l l e c t i o n methods used are a v a l i d means of attaining the r e s u l t s . Methodology i s central to our discussion of speech act studies and needs to be addressed at length. 2.2 Methodology Employed i n Speech Act Studies As stated i n the introduction, interlanguage pragmatics i s a r e l a t i v e l y new f i e l d of inquiry, and there has been considerable debate recently as to which data c o l l e c t i o n methods, or combinations thereof, are most suitable for obtaining v a l i d r e s u l t s . Since the early 1980s a wide variety of empirical studies have been conducted on nonnative speakers' (NNS) production of such speech acts as: apologies, requests, refusals, complaints, disapproval, disagreement, gratitude, compliments, 14 greetings and closings. These studies have employed a number of d i f f e r e n t methods: observation of natural data, discourse completion tests (DCT), closed or open-ended role plays, and verbal report or interviews. Each method has i t s advantages and disadvantages, and the researchers each have a ce r t a i n rationale for choosing one method over another or for using a combination of methods to get at t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r research questions. Some of the topics which have been focussed on i n speech act production studies are: NNS's production of speech acts i n t h e i r second language (L2) as compared with L2 native speaker (NS) data; evidence for transfer from NNS1s f i r s t language (LI); and the e f f e c t of contextual variables (status, gender, degree of imposition, and so forth) on NSs' or NNSs' choice of means and l i n g u i s t i c forms to r e a l i z e a certain speech act. In addition, there are some studies which were designed s p e c i f i c a l l y to compare data co l l e c t e d by d i f f e r e n t methods. Only a few studies thus far were designed to focus"on the development of NNSs1 pragmatic competence and the role of i m p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t i n s t r u c t i o n . In t h i s section, we w i l l review studies that have been done thus far under three categories: (1) studies which compare speech act data c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y using one or more of the methods mentioned above; (2) studies which are designed e x p l i c i t l y to compare data c o l l e c t e d through d i f f e r e n t methods; and (3) studies which are designed to focus on the development of pragmatic competence and the role of i n s t r u c t i o n . 15 2.2.1 Studies Using One or More Methods It i s now a well attested fact that v a r i a b i l i t y i n speech act data i s sometimes induced by the p a r t i c u l a r method used to c o l l e c t the data (see Kasper & Dahl, 1991). In reviewing 39 studies of interlanguage pragmatics, Kasper & Dahl place the various data c o l l e c t i o n methods on a continuum based on the degree to which they constrain participants' responses. They put the highly constrained methods such as the Discourse Completion Test (DCT) and closed role plays on the l e f t , followed by the less constrained open role plays, and then the unconstrained (except f o r observer effects) observation of authentic data on the r i g h t . However, as has already been pointed out, each method has i t s advantages and disadvantages for getting at a p a r t i c u l a r research question, and cannot be placed on a continuum i n regards to i t s v a l i d i t y . Let us examine each method i n turn by taking a look at a few representative studies (see Table 2.1 and 2.2) which have employed one or more of these.methods. Our p a r t i c u l a r focus w i l l be on the researchers' rationale for.choosing the method(s) they employed and/or t h e i r discussion of the l i m i t a t i o n s of the chosen method(s). -2.2.1.1 Discourse Completion Tests (DCT) The Discourse Completion Test (DCT), o r i g i n a l l y designed by Levenston (1975) and f i r s t adapted to study speech acts by Blum Kulka (1982), has probably been the most widely used and most c r i t i c i z e d method of c o l l e c t i n g data i n interlanguage pragmatics research thus f a r . 16 Table 2.1 Studies Using One or More Methods ( a l ; DCT and Role Plays Study Methods Speech act LI IL Total n Blum-Kulka & Olshtain (1986) DCT(5) Requests Var. Heb. NNS= 172 NS=240 Beebe, Takahashi, & U l i s s -Weltz (1990) DCT (12) Refusals Japn. Eng. NNS=20 NS=40 Takahashi & Beebe (1987) DCT (12) Refusals Japn. Eng. NNS=40 NS=40 Olshtain (1983) Closed role plays Apologies Eng. Russ. Heb. NNS=27 NS=36 Tanaka (1988) Open-ended role plays Requests Japn. Eng. NNS-NS pairs= 4 Houck & Gass (1996 ) Open-ended role Plays Refusals Japn. Eng. NNS-NS pairs= 137 DCTs are designed to e l i c i t the speech act under study. A short s i t u a t i o n i s described i n which variables such as status, degree of imposition etc. can be manipulated. This i s followed by a short dialogue with a blank l e f t for the speech act i n question. An example of an item designed to e l i c i t a request might be as follows: (1) You are a university student v i s i t i n g your professor's o f f i c e to ask him to read over your research proposal. You: -Professor: Okay, I ' l l t r y to have i t read by next week sometime. You can come and see.me during my o f f i c e hours 17 next Thursday, i f you would l i k e . There are usually a number of items on one test (in Table 2.1 t h i s i s indicated i n the parentheses under the methods column). DCTs are usually written,, but may be administered o r a l l y , i n which case i t would be s i m i l a r to a closed role play. Blum-Kulka and Olshtain (1986) used a DCT to compare request r e a l i z a t i o n s of NNSs (at three levels of proficiency) and NSs of Hebrew i n terms of length of utterance. In t h e i r r e s u l t s they described the phenomenon of "too many words", where high-intermediate NNS participants tended to be more long-winded (in writing) than native speakers i n t h e i r request r e a l i z a t i o n s . The same DCT that Blum-Kulka. and Olshtain employed was used many times over i n the -Cross-Cultural, Speech Act Realization Project (CCSARP), a series of studies designed to compare requests and apologies c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y over a wide variety of languages. In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r study no rationale for choosing to use the DCT was given, but Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper (1989) give one of the reasons i n t h e i r introduction to the project as a whole: Ideally, a l l data should come from "natural" conditions.... However, i n CCSARP we were interested i n getting a large sample, i n seven countries, of two s p e c i f i c speech acts used i n the same contexts....Moreover, we wished to compare speech acts,not only c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y , but also within the same language, as produced by native and nonnative speakers. These demands for comparability have ruled out the use of ethnographic methods, invaluable as they are i n general for gaining insights into speech 18 behavior (p. 13). The researchers make no remarks as to the li m i t a t i o n s of using DCTs i n c o l l e c t i n g the data. Another study which uses a written DGT exclusively i n the data c o l l e c t i o n i s a study of pragmatic transfer i n ESL refusals by Beebe, Takahashi, and Uliss-Weltz (19 90). In t h i s 12-item DCT, they varied the type of stimulus to e l i c i t a refusal and the status of the interl o c u t o r . Evidence for negative LI transfer i n the written refusals made by Japanese speakers of English was found i n the order, frequency, and content of semantic formulas chosen. No rationale was given for choosing a DCT, but the researchers were careful to report that the word "r e f u s a l " was not used i n the directions i n order to avoid biasing the participant's response. In t h e i r conclusion, they acknowledge that "the data c o l l e c t i o n method—a written role-play q u e s t i o n n a i r e — i s l i m i t i n g and may bias the r e s u l t s " (p. 67). They also emphasize the importance of investigating the differences between natural speech and DCT responses. In a second study using the same DCT, Takahashi and Beebe (1987) addressed the issue of how pragmatic transfer might be affected by the learning context.(ESL or EFL) and proficiency l e v e l . Evidence for more pragmatic transfer i n the EFL context was found. However, contrary t o . t h e i r expectations, i t was not shown conclusively whether higher proficiency learners tend to transfer more on the pragmatic l e v e l or not. Again, no rationale f o r choosing a DCT i s given, but they do acknowledge the li m i t a t i o n s -of using written e l i c i t a t i o n 19 techniques over natural spoken data. One would assume that t h e i r reason for choosing t h i s method was to make i t easy to manipulate the variables, learning context and proficiency l e v e l , and to compare the r e s u l t s . Many other studies could be mentioned which have used DCTs as the primary data c o l l e c t i o n method. The DCTs d i f f e r i n the number of items selected, number and type of variables investigated, and the number of subjects tested. The researchers seem to claim that being able to c o l l e c t large amounts of comparable data i n a short time i s the main advantage of the DCT. The most obvious disadvantages of t h i s method are that i t i s noninteractive i n nature, the speech act i s being examined out of context, and there i s thus no guarantee that the written responses are t r u l y r e f l e c t i v e of natural speech. A f u l l e r discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of DCTs w i l l be reserved for the section on studies which compare data c o l l e c t i o n methods. 2.2.1.2 Closed and Open-ended Role Plays According to Kasper and Dahl (1991), role plays share the advantage that DCTs have i n that they are r e p l i c a b l e , and therefore allow for comparative cross-cultural studies of NNS and NS data. Closed role plays, l i k e DCTs, also have the disadvantage of being noninteractive i n nature, but the advantage of open role plays i s that they provide a richer data source allowing examination of the speech act i n i t s f u l l discourse context. Olshtain (1983) used closed role plays to examine what conditions might cause a second language learner to transfer s o c i o c u l t u r a l norms from t h e i r LI when making apologies. The eight situations i n the role plays varied i n the seriousness of the offense and the status of the i n t e r l o c u t o r s , and they were designed to e l i c i t an apology i n reaction to a verbal cue without a reply from the receiver of the apology. In t h i s respect, t h i s method was not much of an improvement over the DCT because i t was s t i l l noninteractive i n nature. Olshtain states the rationale behind choosing t h i s method, as follows: Although i t may appear more desirable to obtain spontaneous data i n a natural setting, i t seemed to us that i n order to arr i v e at a comparison of native and nonnative usage, we needed to construct well-defined situations which would allow us to focus on controlled responses (p. 237). The researcher also wanted to use the same instrument as the one used i n an e a r l i e r study by Cohen and Olshtain (1981) so as to be able to compare res u l t s between studies. Tanaka (1988) used open role plays to examine the request r e a l i z a t i o n s of Japanese ESL students i n t e r a c t i n g with NS friends or lecturers. The interactions were videotaped, and re s u l t s seemed to show that requests can be s t r a t e g i c a l l y planned r i g h t from the beginning of the conversation and altered according to the interlocutor's response, thus emphasizing the need for more in t e r a c t i v e data c o l l e c t i o n procedures such as the one used i n t h i s study. Tanaka found numerous examples of Japanese ESL students' tendency to produce nonnativelike openings, requests, and 21 closings, some of which were attributed to transfer. However, since no data were co l l e c t e d for Japanese native speakers, nothing conclusive can be said about transfer e f f e c t s . Kasper and Dahl (1991) emphasize the importance of including LI NS controls, e s p e c i a l l y when the NNS. participants are from the same LI background as i n Tanaka's study. Houck and Gass (1996) used videotaped open role plays i n t h e i r study of nonnative refusals.. Their study i s of p a r t i c u l a r significance here because of t h e i r emphasis on methodological issues right from the beginning of the a r t i c l e . They point out that i n the observation of natural data contextual variables cannot be controlled and the occurrence of a c e r t a i n speech act cannot be predicted. After examining other data e l i c i t a t i o n methods such as DCTs and. closed role plays-, they make the following claim: "• Of the common data e l i c i t a t i o n methods, open role-plays are the closest to what we might expect to r e f l e c t naturally occurring speech events...making possible the close analysis of long i n t e r a c t i o n sequences of comparable data (p. 47). The researchers go on to say that t h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y important i n the case of speech acts such as refusals which often involve lengthy negotiations between inte r l o c u t o r s . In analyzing t h e i r data, they came up with three semantic c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of refusals that were not i d e n t i f i e d i n previous studies on refusals using less i n t e r a c t i v e methods: confirmations, requests for c l a r i f i c a t i o n , and agreement. They also make note of how c e r t a i n gestures such as a raised eyebrow can function as a verbal "oh?", thus emphasizing the importance of videotaping the interactions. 22 Houck and Gass warn that open role plays do have t h e i r l i m i t a t i o n s : they are time-consuming to administer and analyze, and they are just role plays, leaving us with the question of the degree to which they mirror re a l interactions i n a natural setting. 2.2.1.3 Observation of Natural Data Studies which r e l y s o l e l y on the observation of natural data are few and far between i n the f i e l d of interlanguage pragmatics (see Table 2.2). Perhaps one of the most impressive studies i s the one by Wolfson (1989b) on compliments. From the early eighties, when speech act studies were just emerging, Wolfson (1981b) has argued that the most r e l i a b l e method of c o l l e c t i n g speech act data i s to observe naturally occurring speech events. She claims to have gathered Over 1000 examples of NNS and NS compliments and compliment responses i n a wide variety of situat i o n s . In many cases NNSs f a i l e d to respond appropriately to compliments thus negating the compliment's role as a " s o c i a l lubricant" i n American culture. Kasper and Dahl (1991) c r i t i q u e t h i s study on two accounts: that no information i s provided about either the discourse contexts or participants involved and that the results focus only on inappropriate compliment responses by NNSs and not on t h e i r use of compliments at a l l . However, they commend Wolfson's study for giving us some important ins i g h t s into the function of compliments i n American culture. The data on compliments for Wieland's (1995) study consist of seven tape-recorded dinner table conversations i n French 23 between NNSs and NSs. The discourse context and participants involved are c a r e f u l l y described from the outset. While acknowledging the disadvantages of studying speech acts observed i n natural data, they provide rationale for doing t h i s by quoting Kasper and Dahl (1991): "Rather than c o l l e c t i n g i s o l a t e d conversational segments, i t i s preferable to audio- or video-record complete speech events, and to compare these data with e l i c i t e d data types (241)" (p.797). One important res u l t of the study was a refutation of the generalization that compliments are given more frequently i n American culture than i n French culture. Based on Wieland's data, t h i s does not seem to apply to the dinner party context. Wieland c a l l s for future studies on speech acts to take such contextual factors into consideration before generalizations are made. The t h i r d study by Aston. (1995) only included native speaker data and would t e c h n i c a l l y not be included i n a review of interlanguage pragmatics research i f i t were not for i t s emphasis on methodology-. Aston compared 150 service encounters i n English bookshops with 180. similar, .service encounters i n I t a l i a n bookshops i n order to examine the influence of conversational management on thanking sequences i n closings. Variations i n thanking sequences are not always constrained by such variables as degree of indebtedness or s o c i a l distance. According to Aston, they have as much to due with concerns of l o c a l conversational management; and role alignment. To investigate t h i s aspect, Aston claims that role plays are problematic because they do not adequately mirror naturally-occurring conversation: Neither the social- s i t u a t i o n , nor the more l o c a l contexts within which processes of conversational management operate, i n fact match those within which naturally-occurring conversations take place.... Participants may have l i t t l e investment i n t h e i r relationship as imaginary characters...(p. 64) One of the c r i t i c i s m s of natural data i s the lack of comparability. However, since Aston 1s data were confined to a single situation-type.—bookshop service encounters between assistants and customers who were a l l mutual strangers—he f e e l s that the data are comparable c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y . 2.2.1 .4 Combination of Methods including Verbal Report or Interviews Increasing numbers of interlanguage pragmatics researchers are making use of concurrent and/qr retrospective verbal report or interviews i n combination with other data c o l l e c t i o n methods i n order to gain insight into NNSs' language processing when performing speech acts (see Table 2 .2) . In addition to a 6-item DCT, Robinson (1992) used concurrent verbal reports and retrospective interviews to examine refusals. Twelve NNSs were asked to record t h e i r thoughts as they completed the DCT, and they were interviewed l a t e r as well. Robinson's study was s p e c i f i c a l l y designed to evaluate verbal reports and retrospective interviews as a means of investigating pragmatic knowledge and thought processes. She gives a detailed report on.some of. the known l i m i t a t i o n s of 25 these methods—one being the problem of time lapse between task completion and retrospective interviews. Her rationale for combining concurrent and retrospective techniques i s to r e c t i f y t h i s problem. These methods proved e f f e c t i v e i n providing evidence for pragmatic transfer that would not otherwise have been obtained from a. DCT used alone. Table 2.2 Studies Using One or More Methods (b): Observation of Natural Data and Combination of Methods Study Methods Speech act LI IL Total n Wolfson (1989b) Natural data Compliments Var. Eng. NNS= NR NS=NR Wieland (1995) Natural data Compliments Eng. Fren. NNS-NS groups =7 Aston (1995 ) Natural data Gratitude i n Closings — — NS-NS pairs= 330 Robinson (1992) DCT (6) Verbal report Interviews Refusals :Japn. Eng. NNS=12 Cohen & Olshtain (1993) Role plays Retrospective verbal report Apologies Complaints Requests Var. Eng. NNS=15 Ebsworth, Bodman, Carpenter (1996) Natural data Written dialogues Role plays Interviews Greetings Var. Eng. NNS= 100 NS=50 Boxer (1996) Natural data Interviews/ Complaints ' - - NS=10 Cohen and Olshtain (.1993) used retrospective verbal reports to investigate the processes i n which nonnative speakers assess, plan, and execute speech acts such as apologies, complaints, and 26 requests. They were also looking for evidence of p o s i t i v e and negative transfer from the learners 1 LI. Participants were asked to role play six speech act . situations. These role plays were videotaped and played back for the participants who were then asked fixed and probing questions about t h e i r responses. The researchers give t h e i r rationale for conducting the verbal reports retrospectively: Because verbal report techniques are in t r u s i v e , i t would be unreasonable to- ask speakers to provide such data while they are engaged i n oral interaction. For t h i s reason... subjects were videotaped in t e r a c t i n g i n two role-play situations at a time. They then immediately viewed the videotapes... as a means of helping them r e c a l l t h e i r thought processes...(p. ' 3 6 ) . V ; -Cohen and Olshtain l i s t a number of d i f f e r e n t l i m i t a t i o n s of t h e i r research design, including the problem of forcing the participants to play a role that they might not assume i n re a l l i f e and the problem of using the target language for the prompts thus giving participants opportunity to use language forms from the prompts i n t h e i r response... In a subsequent paper, Cohen & Olshtain (1996) highlight the need for trian g u l a t i o n . Rather than discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various techniques, they encourage the use of combined methods for investigating speech act production: t h i s would include observation of natural data to generate hypotheses, role plays to test those hypotheses, DCTs to manipulate s o c i a l and s i t u a t i o n a l variables; and acce p t a b i l i t y checks, followed by further observation of. natural data to validate findings. In . . , 27 addition to a l l these, verbal reports or interviews provide feedback on participants' responses that might otherwise be l e f t to the researchers' i n t u i t i o n s or: speculations. Ebsworth, Bodman, and Carpenter (1996) used an approach which combined natural observation with e l i c i t e d data and interviews to investigate greetings i n American English. In t h e i r r e s u l t s they discovered that greetings i n American English range from a simple hand wave or smile on up to a lengthy speech act set which involves -considerable negotiation between inte r l o c u t o r s . Even r e l a t i v e l y advanced NNSs had considerable d i f f i c u l t y i n performing greetings i n an acceptable manner. They began by observing greetings by NSs and NNSs as they occurred i n natural discourse. They then used these observations to create an open-ended written questionnaire. Unlike the DCT which has participants f i l l i n blanks, t h i s questionnaire had participants create entire dialogues i n both the target language and t h e i r LI. Then they had a representative number of NSs and NNSs role play the same situations on videotape. From these they interviewed another subset of participants "to help provide an informed i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the data gathered" (p. 92). The researchers said they came up with t h i s approach of combining methods to meet the challenge of- capturing the authenticity of natural speech while attempting to control: many variables so the interactions could be meaningfully compared. One f i n a l study by Boxer (1996) on complaints remains to be mentioned. It did not include NNSs, but i s i n t e r e s t i n g from the point of view of methodology. She began by c o l l e c t i n g spontaneous speech data on in d i r e c t complaints (or "troubles 28 t e l l i n g " as i t i s also called) and came up with six categories of responses. Over half of the responses f e l l i n the category termed "commiseration" giving, cause to speculate that much in d i r e c t complaining serves a positive role of bonding in t e r l o c u t o r s . Hoping to investigate t h i s further, Boxer used the ethnographic interview as a tool to tap NS informants' pragmatic knowledge of t h i s speech act. Boxer claims that ethnographic interviews can reveal both t a c i t and e x p l i c i t knowledge allowing.a more complete analysis of a p a r t i c u l a r speech act : Because ideal informants i n studies of speech acts/events are s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c a l l y naive', i t i s often possible to bring t h e i r t a c i t knowledge to a state of expl i c i t n e s s through gentle questioning by the researcher within the setting/context where the speech behavior t y p i c a l l y occurs (p.221) . Boxer conducted two sets of interviews: one set was f a i r l y structured and the other was more open-ended i n nature. Through t r i a l and error, she describes how the f i r s t set of interviews went awry. Asking a fixed set of questions of each informant within a b r i e f time (45-60 minutes) did not lead to uncovering any t a c i t knowledge of the speech act i n question. The second set of open-ended interviews provided a much richer data source. As we have seen, there: are advantages and disadvantages to each method: DCTs, closed and open role plays, and observation of natural data. Combining methods including concurrent or retrospective verbal report or interviews i s one way of v a l i d a t i n g r e s u l t s . However, research comparing data c o l l e c t i o n 29 methods appears to be a necessary step i n furthering interlanguage pragmatics research, and a number of researchers have begun to conduct studies comparing methods. It i s to these studies that we now turn.,. 2.2.2 Studies Comparing Data Collection Methods There are a few speech act studies with combined methods which compare data c o l l e c t e d by d i f f e r e n t methods (See Table 2.3). Some of these speech act studies.were designed for t h i s very purpose, while for others i t was more of a secondary issue. As part of the CCSARP mentioned e a r l i e r , R i n t e l l and M i t c h e l l (1989) coll e c t e d data on requests and apologies made by 50 NNSs and 37 NSs through two d i f f e r e n t methods: a written 12-item DCT and closed role plays which were performed with the researcher. It should be noted that a closed, role play i s one i n which the subjects respond o r a l l y to a cer t a i n cue, but do not inter a c t i n ongoing negotiation with t h e i r i n t e r l o c u t o r as they might i n an open role play. The closed role play data showed longer responses for NNSs but not for NSs. In some request situations, there was a tendency for more directness i n the written DCTs than i n the closed role plays, but the status difference between the subjects and the researcher could have prevented the use of imperatives face-to-face. The researchers concluded that DCTs and closed role plays y i e l d s i m i l a r data, and as Kasper and Dahl (1991) have pointed out, t h i s i s probably because both data c o l l e c t i o n methods are noninteractive i n nature. Bodman and Eisenstein (1988) examined expressions of 30 gratitude i n 40 NNS/NNS pai r interactions and 24 NNS/NS pair interactions comparing data collected by three d i f f e r e n t methods: DCTs, open role plays, and -naturalistic.data. Although a l l three methods yielded s i m i l a r semantic formulas, they d i f f e r e d i n length and complexity. Data collected by DCTs proved to be shorter and simpler, while n a t u r a l i s t i c data proved to be the longest and most complex with open role play data coming somewhere i n the middle. The researchers point out that the speech act of expressing gratitude i s more complex, than might be expected because i t i s one which i s played out i n t e r a c t i v e l y between the giver of goods or services and the recipient. The -NNSs seemed to convey t h e i r appreciation much more e f f e c t i v e l y when int e r a c t i n g with a NS than when performing with .another NNS who did not collaborate as well. This res u l t would not have been obtained using a DCT exclusively. _,, Beebe and Takahashi (1989a; 1989b),used a 12-item DCT and n a t u r a l i s t i c .data to observe, how 15 Japanese NNSs and 15 NSs of English performed the speech acts of disagreement, chastisement, and giving embarrassing information. The studies were designed to compare the responses made when speaking to a higher versus a lower status i n t e r l o c u t o r / b u t the researchers focus on methodological issues as well. Similar to Bodman and Eisenstein (1988), Beebe and Takahashi also found the written responses to be more streamlined and less elaborate when compared with n a t u r a l i s t i c data, but they state that, because s i m i l a r semantic formulas are evident, DCTs can be an e f f i c i e n t way of c o l l e c t i n g a large amount of comparable data 31 i n a r e l a t i v e l y short period of time. They c a l l for more natural data to show "the depth of emotion, amount of r e p e t i t i o n , or the degree of elaboration" (1989b, p.215), but then they also come down hard on natural data. Among other reasons, they f e e l the data are biased toward the l i n g u i s t i c preferences of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r c i r c l e of friends and associates, biased toward short exchanges because longer ones-are impossible to record word for word i n a notebook, and "not at a l l comparable i n terms of speakers, hearers, and s o c i a l situations" (p. 215). In reviewing Beebe and Takahashi's research, Kasper and Dahl (1991) point out that the observation of natural data i s not lim i t e d to notetaking of i s o l a t e d interactions, and that i t i s far more preferable to tape-record or videotape more complex speech events which might include the speech acts under investigation. " Rose (1994) used a DCT and a multiple-choice questionnaire (MCQ) to explore the cross-cultural v a l i d i t y of DCTs i n a non-Western context. In t h i s cross-cultural study, of requests, an 8-item DCT, which included contexts where s o c i a l distance and status varied, was administered i n Japanese to 89 NSs of Japanese l i v i n g i n America and i n English to 46 American NSs of English. Contrary to previous research,"results showed that the Japanese tended to use d i r e c t requests more frequently than Americans regardless of the context. Seeking an explanation for these results,.. Rose administered another questionnaire, the MCQ, to 38 NSs of Japanese i n Japan and came up with very d i f f e r e n t r e s u l t s . The MCQ, which included the options of hinting or opting out ..(choosing not to make the request), revealed more contextual v a r i a t i o n and a s h i f t towards opting out or using hinting strategies. In the absence of natural i n t e r a c t i v e data to compare with, t h i s study does not lead to the assumption that MCQs are representative of face-to-face interactions, but i t . certainly, questions the use of DCTs, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n non-Western contexts, as a v a l i d means of c o l l e c t i n g speech act data". Table 2.3 Studies Comparing Data Co l l e c t i o n Methods Study Methods Speech act. LI IL Total n R i n t e l l & M i t c h e l l (1989) DCT(-12) vs. Closed role plays Requests Apologies NR Eng. NNS=50 NS=37 Bodman & Eisenstein (1988) DCT vs. Open-ended role plays and natural data Gratitude NR Eng. NNS-NNS pairs= 40 NNS-NS pairs= 24 Beebe & Takahashi (1989a; 1989b) DCT vs. Natural data . Disagreement . Chastisement Giving embarrassing 'information Japn. Eng. NNS=15 NS=15 Rose (1994) DCT vs. Multiple-choice Questionnaire Requests Japn. Eng. NNS=8 9 NS=46 Beebe & Cummings (19 96) DCT vs. — ; Natural data . ;Refusals - — Eng. NS=22 Dahl (in Kasper &• Dahl, "-1991) Natural data-" vs. Open-ended Role Plays Refusals ; Disagreement .Disapproval Eng. NS=137 Note: NR = Not reported. In what Gass (1996) has c a l l e d "a p a r t i c u l a r l y ingenious design" (p. 5), Beebe and Curamings (1996) compared e l i c i t e d r e fusal data col l e c t e d through a 1-item DCT with natural refusal data c o l l e c t e d by tape-recording actual telephone conversations. The DCT., which e l i c i t e d refusals to a request for volunteer help with a TESOL convention, was administered to 11 native speakers of English, a l l female members of TESOL. (No NNSs were involved i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r study.) The telephone c a l l s were made to 11 other native speakers of English who.were also female members of TESOL. The request for volunteer help with the convention was the same and the tape-recorded refusals were used with permission given a f t e r the c a l l was completed. The study revealed important s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences. What was s i m i l a r between both data types was the content of the refusals. In both types of data, d i r e c t refusals were absent, and refusal strategies (excuses, statements of negative a b i l i t y / w i l l i n g n e s s , and apologies;)" were7 used with the same frequency, although the range of strategies used i n the telephone conversations was wider. What was d i f f e r e n t between the two data types was that, as the researchers themselves stated, the DCTs bias the response toward "less negotiation, l e s s hedging, less r e p e t i t i o n , less elaboration, less variety and ultimately less t a l k " (p. 71). The researchers go on to explain the long negotiations on the telephone i n terms of what Wolfson (1989a) c a l l e d the "bulge theory". Wolfson'found that it-was with.nbnintimates of approximately equal s o c i a l status that most negotiation takes place. Intimates and strangers tend to be b r i e f , but the fact that the person making the request and the person making the refusal were nonintimates, but co-members of TESOL may have led to more negotiation. Had the subjects f i l l i n g out the DCT imagined i n t e r a c t i n g with a co-member, t h e i r refusals may have been somewhat more elaborate. The researchers voice t h e i r c r i t i c i s m of so-called "ethnographic" methods of c o l l e c t i n g natural data. In addition to an often undefined target population, they f e e l that what can be tape-recorded with approval i s a "biased subset of the natural speech that i s spoken" (p. 68) by a p a r t i c u l a r speech community. In conclusion, they claim that DCTs are s t i l l a highly e f f e c t i v e means of: 1. Gathering a large amount of data quickly; 2. Creating an i n i t i a l : c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of semantic formulas and strategies that w i l l occur i n natural speech; 3. Studying the stereotypical, perceived requirements for a s o c i a l l y appropriate .response; 4. Gaining insight into s o c i a l and psychological factors that are l i k e l y to. a f f e c t speech and performance; and 5. Ascertaining the canonical shape of speech acts i n the minds of speakers of that language (p. 80). Nevertheless, the researchers are aware that DCT responses do not mirror natural speech i n terms, of: 1. Actual wording used i n r e a l i n t e r a c t i o n ; 2. The range of formulas and strategies used (some, l i k e avoidance, tend to be l e f t out); 3. The length of response or the number of turns i t takes to f u l f i l l the function; 4. The depth of emotion that i n turn q u a l i t a t i v e l y a f f e c t s the tone, content, and form of l i n g u i s t i c performance; 5. The number of repetitions and elaborations that occur; 6. The actual rate of occurrence of a speech a c t — e . g . , whether or not someone would refuse at a l l i n a given s i t u a t i o n (p. 80). While acknowledging the disadvantages, Beebe and Cummings endorse the continued use of DCTs i n combination with other methods. Dahl (forthcoming) expected open-ended role plays, unlike DCTs, to produce more negotiation similar to that found i n n a t u r a l i s t i c data because of the i n t e r a c t i v e nature of both types of data. Three d i f f e r e n t sets of data were co l l e c t e d . In the f i r s t set, she tape-recorded authentic refusals by asking her subjects i f they would do a role play with her. If they refused she got t h e i r permission to use the authentic data just c o l l e c t e d , and i f they agreed she.would have the subjects do a role play of the same si t u a t i o n . The, problem with t h i s was that subjects were being forced.to. play a role (refusing the request) which was opposite to what they had just done (consenting). The second data set was an authentic group discussion and a role play discussion, while authentic discussions and monologic role plays made up the t h i r d set. Here again, i n the role plays subjects were given a number of r e s t r i c t i o n s which may have affected the amount of t a l k . Kasper and Dahl (1991) report on the results of Dahl 1s study: .^.-,v.^-;).-;\:\. - ' . • V The most important features that distinguished between authentic and role play productions across discourse types 36 were amount of tal k and directness i n the performance of face-threatening acts. Amount of t a l k also distinguished the two types of role plays from each other with the int e r a c t i v e role plays producing less talk and monologic role plays more ta l k than t h e i r authentic counterparts. As amount of t a l k t y p i c a l l y distinguishes between d i f f e r e n t i n t erlocutor relationships (cf. Wolfson's [1989a] bulge hypothesis), and.directness interacts with contextual factors i n conveying politeness (see Kasper, 1990, for an overview), the discomforting conclusion suggested by Dahl 1s study i s that role plays are not representative of authentic i n t e r a c t i o n oh these measures (p.244). However, because of the problems with the role play data mentioned above, Dahl warns that the conclusions drawn may not necessarily be extended to a l l types of role plays: "Some types of s i m u l a t i o n s — f o r instance, those i n which participants r e t a i n t h e i r own i d e n t i t i e s — m i g h t approximate authentic discourse even more cl o s e l y than open role .plays" (p. 245). As Kasper and Dahl (1991) point out, comparable data on cros s - c u l t u r a l speech acts are very . d i f f i c u l t to c o l l e c t through observing authentic interactions. On the other hand, e l i c i t a t i o n procedures such as DCTs and role plays may not r e f l e c t the complexity of natural speech. They conclude by saying: "Clearly there i s a great need for more authentic data, c o l l e c t e d i n the f u l l context of the speech event, and for comparative studies on the v a l i d i t y of d i f f e r e n t e l i c i t a t i o n techniques" (p. 245). In the present study an attempt was made to obtain authentic data on a variety of speech acts by videotaping them i n the 37 context of a speech event. Participants retained t h e i r own i d e n t i t i e s and the s i t u a t i o n was somewhat structured i n order to provide c r o s s - c u l t u r a l comparability of data. 2.2.3 Studies Focussing on Pragmatic Development and Instruction As we have seen, numerous speech act studies i n the f i e l d of interlanguage pragmatics research .have been done u t i l i z i n g a variety of d i f f e r e n t methods, and some of these studies have actually compared data c o l l e c t e d by d i f f e r e n t methods. However, the great majority of these studies, focus on NNS ' s production of speech acts rather than on acquisition or i n s t r u c t i o n . As Kasper (1996) has pointed o u t , . i t i s for t h i s reason that interlanguage pragmatics has "hovered on the fringes of SLA research thus f a r " (p. 145). Limited though they may be, there are some studies focussing on developmental or pedagogical issues that we could mention here (see Table 2.4). Only a few studies exist to date which use longitudinal data to trace the development of adult NNSs' pragmatic competence. Among the notable exceptions are two studies of untutored a c q u i s i t i o n which we w i l l look at here: one by Schmidt (1983) and the other by Bardovi-Harlig and Hartford (1993). Schmidt (1983) observed an adult Japanese NNS (Wes) for a period of three years and analyzed his o v e r a l l a c q u i s i t i o n of communicative competence without formal i n s t r u c t i o n . Wes' high l e v e l of.motivation to inte r a c t with native speakers of English seemed to f a c i l i t a t e his acq u i s i t i o n of pragmatic competence, but not his grammatical competence. In p a r t i c u l a r , Schmidt looked at the speech act of d i r e c t i v e s and found that Wes i n i t i a l l y 38 depended on a limited number of routines i n s p e c i f i c situations to make requests (such as, Can I get... i n a restaurant), some of which he extended i n c o r r e c t l y to other situations (Can I bring cigarette? for Could you bring me some cigarettes?) In some instances, evidence for transfer from his LI was observed i n Wes' use of i n d i r e c t hints to convey a request. For example, Wes once asked his companion i n a"movie theatre i f he l i k e d his seat. The l i s t e n e r had no idea at the: time that Wes was i n d i r e c t l y requesting that they change seats. A few of these overextensions of routines and transfers of LI patterns remained, but by the end of the three-year observational period his d i r e c t i v e s were quite elaborate and, for the most part, gross errors had been eliminated. Schmidt's study suggests that early untutored a c q u i s i t i o n of pragmatic competence, begins with a reliance on LI patterns or on unanalyzed routines i n the target language which l a t e r become available for more productive use. His study also suggests that a high l e v e l of motivation to integrate, with native speakers may f a c i l i t a t e the a c q u i s i t i o n of pragmatic; competence to a greater degree than the a c q u i s i t i o n of grammatical competence. However, no conclusions can be drawn because of the lack of comparable data for learners with d i f f e r e n t levels of motivation. Bardovi-Harlig and Hartford (1993) observed the development pragmatic competence i n ten advanced NNSs of English as compared with s i x NSs of English over the course of a semester. The s i t u a t i o n was a natural one where the 'students 1 academic advising sessions with t h e i r advisors were.tap the beginning of the semester and again at the end. The highly structured s i t u a t i o n ' - - 39 allowed for comparability across speakers and sessions. In p a r t i c u l a r , two speech acts produced by the NNSs, suggestions and rejections, were analyzed with respect to t h e i r frequency, form and successfulness as compared with si m i l a r data for NSs. At a macrolevel, l i k e the NSs, the NNSs became more successful i n building t h e i r course schedules over time by i n i t i a t i n g more suggestions and thus having to make fewer rejections of the advice given to them by t h e i r advisors. At a microlevel, however, the NNSs' tendency to use fewer mitigators and more aggravators than.NSs did not seem to improve over time. For example, where a NS would say something l i k e I was thinking of taking such-and-such a course, if I can...,a NNS might say: I'm going to take.... The researchers attribute t h i s to the lack of e x p l i c i t input as to the appropriate l i n g u i s t i c form that the NNSs' suggestions or rejections, should take. Based on his research i n experimental psychology and anecdotal excerpts from his.own journal about language learning, Schmidt (1993) claims that conscious awareness of relevant features i n the input, what he c a l l s noticing, i s a necessary condition i n order for the acqu i s i t i o n of pragmatic competence by adult second language learners to take place. Schmidt c a l l s for future research through the introspective method of verbal report on what learners notice or what they do not notice as they are learning pragmatics. He argues for the use of tasks i n the language classroom which focus attention on pragmatic forms and functions and contexts, i n addition to e x p l i c i t teacher-provided information on pragmatics based.on empirical studies. Clearly, there i s a need for the pedagogical implications of his claims to be tested out. Table 2.4 Studies Focussing on Pragmatic Development and Instruction Study- Focus Speech act LI IL Total n Schmidt (1983) Longitudinal study of untutored ac q u i s i t i o n ; Directives Japn. Eng. NNS=1 Bardovi-H a r l i g & Hartford (1993) Longitudinal study of untutored a c q u i s i t i o n Suggestions Rejections Varied Eng. NNS=10 NS=6 Schmidt (1993) Conscious awareness i n acqu i s i t i o n V ; Not ;: :y s p e c i f i e d Eng. — NNS / NS=1 Olshtain . & Cohen (1990) Tutored a c q u i s i t i o n — b r i e f intervention i n an EFL classroom Apologies Hebr. Eng. NNS=18 House (1996) Tutored a c q u i s i t i o n — i m p l i c i t vs. e x p l i c i t i n s t r u c t i o n i n the EFL classroom Varied ' . Ger. Eng. NNS=32 Holmes & Brown (1987) Suggestions for developing pragmatic awareness i n the ESL classroom Compliments NR Eng. NNS=10 Bardovi-Harlig, Hartford, Mahan-Taylor, Morgan- & Reynolds (1991) Suggestions for . . C developing ; pragmatic awareness in. the ESL : classroom Closings NR Eng. NR Note: NR - Not reported. - • . 41 There are few studies i n the f i e l d of interlanguage pragmatics which focus on pedagogical implications. Of these, we w i l l look at two studies which report on the e f f e c t s of e x p l i c i t i n s t r u c t i o n (Olshtain & Cohen, 1990; House, 1996) and two studies which provide proposals for in s t r u c t i o n i n pragmatics based on empirical data (Holmes & Brown, 198 7; Bardovi-Harlig, Hartford, Mahan-Taylor, Morgan & Reynolds, 1991). (see Table 2.4). Olshtain and Cohen (1990) describe the e f f e c t s of a b r i e f intervention i n an EFL classroom involving the teaching of apologies over a three-week period to 18 advanced NNSs of English who were native speakers of Hebrew. The study consisted of a pretest (DCT) to assess the appropriacy of the NNSs' apologies, a teaching materials packet with pragmatic information aimed at correcting t h e i r deviances from NS data c o l l e c t e d e a r l i e r , and a posttest to determine what.progress had been made. After t r a i n i n g , the NNSs were able to use i n t e n s i f i e r s and produce shorter utterances which were more na t i v e l i k e i n nature. The findings suggest that speech act behavior can be taught i n the foreign language classroom by providing e x p l i c i t , empirically based i n s t r u c t i o n . House (1996) tests out a si m i l a r idea using an experimental-control group design to compare the e f f e c t s of e x p l i c i t i n s t r u c t i o n with the e f f e c t s of i m p l i c i t i n s t r u c t i o n on the pragmatic fluency of advanced German learners of English. The " i m p l i c i t " group of 15 students were provided with input and opportunity for communicative practice alone, while the " e x p l i c i t " group of 17 students were•provided with additional e x p l i c i t pragmatic information. Students' progress was measured 42 by role plays before, during, and af t e r the 14-week course. In addition to gambits, discourse strategies, and i n i t i a t i n g or changing topics, the researcher also examined such speech acts as openings, closings, and requests. In terms of speech act r e a l i z a t i o n , no difference i n progress was found between the two d i f f e r e n t groups. Both groups seemed to show improvement i n i n i t i a t i n g topics, while the " e x p l i c i t " group appeared to show greater gains i n t h e i r mastery of gambits and discourse strategies, r e l y i n g less on transfer from t h e i r LI. However, neither group showed much improvement i n responding to NSs' i n i t i a t i n g , acts appropriately. House puts forth various possible explanations for the r e s u l t s . She says that the improvement i n i n i t i a t i n g by both groups may be explained by the auto-input hypothesis (Sharwood-Smith, 1988) which suggests that learners' confrontation with t h e i r own output either by teacher-provided feedback or s e l f -assessment serves as helpful.input. She concludes that e x p l i c i t metapragmatic information provided for the " e x p l i c i t " group made i t less l i k e l y for negative transfer to occur: "Students said they believed such consciousness-raising helped them understand how and when they transferred routines from LI and how they might counteract negative LI transfer through "noticing" (Schmidt, 1993) and through making attempts to use alternative, more L2 norm-oriented expressions" (House, 1996, p. 247) . F i n a l l y , House comments that providing metapragmatic information alone does not a l l e v i a t e the problem that even advanced foreign language learners have i n responding appropriately when in t e r a c t i n g with NSs because "'control of processing 1 i s not yet functioning well 43 enough" (p.249). Bialystok (1993) describes t h i s most pressing problem as one where learners must develop strategies for processing pragmatic information i n various i n t e r a c t i o n a l contexts quickly and routinely,;. As Kasper (1996) has pointed out, the research suggests that i n order for pragmatic fluency to be developed there must be relevant input, the input must be noticed/ and learners need plenty of opportunity to develop t h e i r processing control of pragmatic knowledge quickly and e f f e c t i v e l y . But how can pragmatics be integrated:into the.second, language, curriculum i n the classroom? Holmes and".Brown (1987) provide a set of exercises based on t h e i r empirical study of compliments i n New Zealand designed to a s s i s t learners i n recognizing and producing compliments appropriately. The f i r s t exercise has. the students recognize the three most common l i n g u i s t i c forms that compliments take i n English through analyzing the data provided. The second exercise provides a further look at the l i n g u i s t i c form by having students check which i n t e n s i f i e r s can precede which adjectives. The t h i r d and fourth exercises have students distinguish compliments from speech acts with s i m i l a r l i n g u i s t i c forms, while the f i f t h exercise has students note common compliment topics i n the data provided. The si x t h exercise has students c o l l e c t t h e i r own data i n both English and t h e i r LI. This would be followed up by the seventh exercise which i s the performance of role plays i n the classroom. There i s no mention i n the a r t i c l e of whether or not the exercises were tested out and of how e f f e c t i v e they were i n developing pragmatic fluency. : 44 Bardovi-Harlig., Hartford, Mahan-Taylor, Morgan and Reynolds (1991) dismiss the Holmes and Brown proposal for i n s t r u c t i o n as one i n which the focus i s more on gaining pragmatic information than on the a b i l i t y to use that information. Basing t h e i r discussion on closings i n American English, Bardovi-Harlig et a l . describe t h e i r four-step approach to integrating pragmatics into the language classroom. The four basic steps are: (1) i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the p a r t i c u l a r speech act for study based on the students' needs or interests, (2) data c o l l e c t i o n on the p a r t i c u l a r speech act by the teacher supplemented by available l i t e r a t u r e , (.3) evaluation of textbooks and materials for t h e i r authenticity, and (4) modification of e x i s t i n g materials or development of new materials. .Under Step 3, the a r t i c l e examines twenty current ESL textbooks for their: authenticity with regards to American closings. Even textbooks, which claimed to use "authentic language" included dialogues which showed incomplete closings leaving students unaware of the proper way to end a conversation. Bardovi-Harlig et a l . go on to describe the a c t i v i t i e s that they have used with t h e i r high-intermediate-level ESL students i n a speaking-listening class at an American university. The f i r s t was a guided discussion concerning the pragmatic rules of closings i n t h e i r LI. The students noticed how rude abrupt closings i n t h e i r LI were, and t h i s helped them to see that i n English, also, intentions to close a conversation are announced by a preclosing. The second a c t i v i t y was designed to make students aware of incomplete closings i n textbook dialogues. The researchers report that the students did not recognize these e a s i l y without considerable help. The- students were then given the opportunity to practice, and the researchers report that the students' use of preclosing statements such as "well" s i g n a l l e d t h e i r emerging pragmatic awareness of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r speech act. The researchers then introduce a c t i v i t i e s that they f e e l would foster the development of .pragmatic competence i n the classroom: comparing " r e a l " exchanges with students' re-enactments; acting out incomplete closings from textbook dialogues and then performing dialogues with complete closings; role playing; and c o l l e c t i n g data outside the classroom. But here again, there i s no mention of the success or f a i l u r e of these a c t i v i t i e s as put into practice i n the language classroom. As mentioned i n the introduction, t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y one of the points that sets the present.study apart from previous studies. In the present study, pedagogical implications were ac t u a l l y tested out by involving students i n the data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis, as suggested by the.two studies just mentioned, to see how such an approach might develop the students 1 pragmatic awareness. As w i l l be described i n Chapter Five, t h i s approach has some merit, but i s not necessarily a foolproof way of developing pragmatic fluency for certain proficiency l e v e l s . Making suggestions for teaching pragmatics i s good, but considerably more research needs to be done i n these areas of both development and i n s t r u c t i o n . 2.3 Conclusion In t h i s chapter we have examined the major theories behind interlanguage pragmatics research i n general and speech act studies i n p a r t i c u l a r . With the current emphasis i n language teaching on communicative competence and the seriousness of pragmatic f a i l u r e i n view, there i s c l e a r l y a need for more empirical investigations on how speech acts vary cross-c u l t u r a l l y , how learners perform these i n t h e i r interlanguage, and how i n s t r u c t i o n can make a difference i n the development of pragmatic competence. However, the data- c o l l e c t i o n methods used i n these investigations must be a v a l i d means of obtaining r e s u l t s . A number of studies using a variety of d i f f e r e n t methods were reviewed with a p a r t i c u l a r emphasis on the researchers' rationale for choosing the methods they employed. Table 2.5 summarizes the Table 2.5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Data C o l l e c t i o n Methods i n ILP Method Advantages Disadvantages DCT -large amounts of data i n short time -comparability ; -manipulate variables :-noninteractive -out of context -written -unfamiliar roles Role plays (RP) - i n t e r a c t i v e (open RP) - r e p l i c a b l e - f u l l discourse context -noninteractive (closed RP) -unfamiliar roles - l i t t l e investment Natural Data -i n t e r a c t i v e -range of formulas and strategies wider than e l i c t e d data -shows depth of -emotion, length of response, number of repetitions, and so on -lack of comparability (especially i n the case where variables cannot be controlled) -target population often undefined -context not always reported Combined methods with verbal report or interviews -triangulation -capture authenticity of natural speech and control variables -reveal t a c i t knowledge of speakers '-accurate information l o s t during time lapse between e l i c i t a t i o n and verbal report or interviews advantages and disadvantages of the various methods used and compared i n the speech act studies reported on i n t h i s chapter. In addition, studies which were designed to focus p a r t i c u l a r l y o the development of pragmatic competence and the role of in s t r u c t i o n were reviewed. The rationale for the data c o l l e c t i o n methods used i n the present study was also given throughout t h i s chapter. In summary, the focus of the present study was to examine a number of d i f f e r e n t speech acts c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y i n the f u l l discourse context of v i s i t i n g someone's home. DCTs were rejected because of t h e i r lack of context. Role plays were rejected because participants might be made to perform unfamiliar roles, and the in t e r a c t i o n might not e f f e c t i v e l y mirror natural speech. The researcher chose to observe as natural a s i t u a t i o n as possible but to give some guidelines so as to be able to compare the interactions. These interactions were videotaped i n order to capture aspects of nonverbal communication. Interviews were conducted immediately following the interactions to provide insight for the analysis. F i n a l l y , students were involved as ethnographers i n the data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis procedures i n order to te s t out pedagogical implications. Details df the methodology w i l l be given i n the chapter to follow. 48 Chapter 3 Methodology In t h i s chapter, we w i l l describe the methodology both as planned and, to borrow an expression used by Aoki (19 93) regarding curriculum, as " l i v e d " . F i r s t of a l l , the subjects who were recruited for t h i s study and the e t h i c a l considerations that were made w i l l be described. This w i l l be followed by a description of the data c o l l e c t i o n methods and the data analysis procedures by students as o r i g i n a l l y planned and as actually c a r r i e d out. F i n a l l y , we w i l l also b r i e f l y explain how data analysis was conducted by the researcher. 3.1 Description of Subjects The subjects recruited for t h i s study were from four groups. The f i r s t two groups were 16 ESL students (Group A) and 15 ESL students (Group B) from Japan who took part i n a five-month immersion program at a public university i n Washington. These students w i l l be referred to as Japanese speakers of English ( J E ) or as Japanese speakers of Japanese ( J J ) , depending on whether they were v i s i t i n g Americans and int e r a c t i n g i n English or v i s i t i n g fellow Japanese and intera c t i n g i n Japanese. They were a l l sophomores i n Japan, with an average age of 20. Group A was made up of 7 males and 9 females, while Group B was made up of 3 males and 12 females. These students were divided into teams of three students each (four i n one case): two (or three) students to be guests i n an American home (and guests of or hosts to fellow Japanese students) and one student to be responsible for 49 videotaping the v i s i t s . The t h i r d group (Group C) were volunteers from an apartment complex located near the university. They were 22 American speakers of English (AE) divided into pairs (roommates) who agreed to host the Japanese students i n t h e i r home and be hosts of or guests to fellow Americans l i v i n g i n the complex. They were made up of mostly female roommates (8 out of the 11 pairs) while three of the pairs were young married couples with one c h i l d . Their average age was 21, and most were students at the same university with the exception of two of the spouses. The fourth group (Group D) were volunteers from a university i n Japan. They were nine Japanese speakers of Japanese i n Japan ( J J J ) divided into three groups of three: two guests who v i s i t e d the lodging of one host. The reason for having only one host was because Japanese students, l i v e alone, and i t would have made the si t u a t i o n unnatural to have someone pretend to be a roommate. Two of the groups were a l l females, one group were males, and t h e i r average age was 19. 3.2 E t h i c a l Considerations The subjects were recruited by means of two advertisements: one which was introduced i n the ESL classes with the permission of the instructor, and the other which the researcher took around to tenants i n the apartment complex; i n order to e n l i s t t h e i r support (see Appendix A). The only c r i t e r i a for the American volunteers was that they speak English as t h e i r f i r s t language or, i f English was not t h e i r f i r s t language, that they had received most of t h e i r education i n North America. 50 Before beginning t h i s project, consent was obtained from the d i r e c t o r of the ESL program and the coordinator and ins t r u c t o r of the Functions of American English course which became the se t t i n g f o r t h i s project. Separate consent forms were also prepared for the Japanese ESL students i n Group A and Group B, for the American participants i n Group C, and for the Japanese students i n Group D. Japanese translations of the forms were provided for the ESL students so they would know what they were signing. It was made clear i n the consent forms (see Appendix B) that c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y would be maintained i n a l l reports of the study. American volunteers were required to devote two hours of t h e i r time to the project for the two v i s i t s and the interviews following those v i s i t s . Japanese ESL students were required to devote the same amount of time outside of class, i n addition to ten 50-minute regularly scheduled classes. It should be mentioned that the ESL students were scheduled to do a s i m i l a r unit i n the textbook (Skillman & McMahill, 1990) for t h e i r Functions of American English course on Visiting People's Homes during the period that t h i s project was ca r r i e d out, so they were i n no way deprived of worthwhile i n s t r u c t i o n during those ten class hours. Japanese students i n Japan were required to devote one hour of t h e i r time to the project for the v i s i t and interview. 3.3 Data C o l l e c t i o n Procedures as Planned The plan was to c o l l e c t a t o t a l of 20 video-taped exchanges: f i v e of Japanese v i s i t i n g Japanese (JJ / J J ) ; f i v e of Americans v i s i t i n g Americans (AE/AE); and ten of ESL students v i s i t i n g 51 Americans (JE/AE). These v i s i t s were also recorded on cassette tape as a backup. Before the v i s i t s took place, i n the f i r s t two of the ten class hours a l l o t t e d , the project was introduced and impromptu role plays, as a kind of pretest, were performed i n both classes following the structure provided (see Appendix C). The students did not seem to have a good command of the language necessary to perform the role plays well, but neither the researcher nor the instructor provided them with any language forms. The purpose of t h i s project was to ascertain what the students could learn about pragmatics by being t h e i r own ethnographers rather than by receiving information about the language or culture beforehand. The role plays provided an opportunity f o r the camera people to practice videotaping. Guidelines were given to both hosts and guests before the v i s i t s took place (see Appendix D). Hosts were asked to a s s i s t the video camera person i n setting up before the guests arrived. Hosts were expected to provide beverages and a dessert or snacks of some kind. Guests were expected to bring a small g i f t (under $5.00 between the two of them) for. t h e i r hosts. Guests were expected to take the i n i t i a t i v e to leave a f t e r about 20-25 minutes of chatting. Hosts, were to c a l l the guests back i n for the informal group interview that was to take place immediately following the v i s i t . These interviews lasted approximately 30 minutes and were also videotaped and recorded on cassette tape. The interview data were for the researcher's data analysis purposes only and were not analyzed by the students i n cl a s s . 52 3.4 Data Analysis by Students as Planned The plan for the remaining eight classes a f t e r the v i s i t s took place was as follows: Class #3 and #4: In t h e i r groups of three, students were to transcribe the video of t h e i r v i s i t to an American home (JE/AE), f i n i s h i n g i t up at home with the cassette tape i f necessary. The researcher would then check t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t s for them. Class #5: students were to be shown videos of Americans v i s i t i n g Americans (AE/AE) and were to begin evaluating t h e i r own performance based on the native.speaker exchanges. Class #6: students were -to transcribe the video of t h e i r Japanese v i s i t (JJ/JJ.) noting c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s or differences and looking for evidence of negative transfer: things they said or did i n t h e i r Japanese v i s i t which showed up inappropriately i n t h e i r American v i s i t . Class #7: students were to prepare a 10-minute report, evaluating t h e i r v i s i t to an American home and comparing i t with Japanese culture. : " Class #8: Students were to report t h e i r findings i n t h e i r groups of three, making use of the overhead projector and showing short c l i p s of t h e i r videos etc. to the class. Class #9: In-class reports were to be completed and f i n a l products (transcripts, critique,, c u l t u r a l comparison and contrast etc.) were to be handed i n . Class #10: Impromptu role plays were to be performed as a kind of posttest. Students would then f i l l out a questionnaire. 53 3.5 Data C o l l e c t i o n and Analysis as "Lived" (Implemented) The entire project was to be completed over a 2-week period. However, the v i s i t s took longer to schedule than expected. While the v i s i t s were taking place, the instructor taught the students a d i f f e r e n t unit i n t h e i r textbook, and then the project was resumed i n class when a l l the videos were completed. This caused the project to be stretched out over a period of nearly three weeks. In addition, the transcribing took longer than expected, and so the students were asked to do a short written report rather than an o r a l one. These changes are r e f l e c t e d i n Table 3.1. The researcher had planned to take the students' textbooks away at the outset of the project, but the in s t r u c t o r explained that her students rarely, i f ever, look ahead i n t h e i r textbooks. She also said that taking the .books away might make them suspicious enough to want to borrow a friend's from another section, so the textbooks were not collected. In the case of the AE/AE v i s i t s , the researcher was responsible for the videotaping and the retrospective interviews immediately following. -In the JE/AE v i s i t s , students did the videotaping-and c a l l e d the researcher i n afterwards to conduct the interview. Due to d i f f i c u l t y with scheduling, only three J J / J J (Japanese v i s i t i n g Japanese) v i s i t s took place, and the students were responsible for the videotaping and for conducting the interviews. As the students noted i n t h e i r questionnaires, a problem with these v i s i t s was that the^students knew each other and were forced to pretend that they did not. Another problem was that these v i s i t s took place i n the United States. 54 Table 3.1 Data C o l l e c t i o n and Analysis as Planned and.as Lived Class Sequence Methodology As Planned Methodology As Lived Class #1 Introduce project Sign consent forms Same as planned Class #2 Perform role plays Practice videotaping. Same as planned Outside of class Videotape v i s i t s i n 3-5 days Actually took 12 days to videotape Class #3 Begin transcribing JE/AE v i s i t s i n groups Same as planned Class #4 Fin i s h transcribing JE/AE v i s i t s Transcribed JE/AE v i s i t s Class #5 Observe AE/AE v i s i t s Compare with JE/AE v i s i t s Class #6 Transcribe J J / J J v i s i t s Compare with JE/AE v i s i t s II Class #7 Prepare a 10-min. report evaluating JE/AE ' v i s i t • Observed parts of AE/AE v i s i t s with whole class * Class #8 Report findings to rest of class i n groups Observed more of AE/AE v i s i t s and parts of JJ/ J J v i s i t s Class #9 II .Compared the data cross-c u l t u r a l l y i n groups Class #10 Perform impromptu role plays F i l l out questionnaire Same as planned Note: JE = Japanese speakers of English (ESL students); AE = American speakers of English; J J = Japanese speakers of Japanese. *By the seventh class i t was decided that the task of analyzing the data was too d i f f i c u l t for Group B, so from t h i s point they were given a d i f f e r e n t task to write, rehearse, and perform role plays rather than continuing on with the project. 55 To r e c t i f y t h i s problem with the JJ/JJ v i s i t s , the researcher decided to obtain authentic data by having a former classmate videotape students v i s i t i n g one another i n Japan (J J J / J J J ) . Data from three v i s i t s were obtained. In two of the J J J / J J J v i s i t s , as i n J J / J J v i s i t s , the students knew each other, but i t was the f i r s t time to v i s i t one another i n t h e i r homes. It was d i f f i c u l t to f i n d volunteers who would v i s i t the home of someone they did not know. In the interviews, they stated that t h i s i s simply not done i n Japan. When the JE/AE and JJ/ J J v i s i t s were completed, the researcher and ins t r u c t o r set up f i v e t r a n s c r i b i n g stations for the students to transcribe the video of t h e i r JE/AE v i s i t i n groups simultaneously i n class. As shown i n Table 3.1, students took four class hours rather than two to transcribe t h e i r videos and, even then, some of the transcripts were incomplete. A handout e n t i t l e d "Tricks for Easier Transcribing" was given to the students to help them with the mechanics (see Appendix E). The task proved to be a d i f f i c u l t and tedious one for students at t h i s intermediate l e v e l of proficiency. Some groups, however, were taking an inte r e s t i n the procedure, expressing t h e i r surprise (and sometimes.embarrassment) when they r e a l i z e d that what t h e i r host/hostess said was d i f f e r e n t from what they had thought when they were actually there. Meanwhile, the researcher transcribed the AE/AE v i s i t s and provided tr a n s c r i p t s for the students to look at when they observed these interactions. Without these t r a n s c r i p t s i t i s un l i k e l y that the students would have been able to follow the interactions at a l l because some of the American participants 56 spoke very quickly, and at times they a l l spoke at once. To focus the students' attention on the data, the researcher prepared two handouts with blanks for each of the f i v e v i s i t s to be f i l l e d i n with the language used for various speech acts such as greetings, introductions, and so on (see Appendix F and G). Because of time constraints they were only able to observe, at most, parts of three out of the f i v e videos. On the f i r s t day of doing t h i s exercise, the instructor noticed that some of the students had l o s t t h e i r focus and were not e n t i r e l y sure why they were doing t h i s . Hoping to remind them what the project was a l l about and what we were t r y i n g to do, the researcher made a handout for Group A describing how the: project would be brought to i t s conclusion during, the remaining three days (see Appendix H). The students would f i n i s h analyzing the AE/AE data, look at a portion of the JJ/ J J data, and then compare the findings cross-c u l t u r a l l y . They would also c r i t i q u e the t r a n s c r i p t s of t h e i r own v i s i t s (JE/AE) that had been, checked by the researcher, f i n i s h i n g up with some impromptu role plays i n c l a s s . Because of time constraints/ another handout was made for the students to a s s i s t them i n analyzing t h e i r data (see Appendix I ) . The students were to take t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t s (not of the entire v i s i t ) , which the researcher had checked and typed up for them, and highlight: anything they said that they thought they could improve on.: Then they were to go back to the t r a n s c r i p t s of the AE/AE v i s i t s and note the way native speakers of English performed s i m i l a r speech acts. They were to write underneath the highlighted part on t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t what they would say i f they had a chance to v i s i t an American home again, and they were to 57 use a coloured arrow to add things they could have said but did not. In addition, the researcher prepared a table comparing American v i s i t s with Japanese.visits c u l t u r a l l y (see Appendix I once more). The American side, of the table was f i l l e d out for the students with c u l t u r a l statements based on what the researcher had observed i n the AE/AE v i s i t s , and the.students were to f i l l out the Japanese side of the table with s i m i l a r i t i e s or differences. , : . -: 7 • In the l a s t class,, without any preparation;-time and without any structure or guidelines to follow, the students i n Group A were given the task of performing impromptu role plays of v i s i t s as a kind of posttest. F i n a l l y , the researcher had a l l the students i n both classes f i l l out a b r i e f questionnaire (Appendix J) to provide background information and feedback about the project. 3.6 Data Analysis by the Researcher Long a f t e r the pedagogical aspects of the project were completed, the researcher continued to analyze the data. In addition to observing the videos of the v i s i t s and interviews, the researcher had been able to observe one of the JE/AE v i s i t s i n person and had these f i e l d notes to work with as well. The purpose for doing t h i s observation was to be able to assess how well a video camera can catch certain aspects of the i n t e r a c t i o n as opposed to observing i n person. With the exception of t h i s v i s i t which included an extra phase, f o r most of the v i s i t s the process of observation and analysis was three-fold. 58 The f i r s t observation was for the purpose of making a t r a n s c r i p t i o n of the entire interaction. The researcher watched the video, stopping and s t a r t i n g i t many times, to observe the order i n which people said things. The t r a n s c r i p t i o n was completed by l i s t e n i n g to the cassette tape. The t r a n s c r i p t was typed and then divided into segments based on the speech acts to be focussed on. For the second observation, the researcher sat down i n front of the video with the pages of the t r a n s c r i p t i n hand to observe kinesics and proxemics only. This was followed by the t h i r d and f i n a l observation, where the video was played through one more time without stopping to note anything that might have been missed and to time the exchange. Once a l l the t r a n s c r i p t s were completed, the researcher could begin to analyze the r e a l i z a t i o n of d i f f e r e n t speech acts comparing and contrasting them with the r e a l i z a t i o n of the same speech acts from other v i s i t s i n t h e i r f u l l discourse context. As stated i n the introduction, these 'results w i l l be reported i n Chapter Four. The researcher then assessed the pedagogical implications (reported i n Chapter Five) and c r i t i q u e d the methodology (reported i n Chapter Six) based on data c o l l e c t e d through retrospective interviews, ESL students' reports, questionnaires, and the researcher's journal and f i e l d notes. As w i l l be seen i n the results to follow, for the most part, because the v i s i t s took place i n a more natural setting, rather than a laboratory-type setting, the analysis was descriptive and q u a l i t a t i v e rather than quantitative-59 3.7 Conclusion In t h i s chapter, a description was made of the methodology both as planned and as actually implemented. As i n many qu a l i t a t i v e studies, the design of the present study was an evolving one, and many of the changes.in the methodology came about as a resu l t of the p a r t i c u l a r emphasis on te s t i n g out pedagogical implications. Understanding the evolving nature of the methodology i s v i t a l for interpreting the results of t h i s study, to which we w i l l now turn. 60 Chapter 4 Results (Part I) In t h i s chapter, we w i l l take a q u a l i t a t i v e look at how well the Japanese ESL students interacted i n t h e i r v i s i t s to American homes (JE/AE), and we w i l l compare t h e i r interactions with the interactions of Americans v i s i t i n g Americans (AE/AE), Japanese v i s i t i n g Japanese (JJ/JJ), and Japanese v i s i t i n g Japanese i n Japan (JJJ / J J J ) . The focus w i l l be on the f i r s t two research questions: (la) Without s p e c i f i c pragmatic t r a i n i n g i n language and culture, how well do Japanese ESL students inter a c t i n English during a s o c i a l v i s i t i n an American home? How does the production of speech acts (such as greetings and introductions, g i f t giving, making compliments, accepting the o f f e r of food and beverages, s t a r t i n g a conversation and keeping i t going, making an excuse to leave, and expressing gratitude) by Japanese ESL students compare with the i l l o c u t i o n of the same speech acts by native speakers of English?; and (lb) How does the int e r a c t i o n of Japanese ESL students with Americans compare c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y with the int e r a c t i o n of native speakers of Japanese during a s o c i a l v i s i t ? Is there any evidence of pragmatic transfer from t h e i r LI coming into play i n the interlanguage of the Japanese ESL students? The analysis w i l l be divided into four segments: (1) the opening segment where the speech acts which we w i l l mainly focus on are greetings and introductions, giving and receiving g i f t s , and making compliments (sequentially the l a t t e r two are not always i n the opening segment); (2) the h o s p i t a l i t y segment where 61 o f f e r i n g and accepting of food and beverages w i l l be looked at (sequentially i n some of the v i s i t s t h i s comes before the giving of the g i f t and i s interspersed with the g i f t giving or small t a l k while the food or beverages are being prepared or served); (3) the small t a l k segment where we w i l l observe who i n i t i a t e s conversation topics and how the conversation i s kept going; and (4) the closing segment where leave-taking signals and expressions of gratitude, and so on, w i l l be analyzed. In each segment, we w i l l take a look at the JE/AE v i s i t s where Japanese ESL students were v i s i t i n g Americans, and we w i l l compare these at length with the AE/AE v i s i t s where American speakers of English were v i s i t i n g fellow Americans. This w i l l be followed with some observations from the J J / J J v i s i t s and the JJ J / J J J v i s i t s . For reasons outlined i n Chapter 2, the Japanese native speaker data did not permit as detailed an analysis as the JE/AE and AE/AE data. In general, the AE/AE interactions went much smoother than the JE/AE interactions, and there were fewer pauses. In the retrospective interviews, many of the American participants commented that the v i s i t s . w i t h t h e i r fellow Americans seemed to go much faster than the v i s i t s with the Japanese students. This was pa r t l y due to the language b a r r i e r i n the JE/AE v i s i t s , but i t should be noted that the Americans had more things i n common to t a l k about with t h e i r fellow Americans than they did with the Japanese students: most of the American participants were students i n regular classes at the university, tenants i n the same apartment complex, and from s i m i l a r c u l t u r a l backgrounds. In one case the hosts and guests were both young married couples 62 with one c h i l d , and this, also provided common, ground to make conversation. The gender breakdown for the JE/AE and AE/AE v i s i t s can be seen i n Tables 4.1 and 4.2. Among the Japanese and American participants, there were only two males i n each group, while the rest were female. Table 4.1 Gender Breakdown for JE/AE V i s i t s V i s i t Hosts Guests JE/AE V i s i t 1 2 females 1 male, 1 female JE/AE V i s i t 2 2 females (twin s i s t e r s ) 2 females JE/AE V i s i t 3 1 male, 1 ifemale, 1 c h i l d 1 male, 1 female JE/AE V i s i t 4 . . - 2 females 3 females JE/AE V i s i t 5 1 male, 1 female, 1 c h i l d 2 females Table 4.2 Gender Breakdown for AE/AE. V i s i t s V i s i t Hosts Guests AE/AE V i s i t 1 1 male, 1 female, 1 c h i l d 1 male, - 1 female, 1 c h i l d AE/AE V i s i t 2 ' - 2 females 2 females AE/AE V i s i t 3 - •„'."• 2 f emales 2 females AE/AE V i s i t 4 2 females 2 females (twin s i s t e r s ) AE/AE V i s i t 5 2 females 2 females 63 4.1 The Opening Segment 4 . 1 . 1 Greetings and introductions In a l l of the v i s i t s (JE/AE.and AE/AE) both hosts go to the door and greetings and introductions are either made standing or aft e r being seated. The t y p i c a l greeting by hosts i n almost a l l the v i s i t s was something to the eff e c t of: "Hi. Come on i n . I'm ( f i r s t name)." A t y p i c a l response by guests was: "Hi. I'm ( f i r s t name). Nice to meet you." Greetings were not chosen as a main focus for analysis because, for the most part, the Japanese ESL students did not have a problem with greetings and introductions. In one JE/AE v i s i t , however, the Japanese ESL students f a i l e d to introduce themselves u n t i l l a t e r on i n the int e r a c t i o n : Excerpt 1 (from JE/AE: V i s i t 2 ) Guest 1 : Sorry. Introduce, myself okay—My name i s Keiko. Host 1 : Keiko? Guest 1: Yes. Guest 2 : I'm Chizuru. Host 1 : Chizuru? Guest 2: Yes. The expression "My name i s ( f i r s t name)," used i n three instances by Japanese ESL students,, was used only once by the American participants and i n the contracted form: "My name's ( f i r s t name)." In almost a l l -the JE/AE v i s i t s , hosts either sought confirmation of t h e i r guests' names, or asked for them to be repeated. Japanese ESL students need to be reminded to pronounce t h e i r names slowly and c l e a r l y for Americans who are not f a m i l i a r with Japanese names. 64 In one of the JE/AE v i s i t s , the guests removed t h e i r shoes at the door without asking whether they should or not, and the hosts did not t r y to stop them. Instead, one of the hosts simply made a comment: "It's a l i t t l e wet out." In one of the AE/AE v i s i t s the guests asked t h e i r hosts: "Do you want us to take our shoes o f f ? " to which the hosts responded: "Oh, no, don't worry about i t . " The question was r e f l e c t i v e the fact that some Americans make i t a practice to remove t h e i r shoes at the door, and some, although not many, also require t h e i r guests to do so. In two out of the f i v e JE/AE v i s i t s , the American hosts shook t h e i r guests' hands during the introductions. This can be a problem for Japanese as they are known for weak handshakes (Saito, 1988), but the video did not allow for close observation of t h i s feature. Interestingly enough, hand shaking occurs i n only two of the f i v e AE/AE v i s i t s , also. Proxemics such as how guests were seated, distance between inte r l o c u t o r s , and so on, would have been i n t e r e s t i n g to compare c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y . However,.unfortunately, the video camera dictated the seating arrangement. This i s evident i n some of the hosts' comments as the guests are seated: "You kind of have to squish together!" or "Have a seat i n our 'rearranged' l i v i n g room!" The Japanese ESL students i n a l l f i v e JE/AE v i s i t s sat forward on the edge of the couch -or chair throughout most of t h e i r v i s i t , which gave the impression that they were either very nervous or very attentive. In two out of the three JJ/JJ v i s i t s and a l l three J J J / J J J v i s i t s , the guests used the Japanese expression oj amashimasu [Excuse me for disturbing:you] upon-entering. The expressions • 65 they used to introduce themselves were consistent throughout as well. As shown i n Excerpt 2, the Japanese hosts and guests, for the most part, introduced themselves by t h e i r l a s t and f i r s t name, whereas only f i r s t names were used i n both the AE/AE and JE/AE v i s i t s : Excerpt 2 (from JJ/ J J V i s i t 2) Host 1: Hajimemashite. [How do you do?] (Last name first, then first name), to mooshimasu. [My name i s so-' and-so. ] Guest 1: Hajimemashite. [How do you do?] (Last name first, then first name) desu. [I am so-and so.] -yoroshiku^ohegaishimasu. .[No equivalent i n English:' l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n i s "I am i n your favour."] In one case a male guest presented his hosts with his meishi [business card], a practice more often observed among business people than among students. In.each case the introductory sequence was accompanied by bowing. Taking shoes off at the door i s a practice observed a l l over Japan. In the case of the J J J / J J J v i s i t s , guests were immediately ushered into a small room with tatami mats, so slippers Were not provided. Guests were seated on the tatami-mats. In two of the three v i s i t s they were provided with zabuton [ f l o o r cushions] i n front of a low table. Most Japanese are accustomed t o . s i t t i n g on the f l o o r during s o c i a l v i s i t s i n a person's home, which of f e r s one possible explanation for why the.students sat forward on the couch i n the JE/AE v i s i t s . 4.1.2 G i f t Giving and Collaborating i n Expressing Gratitude In a l l f i v e of the AE/AE v i s i t s the g i f t giving part of the i n t e r a c t i o n occurred when the guests f i r s t came i n , whereas i n at 66 least two of the JE/AE v i s i t s the hosts offered the guests food and beverages before the guests had a chance to give the hosts t h e i r g i f t . No c u l t u r a l generalizations can be made because i n the guidelines given to guests before the i n t e r a c t i o n took place, the g i f t giving part of the in t e r a c t i o n was supposed to come before the o f f e r of food and.beverages. It i s not evident whether the guidelines were being followed or whether they were just doing what came naturally:. In four out of the f i v e JE/AE v i s i t s the Japanese ESL students handed t h e i r g i f t to their, hosts saying: "This i s present." or "This i s present for you." From an interview i t was discovered that t h i s expression i s one Japanese students learn from t h e i r English textbooks i n high school, so i t may be that t h i s was an instance of "transfer of t r a i n i n g " (Selinker, 1972). In these same four v i s i t s the g i f t was wrapped i n g i f t wrap or a bag, and the hosts took the . i n i t i a t i v e to open i t a f t e r seating t h e i r guests and at an appropriate l u l l i n the conversation. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to.note, that i n three out of the f i v e AE/AE v i s i t s the guests just handed the g i f t to t h e i r hosts as they came i n without commenting, while i n the remaining two v i s i t s they said: "This i s for your abode here." or " We brought you a l i t t l e g i f t . " In four of the AE/AE v i s i t s the g i f t was not wrapped. In the one .visit where i t was wrapped, the hosts took the i n i t i a t i v e to. open i t a few minutes l a t e r a f t e r being seated and at a l u l l i n the conversation. In three of the AE/AE v i s i t s the i n t e r a c t i o n was very short and sweet, as i n Excerpt 3: 67 Excerpt 3 (from AE/AE V i s i t 5) Guest: (handing her host flowers) Host: Oh, those are pretty! Thank you! Guest: There you go! The shortness of these interactions could have had something to do with the fact that guests had been t o l d to bring a g i f t i n the guidelines and may not have had t h e i r heart behind i t . The hosts i n the AE/AE v i s i t s did not know that the guidelines required t h e i r guests to bring a g i f t , and most of them seem somewhat surprised. One of the hosts expresses t h i s by saying: "Oh, you brought us something?" In some of the JE/AE v i s i t s , the hosts who were guests i n the AE/AE v i s i t s knew to expect a g i f t , so t h i s may have affected t h e i r response.. In only one instance does the host respond with the expression often found i n g i f t giving interactions (Eisenstein & Bodman, 1986): "Geez, you didn't have to do that!" This p a r t i c u l a r host did not know that the guidelines for guests, required them to bring a g i f t . In two AE/AE v i s i t s , quite a lengthy i n t e r a c t i o n ensues when the g i f t i s given, and i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note how the guests probe to see whether or not t h e i r g i f t has been accepted well and how the hosts also say something to assure t h e i r guests that they appreciate the g i f t , as i n Excerpt 4: Excerpt 4 (from AE/AE V i s i t 2) Guest 1: (handing her host a scented candle) This i s for your abode here. Host 1: Oh, thank you. That's nice. Host 2: Thank you; . Guest 2: Do you l i k e the smell? 68 Host 1: Peachy? Host 2: It's f r u i t y . Host 1: Yeah. Guest 2: We figured i t was a good neutral color. Host 1: • With a l l the windstorms, too, we may need t h i s i n a power outage. In contrast, i n the JE/AE v i s i t s , the Japanese guests explain the significance of t h e i r g i f t when asked, but there are no instances where they probe to see i f t h e i r hosts l i k e the g i f t s . Eisenstein & Bodman (1993) comment on the function of probes or prompts as the giver and receiver collaborate i n the speech act of expressing gratitude: In analyzing the role-plays, we found that the language expressed by the giver (of the g i f t , favor, reward, or service) i s c r u c i a l to enabling the receiver to convey gratitude successfully. The giver prompts and comments throughout the development of the speech act set. Prompts appear to function as l i n g u i s t i c enabling devices, allowing the receiver to reassure the giver of his or her gratitude (p.71). The Japanese ESL students would have been better prepared i f they had been made aware of t h e i r collaborative role as the giver i n the mutual development of t h i s speech act set of expressing gratitude. However, the hosts do t h e i r best to assure t h e i r guests that they l i k e the g i f t by making numerous compliments such as: "Oh, hey that's neat. Oh wow." or "That's pretty. Thank you." or "Ooh, chocolates! It's our favourite!", and so on. 69 In one of the J J / J J v i s i t s the following conversation accompanied the giving of the g i f t : Excerpt 5 (from J J / J J V i s i t 1) Guest 1: Tsumarariai mono desu ga. [This i s a t r i v i a l present f o r you, but...] Host 1: Aa, waza waza, doomo sumimasen. [I am very sorry to put you to so much trouble.] Guest 1: Yokattara akete kudasai. [If you l i k e , why don't you open i t ? ] Host 1: Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu. [Thank you very much.](peeks i n bag) Aa, doomo wazawaza goteinei hi. [Oh, thank you for taking the trouble to be so p o l i t e . ] The expression used by the guest when giving the g i f t i n Excerpt 5 was a t y p i c a l humble expression. The host was not intending to open the g i f t u n t i l the guest suggested i t , and when he did look i n the bag he did not give any i n d i c a t i o n of how well he l i k e d the g i f t , nor did the guests probe to f i n d t h i s out. In the interview following, the. Japanese participants said that i n Japan humble expressions were preferred over boastful ones and that opening a wrapped g i f t i n front of the giver of the g i f t was not usually done. • -; ' In two of the J J J / J J J v i s i t s , the g i f t was food to share during the v i s i t , and the guests themselves opened the g i f t and brought out the food". Hosts simply responded by saying, A, doomo [Oh, thank you.] or Warui ne. [I f e e l ashamed.] This l a s t expression i s an i n t e r e s t i n g phenomenon i n Japanese: when f e e l i n g indebted, there i s a tendency to say sorry (Excerpt 5) or to express shame instead of gratitude. Only i n one case, where the guests had actually baked a cake for the occasion, did the host make a compliment about the g i f t . 4.1.3 Compliments Compliments are another feature that should be looked at i n the opening segment.. Table 4.3 shows the compliments made i n the AE/AE v i s i t s , not including the numerous compliments made by hosts about g i f t s . In three out of the f i v e v i s i t s guests complimented hosts on t h e i r apartment, the cookies, and so on. Most of these compliments occurred early on i n the int e r a c t i o n . Table 4.3 Compliments Made i n AE/AE V i s i t s AE/AE V i s i t # Compliments made by: Compliment about: What was said: AE/AE V i s i t 1 Host -the. guest 1 s daughter "She 1s a cut i e . " AE/AE V i s i t 2 Guest -the apartment... -the smell of cookies baking -the view -the glasses -the cookies "Oh, wow t h i s i s cute." "It smells good i n here. Have you guys been baking?" "Oooh, you've got a beautiful view of the sunset there!" "Oh, they're cute l i t t l e cups." "Oh, mint!" "They're refreshing cookies!" AE/AE V i s i t 3 Guest -the cookies "Oh, how nice." Oh, yum." "Yum." AE/AE V i s i t 4 none . "observed ~;; . AE/AE V i s i t 5 " Guest -the apartment "This i s a cute apartment." "You guys' place i s cute. I l i k e how you have i t fixed up." In contrast, there i s a noticeable s c a r c i t y of compliments by Japanese guests i n the JE/AE v i s i t s (see.Table 4.4). In one v i s i t , one of the guests quietly complimented the hosts' apartment upon entering saying, "Oh, i t ' s a nice house." The hosts, did not seem to hear him say i t , or i f they did hear him, they did not respond. In another v i s i t a guest complimented the hosts' baby and the cookies. The only other incident of a compliment (not including.compliments on the g i f t s ) was the American host complimenting his Japanese guests on t h e i r English speaking a b i l i t y . Table 4.4 Compliments Made i n JE/AE V i s i t s JE/AE V i s i t # Compliments made by: • •Cpmpliments ;•', about: What was said: JE/AE V i s i t 1 Guest -the apartment "Oh, i t ' s a nice house." JE/AE V i s i t 2 none observed JE/AE V i s i t 3 Host -the guests' English ' a b i l i t y "Wow. You can speak good English for being here for only f i v e •months and a month." JE/AE V i s i t 4 none observed JE/AE V i s i t 5 Guest -hosts'.baby -the cookies "She's a good walker." "Delicious." Wolfson (1983a) has pointed out that "the overwhelming majority of a l l compliments are given to people of the same age and status as the speaker" (p.91), the very s i t u a t i o n that we had i n these v i s i t s . They serve as " s o c i a l lubricants" i n English and can co-occur with or even replace other speech acts such as expressing gratitude. As was also evident i n the data from the present study, i t has been shown that compliments tend to occur 72 at the openings and closings of speech events and very rarely i n the middle of an i n t e r a c t i o n (Holmes & Brown, 1987). Compliments have been found to f a l l into a very small number of syntactic patterns, and the vast majority of them r e f e r to just a few general topics. According to Holmes and Brown (1987), t h i s should make them "attractive ESL teaching material" (p.535). The s c a r c i t y of compliments by the. Japanese .participants i n the present study reinforces Holmes and Brown's c a l l for classroom a c t i v i t i e s that would raise ESL students 1 awareness of t h i s important speech act. Few compliments were observed i n the J J / J J or J J J / J J J v i s i t s . In JJ / J J V i s i t 3, one of the guests complimented the hosts' room as they were leaving. In JJJ / J J J V i s i t 3, the guests complimented the host's room i n almost an envious sort of way saying: Ii ne. Zenbu atarashii ne. [You're lucky. Everything i s new, i s n ' t i t ? ] In one other case a guest mentioned what a nice room i t was to the other guest, but did not compliment the host. From the sparsity of the JJJ / J J J data i t i s d i f f i c u l t to come to any conclusions, but i t appears that compliments are not used as frequently i n Japanese as i n English, which could explain why the Japanese ESL students i n the JE/AE v i s i t s did not use as many compliments as American guests i n the AE/AE v i s i t s . 4.2 The H o s p i t a l i t y Segment Here we w i l l mostly examine how the guests responded to the o f f e r of food and beverages and whether or not they helped themselves to food i n front of them. .. 73 4.2.1 Responding to the Offer of Beverages Let's look at Excerpt 6 from one of the AE/AE v i s i t s to begin with.. As i n most of the AE/AE v i s i t s , a l i s t of beverages was given to choose from, and the one guest responded: "Um, a coke sounds good," to which the other guest added, "Yeah, thanks." Excerpt 6 (from AE/AE V i s i t 5) Host 1: We have banana bread over here and popcorn's popping, and we have milk and apple juice and .water and;coke and Dr. A+...Does any of that sound good to you guys? Guest 1: Um, a coke sounds good. Host 1: Okay. Guest 2: Yeah, thanks. (After a l i t t l e small talk) I'm going to steal a pear—those look r e a l l y good. Host 2: Help yourself. Guest 2: I w i l l ! . In another AE/AE v i s i t where a l i s t of beverages was given, there was a s i m i l a r response: "Ooh, gosh, a Diet Coke sounds good," followed by a question from the other guest, "Yeah, do you have wild cherry?" In s t i l l another v i s i t one guest responded: "How about some juice?" and the other guest .added, "Juice i s f i n e . " In the remaining two v i s i t s , when asked i f they would l i k e something to drink,, one of the guests declined, and for some reason the o f f e r was not repeated to the guest who did not answer one way or the other. There was no attempt to persuade the guests to have something to drink, and the guests just had cookies when they were offered.- -It i s also i n t e r e s t i n g to note that, i n four out of the f i v e AE/AE v i s i t s , water i s one of the choices of beverages given. : In a l l f i v e JE/AE v i s i t s , t h e h o s p i t a l i t y segment began with some sort of opener to the ef f e c t of: "Do you guys want anything to drink or something to eat?"- To t h i s opener, where American guests tended to respond with "sure,"three out of the f i v e pairs of Japanese guests responded simultaneously with "yes." Another one of the pairs was not given-time.to answer because the hosts went on to l i s t what they had, and the remaining pair of guests answered simply, "No." This response surprised the hosts who t r i e d to persuade them, as. shown i n Excerpt 7: Excerpt 7 (from JE/AE V i s i t 3) Host 1 : No? Host 2: We have hot tea, i f you'd l i k e some. Guests: (no response) Host 2: Would you l i k e any hot tea? Host 1 : Tea.or coke or anything l i k e that? Guest 1 : (after hesitating) I l i k e tea. Guest 2 : Me, too. As we can see i n Excerpt 7, i n contrast to the AE/AE v i s i t s , some of the Japanese ESL students seemed to be quite hesitant i n responding to t h e i r American hosts' o f f e r of beverages. Whereas, as we saw i n Excerpt 6, American guests responded to the l i s t of possible choices of beverage with something l i k e "Ooh, gosh a Diet Coke sounds good," the Japanese ESL students' responses were either short one-word responses such as, "Oh, jui c e , " or "Juice," or responses such as the one above, "I l i k e tea" or "I want tea, okay?" In the l a s t example, tea was not even on the l i s t given by the host, but iced tea was and .that was what she was served. The other guest also chose something that was not on the l i s t of 75 beverages offered, as can be seen i n Excerpt 8: Excerpt 8 (from JE/AE V i s i t 2) Host 1: We have iced.tea//apple juice, water, milk, pop— l i k e Diet Coke, Sprite—almost anything. (no immediate response by guests) Host 2: What would you l i k e to drink? Guest 1: I want tea, okay? Host 2: . What would you like? Guest 2: Orange juice. 1 Host 2 : I have apple ' juice'. Guest 2: Apple juice." In the JJ/J J and JJJ / J J J v i s i t s , no l i s t of beverages to choose from was given. This could explain the hesitati o n of the Japanese ESL students. Hosts .decided what to serve. In the JJJ/ J J J v i s i t s , which took place in' the warm month of May, the hosts served cold oolong tea. Hosts usually said, Doozo [Please. ] as they served i t , - and guests usually just bowed and sometimes added: Doomo. Doomo. [Thank you. Thank you.] or, as in the g i f t giving sequence, Gomen, wazawaza. [I'm sorry to trouble you.] 4.2.2 Helping Oneself to Food In three out of the f i v e AE/AE v i s i t s the plate of cookies or other food was placed on a table and the guests helped themselves, while i n the other two v i s i t s the guests waited u n t i l they were offered the food before taking i t . As we saw i n Excerpt 6, the guest often said something as she helped herself: "I'm going to steal a pear. Those look r e a l l y good" or, i n - 76 another v i s i t , "Ooh, I'm going to have to t r y these." In the t h i r d v i s i t as the guest.helped herself to a cookie on the table i n front of her, the host quickly responded: "Oh, yeah, have one, have many. Otherwise they're just gonna s i t here." The l a t t e r expression was another i n t e r e s t i n g feature i n the American hosts' choice of words. In two of the JE/AE v i s i t s the hosts joked when o f f e r i n g more cookies: "Would you l i k e any more? ....We gotta get r i d of them; We've got a whole batch of them!" or "We don't want them. You guys have to f i n i s h them!" It would be i n t e r e s t i n g to f i n d out how such expressions would sound i f translated l i t e r a l l y into Japanese. In the JE/AE v i s i t s , ; none.of the.Japanese ESL students helped themselves to food unless i t was offered. In one v i s i t the American host said: "There's [sic] cookies on the table, and we have a l o t so you can eat a l l you want." The host never got up to serve the cookies, and the guests never took one, so the cookies sat on the table untouched through the entire v i s i t . In another v i s i t the cookies were served to one of the guests and then set on the table i n front of the other two guests. There the plate of cookies sat u n t i l l a t e r i n the conversation when the host said: "Well, help yourself to cookies." Even then, the Japanese guests hesitated u n t i l the conversation topic changed, and then they f i n a l l y reached, out to take one. Some of the guests held the cookies i n t h e i r hands for some time before they ventured to take a b i t e . This could have been because t h e i r hosts were not partaking or because the guests were nervous about having to answer a question with t h e i r mouth f u l l . In a l l the JJ/J J and JJJ/ J J J v i s i t s , the food was placed on 77 a table or on the tatami mats i n front of the guests, but the guests waited u n t i l they were offered the food and did not help themselves. In two of the v i s i t s the hosts had to o f f e r the food twice before the guests, finally-reached out to take something. It appears that the Japanese have a tendency to be reserved when i t comes to helping themselves to food, at least i n front of people whom they do not know very well. 4.2.3 Summary To sum up, t h i s speech event of o f f e r i n g food and beverages i n informal American English .seems to include some or a l l of the following utterances: an opening ("Would you l i k e something to eat or drink?"), a response ("Sure."), a l i s t of beverages - ("We have tea, coffee, juice, Coke, water..."), a choice . ("Oh, a Coke sounds good."), an o f f e r of food by the hosts ("Help yourself to cookies."), a comment by the guests ("Ooh, I'm going to have to as they help themselves t r y these."), and an o f f e r of more food ("Would you l i k e any more? -,. • T r . . . W e gotta get r i d of them.") To date, there have not been any previous speech act studies done on the o f f e r i n g of food or beverages, but i t i s an important part of the i n t e r a c t i o n . As one" of the American hosts expressed i n the retrospective interview: "getting people something to eat and drink breaks the b a r r i e r and makes them f e e l more comfortable... so I l i k e to get drinks and cookies." This i s probably true i n most other cultures including Japanese culture, but, as we have seen, i t i s a speech event that i s not always performed i n the same way across cultures. The data here showed that responding appropriately to the o f f e r of food and beverages i n the s o c i a l s etting of v i s i t i n g an American home does not come naturally for Japanese ESL students who are used to d i f f e r e n t customs. 4.3 The Small Talk Segment I n i t i a t i n g conversation topics and keeping a conversation going are other areas that have yet to be studied extensively i n interlanguage pragmatics research. : It i s debatable whether they are speech acts at a l l — p e r h a p s they can be thought of more as discourse strategies or gambits (House, 1996). However, as House has pointed out,, the a b i l i t y - t o ; i n i t i a t e topics and topic changes, and to reply and respond appropriately are important features of pragmatic fluency. Indeed, f a i l u r e i n t h i s area of small t a l k could l i m i t ESL students 1 future opportunities to inter a c t with native speakers and'thus hinder the development of t h e i r o v e r a l l pragmatic competence. The data from the JE/AE v i s i t s revealed a number of conversational s k i l l s i n which the Japanese ESL students needed t r a i n i n g and practice. These s k i l l s had to do with: (1) responding to topics i n i t i a t e d by t h e i r host; (2) asking questions to develop or i n i t i a t e topics; (3) making appropriate verbal responses (rather than just nodding); and (4) negotiating for meaning when they do not understand. 79 4.3.1 Responding to Topics I n i t i a t e d by Host In JE/AE V i s i t 1, the f i r s t topic of conversation progressed i n a manner t y p i c a l of conversations with Japanese ESL students who have not had a l o t of experience i n conversing with Americans. In other words, the Americans tended to ask a l l the questions and the Japanese answered with short, one-word answers, as i n Excerpt 9: Excerpt 9 (from JE/AE V i s i t 1) Host 1: So you're students? Guest 1: Yes. Host 1: You're studying English at the university? Guest 1: Yeah. '•' Host 1: Ah, okay. So you spend a l o t of time i n classes? Guest 1: Oh— : -r:i:: • Guest. 2: In a week, four or f i v e classes. Guest 1: Five class i n a day. Host 2: That's a pretty f u l l day. I don't think I have any days when I have f i v e i n one day. Host 1: Guest 1: Host 1: It's usually three or f o u r — Four? — f o r us.;. But> some...of them are two hours l o n g — some of the classes, so i t kind of makes up for those other classes, huh. Following t h i s l a s t explanation by the host about t h e i r classes, the guests make no response,, and there i s a b r i e f pause before the hosts change the topic by asking another question. As House (1996) has.observed: "learners' monosyllabic and nonsequitur responses constitute a major b a r r i e r to pragmatic fluency...."(p. 244). To put i t simply, i n s u f f i c i e n t or 80 T a b l e 4 . 5 T o p i c C h a n g e I n i t i a t i o n i n J E / A E V i s i t 1 Topic change: I n i t i a t o r : S o . y o u ' r e s t u d e n t s ? H o s t 1 So i s t h i s y o u r f i r s t - t e r m h e r e ? H o s t 2 How do y o u l i k e B e l l i n g h a m ? H o s t 1 A r e y o u f r e s h m a n ? G u e s t 1 So w h a t . s e c t i o n o f J a p a n do y o u come f r o m ? H o s t 1 A r e y o u p l a n n i n g o n g o i n g b a c k t o T o k y o a f t e r y o u - l e a v e B e l l i n g h a m ? H o s t 2 So y o u h a v e f a m i l y b a c k home? H o s t 1 A n d how o l d a r e y o u ? H o s t 1 So h a v e y o u done a n y t h i n g f u n h e r e i n B e l l i n g h a m y e t ? . ,-H o s t 1 H a v e y o u s e e n a n y m o v i e s o r h a v e . y o u gone o u t s i d e o f B e l l i n g h a m t o v i s i t a n y p l a c e s ? H o s t 1 So y o u ' l l go b a c k t o T o k y o . . . t h i s c o m i n g summer? . . . T h e n what a r e y o u d o i n g ? H o s t 1 So w h a t a r e y o u s t u d y i n g ? : , ....'.: , H o s t 2 I h e a r d t h a t t e a c h e r s a r e w e l l - r e s p e c t e d i n J a p a n . How do y o u f e e l a b o u t t e a c h e r s o v e r i n J a p a n ? H o s t 1 We h a v e a c o u p l e f r i e n d s t h a t were o v e r i n J a p a n t e a c h i n g E n g l i s h , f o r a w h i l e . H o s t 1 So a r e y o u s o p h o m o r e s o r f r e s h m a n o r ? H o s t 2 So w h e r e a r e y o u s t a y i n g h e r e i n B e l l i n g h a m ? H o s t 1 Do y o u h a v e a roommate? H o s t 1 H o w ' s t h e f o o d ? H o s t 1 So h a v e . y o u b e e n e a t i n g a l o t o f A m e r i c a n f o o d ? H o s t 1 T h e r e a r e n ' t a l o t o f d e s s e r t s i n ' J a p a n . I s t h a t r i g h t ? Y o u d o n ' t e a t a l o t o f s w e e t s t u f f ? H o s t 1 So a r e y o u g o i n g t o do a n y t h i n g f o r H a l l o w e e n ? Do y o u know what H a l l o w e e n ' s a l l a b o u t ? H o s t 1 So w h a t ' s t h e b i g g e s t h o l i d a y i n J a p a n ? H o s t 1 So what do y o u do f o r New Y e a r ' s u s u a l l y ? H o s t 1 inappropriate responses can be conversation stoppers. The re s u l t of t h i s phenomenon was that-there were many pauses which seemed esp e c i a l l y uncomfortable f o r the American hosts who were often observed glancing at each other. - "Nevertheless, the hosts did t h e i r best to think up new topics when there was a pause i n the conversation. Table 4.5 shows how one host i n JE/AE V i s i t 1 i n i t i a t e d nearly eighty percent of the topic changes throughout the i n t e r a c t i o n while only one of the topic changes was made by a guest. The. frequent topic changes by the host seemed to be caused by the limited; .responses of t h e i r guests and the hosts' uneasiness with pauses no matter how short. 4.3.2 Asking Questions to Develop or I n i t i a t e Topics Excerpt 10 from AE/AE V i s i t 1 shows the conversation progressing i n a very d i f f e r e n t manner from the one-way conversations (see Excerpt 9) t y p i c a l of the JE/AE v i s i t s : Excerpt 10 (from AE/AE V i s i t 1) Guest 1: (sees a textbook on the desk) Who's the physics major? Host 1: That would be me. Guest 1: Are you re a l l y ? Host 1: Yeah. Guest 1: Wow! . . . ;-. ." Host 1: Yes, i t ' s a l i t t l e tough at times. Guest 1: I love physics. It's better than other science courses. Host 1: Yeah. . I t ' s kind.of the same way with me. The other ones kind of/ I don't know, I get bored with them sometimes. Physics i s r e a l l y e x c i t i n g s t u f f . Guest 1: It's gotta be a. tough major. . 82 Host 1: Yeah, i t a c t u a l l y — I ' m i n my t h i r d year r i g h t now, so i t ' s — t h i r d year physics classes aren't fun. They're not l i k e f i r s t year physics classes... In t h e i r cross-cultural: study of greetings i n American English, Eisenstein Ebsworth, Bodman, and Carpenter (1996) i d e n t i f i e d the introductory greeting which includes the ensuing in t e r a c t i o n of people meeting for the f i r s t time. They note that the primary function of such interactions i s "to allow the parties to f i n d a connection... or a topic of mutual i n t e r e s t " (p. 95). In Excerpt 10 above, the interlocutors were both p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the development of a topic of mutual in t e r e s t which continued over a number of turns even beyond what i s recorded here. From there, the group naturally moved on to in q u i r i n g about the majors of the others present before going on to a d i f f e r e n t , but related topic. Japanese ESL students would benefit from receiving t r a i n i n g and practice not only i n giving more substantial answers that can be b u i l t upon, but also i n reciprocating the question as demonstrated i n Excerpt 11: Excerpt 11 (from AE/AE V i s i t 5) Host 1: What are your majors? Guest 1: Marine biology. Guest 2: Right now I'm i n English, and I hope to get into the secondary ed (education) program. Host 1: Oh, yeah. Guest 2: Big t h i n hope! Host 1: Yeah, I think she (referr i n g to Host 2 i n the kitchen) t r i e d and couldn't get i n . Guest 2: Really? What about you? What's your major?.... In the AE/AE v i s i t s , as Excerpt II shows, the conversation 83 tended to go back and forth with hosts and guests asking questions of each other or expanding on what they had heard. In two out of the f i v e JE/AE v i s i t s , the Japanese ESL students managed to ask"some questions of t h e i r hosts, but t h e i r questions were often unrelated to what had just been said. At times, they missed seemingly i d e a l opportunities to keep the conversation going by asking questions, such as when one host explained that they had just moved to the area or when another host t o l d her guests that she had been to Japan. The expected response to the former might, have been, "Oh., rea l l y ? Where did you l i v e before?" or something to that e f f e c t , but nothing was said. The students themselves corrected t h e i r own tra n s c r i p t i n the l a t t e r example: Excerpt 12 (from JE/AE V i s i t 4) Host 1: I was i n Tokyo when I was, um, I think i t was '85. About ten years ago I was i n Tokyo. Guest 1: Oh. Host 1: (after pause) And i s that where you guys are from? What part of Japan? To t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t , where the guest had only-responded with an "oh," the students added "+ How was Tokyo?" 4.3.3 Making Verbal Responses In observing the responses of the Japanese ESL students, i t was evident that they used monosyllabic responses such as "yeah" and "oh" (see Excerpt 12) at times, but for the most part they did a considerable amount of nodding rather than using words to show that they were l i s t e n i n g . In contrast, American hosts and guests tended to use r e p e t i t i o n of what the person had just said or expressions such as: "Oh, okay," "Mm-hmm," "Uh-huh," "Oh, r e a l l y ? " or "Oh, that's nice," and so on. There are equivalent expressions to these i n Japanese, so the Japanese ESL students' frequent s i l e n t nodding could simply have been r e f l e c t i v e of the fact that they just did not know what to say i n English or that maybe they were not r e a l l y understanding what was said. Nevertheless, i n the JJ / J J and J J J / J J J v i s i t s , many of"the Japanese were observed nodding s i l e n t l y or making sounds such as "ah" or "oh," and so on, i n addition to using expressions -such as: Aa, soo desu ne. [Yeah, that's right.] 4.3.4 Negotiating for Meaning It i s questionable how much the Japanese ESL students actually comprehended of what t h e i r American hosts said. They seemed to respond to di r e c t questions f a i r l y well, but often did not respond much when t h e i r hosts explained some things at length. In the JE/AE.visits, there were few instances where a Japanese ESL student Was,observed negotiating for meaning. In one instance, the student simply said to his host, "Please speak more slowly." This f a i l u r e on the part of the Japanese ESL students to negotiate f o r meaning sometimes resulted i n misunderstanding questions and answering them inaccurately, as i n Excerpt 13: Excerpt 13 (from JE/AE V i s i t .3) Host 1: How long have you been i n America? Guest 1: About f i v e months. Host 1: About f i v e months? Both of you? Guest 2: I came, here a month ago. Host 1: A month ago? Wow! You can speak good English for being here for only.five months and a month (re f e r r i n g to Guest 2). Guest 2: Thank you. In fact, both Japanese guests i n Excerpt 13 had"arrived one month before and were going to be staying for f i v e months. The f i r s t guest obviously misunderstood the question "How long have you been i n America?" to mean "How long w i l l you be i n America?" The other guest t r i e d to clear up the misunderstanding, but he made the mistake of saying, "I came here a month ago" instead of "We came here a month.ago," so. the host was . . s t i l l not set straight. Like many other NNSs i n si m i l a r situations, the Japanese ESL students' tendency to assume they understand or to pretend they understand can sometimes cause problems in communicating. It i s d i f f i c u l t to compare the small t a l k segment i n the AE/AE and JE/AE v i s i t s with,the JJ/JJ.and J J J / J J J v i s i t s . As noted i n Chapter 3, the problem with the three JJ/ J J v i s i t s was that the participants were: pretending not to know each other, so the conversation seemed" somewhat forced. In one of the JJ J / J J J v i s i t s , where the participants did not know each other, the male host seemed to dominate the i n i t i a t i n g of conversation topics just as i n the JE/AE v i s i t s . However, the two male guests were kohais [juniors] of the host who was t h e i r senpai [senior], and t h i s may have been the reason for. t h e i r shyness. The researcher has observed that Japanese people sometimes have d i f f i c u l t y making ..conversation with people whom they have just met for t h e . f i r s t time. In an interview, one of the Japanese ESL students said i t i s more a matter of p e r s o n a l i t y — that some Japanese are quite shy and f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t to make conversation, while others are more outgoing. In a JJ / J J interview the participants all.agreed that, i n general, Americans are better at making conversation arid enjoying i t than Japanese are. They.said that Japanese people sometimes avoid having to make constant conversation with guests by leaving the baseball game on T.V. during the v i s i t . What they probably did not r e a l i z e was that some Americans do t h i s as well. 4.3.5 Summary :> The data from the small t a l k segment of the interactions show that Japanese ESL students could benefit from t r a i n i n g and practice i n at least four conversational s k i l l s : 1. responding to i n i t i a t e d topics with more than a one-word answer; 2. askirig questions to develop or i n i t i a t e conversation topics; 3. making appropriate verbal responses rather than just nodding; a n d • .. . ; 4. negotiating for meaning when an utterance i s not clear. Eisenstein Ebsworth, Bodman, and Carpenter (1996) found that some of the interactions of NNSs from a variety of LI backgrounds were judged by native speakers of English to be more l i k e interrogations and to be f u l l of abrupt topic changes. It seems the NNSs were asking;questions to i n i t i a t e conversation, but were f a i l i n g to make comments or expansions on the other speaker's utterances before going on to the next topic. The researchers make the observation that, unfortunately, l i t t l e information i s : rv:_ 87 available i n ESL textbooks, to show how a conversation i s mutually developed by native speakers. The native speaker data from the present study could form the basis for improving such textbook materials. . _ 4 . 4 The Closing Segment In t h e i r discourse analysis- of closings, Hartford and Bardovi-Harlig (forthcoming) discovered that even advanced ESL students often seem to have d i f f i c u l t y c l o s i n g a conversation appropriately. They maintained that, because closings are c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c , knowing how"to close a conversation i n a person's LI does not ensure success i n t h e i r L2. Bardovi-Harlig, Hartford, Mahan-Taylor, and Reynolds (1991) claimed that closings i n English consist: of a minimum of three essential components: the shut down, the preclosing, and the terminal exchange. They gave a number of examples of closings with these components, but they did not describe the context i n which each one took place. In the context of v i s i t i n g a person's home for the f i r s t time, the closing segment seemed to include the following f i v e components: 1. leave-taking signal by guest and response by host 2. preclosing routines and responses 3. mutual expressions of gratitude 4. i n d e f i n i t e suggestions to meet again (optional) 5. farewells .-. - " '" / - .' Only two of the f i v e AE/AE closings included i n d e f i n i t e suggestions to meet again, but a l l f i v e v i s i t s contained the 88 remaining four components,.in , some,.fpraor another, but not necessarily i n the order presented here. In a l l f i v e AE/AE v i s i t s at least one conversation topic was brought up aft e r the leave-taking signal by the guest: i n one v i s i t i t was regarding the guest 1s work, i n two of the v i s i t s i t was regarding where the guests l i v e d i n the apartment complex, and i n the remaining two.visits i t was regarding meeting neighbours. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to see that i n two of the JE/AE v i s i t s the Japanese guests' names are reviewed, but, other than that, no additional conversation topics are brought up i n the c l o s i n g segment. Perhaps-the hosts, who had spent much of the time i n i t i a t i n g new conversation topics, were unwilling to prolong the v i s i t or simply could not generate any more topics on t h e i r guests' way out. 4.4.1 Leave-taking Signals and Responses The leave-taking signals made by guests in.the AE/AE v i s i t s varied s l i g h t l y i n word choice, but, with the exception of one v i s i t , were quite si m i l a r i n form and meaning. Table 4.6 shows the signals made by the American guests contrasted with those made by the Japanese ESL students i n the JE/AE v i s i t s . The word "well," which i s used i n three of the AE/AE v i s i t s shown i n Table 4.6, seems to be an important one i n leave-taking signals. As already mentioned i n Chapter 2, Bardovi-Harlig, Hartford, Mahan-Taylor, and. Reynolds (1991) noted that t h e i r students' use of "well" to shut down conversations was evidence of t h e i r growing pragmatic awareness of English closings. 89 Table 4.6 Leave-taking Signals i n AE/AE and JE/AE V i s i t s AE/AE V i s i t # Leave-taking signal — • — i JE/AE. j Leave-taking signal V i s i t # j 1 "We should probably get going." • -. ••; - —" 1 ' ' 1 1 | "Yeah, so we have a | l o t of homework, so-" 2 "Well, we better get; going, I guess..". - — — : 2 i — "We have to go." 3 "Well, gosh, t h i s was nice that you guys ..' in v i t e d us. " -. ,;-•-•" : • ——71 3 i "Time!...I have to go ! back." i 4 "We should probably go. " ,;, "•,.-.;/._ . — . / 4 "I have to go." 5 "Well, we better go." : 5 --. j "I have to go back. " : . . . i i i _ 1 In the JE/AE v i s i t s , the Japanese ESL students' leave-taking signals would have seemed less abrupt had they known how to use t h i s important word "well." Their use of " I " instead of "we" i s also an i n t e r e s t i n g phenomenon. In Japanese, pronouns as the subject of the sentence are usually dropped altogether, so maybe they were not sure whether to use. " I " or "we." It i s possible that "I have to go" i s a routine they had learned i n English. "I have to go back," however, sounds l i k e a shortened version of the Japanese expression Ja, sorosoro kaeranakute wa narimasen. [Well, (I/we) have to go home soon.] and could be evidence of transfer from t h e i r LI. In JE/AE V i s i t 1 and 3, the hosts gave quite blatant hints to t h e i r guests saying: "Well, have you got studying to do tonight?" or, seeing them, look at t h e i r watches, "You guys have to get going?" In another context t h i s might have sounded rude, 90 but the hosts may have sensed that t h e i r guests, who were supposed to take the i n i t i a t i v e to leave according to the guidelines, needed some assistance. In three out of the f i v e JE/AE v i s i t s and three out of the fi v e AE/AE v i s i t s , the American hosts;responded to the leave-taking signal with a simple, "Okay." As w i l l be seen i n Chapter 5, t h i s response was not; what the students might have expected had they r e l i e d on the responses provided i n t h e i r textbook. In a l l but one of the six JJ/J J and JJ J / J J J v i s i t s , the Japanese expression sorosoro [soon] was used i n some form or another as a leave-taking signal. In three cases, t h i s was prefaced with de wa or j a which are. the equivalents to "well" i n English.. In two of the .eases the.expression was addressed to the other guest rather than the host. : In four of the v i s i t s , they added an excuse for leaving, saying i t was la t e , or they were expecting a delivery at home, or, more vaguely, that they had something to do. ;. 4.4.2 Preclosing Routines and. Responses It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that, i n a l l f i v e AE/AE v i s i t s and a l l f i v e JE/AE v i s i t s , the American hosts used the expression "Well, i t was nice to meet you" or "It was good meeting you guys," or something s i m i l a r . This seems to be almost a required routine to use i n English when you are about to part with someone you have met for the f i r s t time. In a l l f i v e AE/AE v i s i t s , , the guests responded with something to the e f f e c t of: "It was nice to meet you, too" or "It was good meeting you, too." In three out of the f i v e JE/AE v i s i t s , the Japanese ESL students managed to come up with s i m i l a r responses. However, i n two of the v i s i t s t h i s response was lacking, even though the students had supposedly studied t h i s i n the previous chapter i n t h e i r textbooks. When the students i n these two groups analyzed t h e i r t ranscripts l a t e r , however, they saw t h e i r error of omission .and; added these expressions to the t r a n s c r i p t . There was no equivalent expression to "It was nice to meet you" apparent i n the J J / J J and JJJ/JJJ v i s i t s . However, there was one Japanese expression that was used i n f i v e out of the six v i s i t s and seems to be almost a required routine for guests. That expression was Ojamashimashita. [Sorry to have disturbed you.] which i s the past tense of a si m i l a r expression observed i n the greetings section (4.1.1) .of the opening segment. 4.4.3 Mutual Expressions of Gratitude Eisenstein and Bodman (1993) found that the speech act of expressing gratitude, which ranges from a simple utterance to a lengthy communicative event, can be very d i f f i c u l t for even advanced second language learners to perform successfully: Most native speakers of English on a conscious l e v e l associate the expression of gratitude with the words "thank you"; however, they are unaware of the underlying complex rules and the mutuality needed for expressing gratitude i n a manner s a t i s f y i n g to both the giver and re c i p i e n t . S i m i l a r l y , second and foreign language learners are unaware of the underlying rules for expressing gratitude i n English; i n fact, they usually assume that the expression of 92 gratitude i s universal and remain, unaware of s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n i t s cross-cultural r e a l i z a t i o n , (p.64) The data from the present study confirm Eisenstein and Bodman1s findings: i n a l l f i v e of the JE/AE v i s i t s , the Japanese ESL students seemed to have considerable d i f f i c u l t y i n expressing t h e i r gratitude beyond simple utterances such as, "Thank you" or "Thank you very much." Excerpt 14 reveals the d i f f i c u l t y they were having: Excerpt 14 (from JE/AE V i s i t 3) Host 1: Thank you for coming over. And thank you for the g i f t s . Host 2: Thank you for -the g i f t s . . Guest 1: Thank you very much. ,-Host 2: And come back! Host 1: Yes. • Guest 1: Oh, thank you very much. Host 2: Jackets. Guest 1: Thank you very much today. As revealed i n Excerpt 14, the Japanese ESL students seemed to be unaware that expressions of gratitude i n English which imply some sort of indebtedness usually require that the recipient be somewhat s p e c i f i c . In other words, the recipient usually says "Thank you for the gift (or some other s p e c i f i c thing)." The f i r s t guest's f i n a l expression of gratitude "Thank you very much today" may look l i k e an attempt to be a l i t t l e more s p e c i f i c , but i s more l i k e l y an incidence of LI transfer from the expression i n Japanese: Kyoo wa, doomo arigatoo gozaimashita [As for today, thank you very much]. It i s int e r e s t i n g to note that the other guest who was quite shy l e t the f i r s t guest do a l l the thanking and did not say much of anything. Excerpt 15 from AE/AE V i s i t 1 shows the expressions of gratitude played out i n a much more elaborate manner between native speakers of English: Excerpt 15 (from AE/AE V i s i t 1) Host 1: Thank you very much for the g i f t . That was very sweet of you. Guest 1: Oh, you're welcome. Guest 2: Sure. Thank you for the cookies. Host 2: (r e f e r r i n g to the g i f t again) Yeah, that was nice. Host 1: Yeah., we ' 11 put i t up. . . . . Guest 2: Thanks for having us over. Host 1: No problem. Host 2: Thanks. No problem.... Host 1: (as guests- are leaving) Thanks for coming over. ... Guest 2: Thanks for having us over. In most of the AE/AE v i s i t s , the NSs of English seemed to make some response to the expression of gratitude. Sometimes i t was the standard "you're welcome" or "no problem," While at other times i t was a return expression of gratitude. For example, i n Excerpt 1-5, where the host expressed gratitude for the g i f t , one of the guests returned that with ''Sure, thank you for the cookies." Similarly, when the host said "Thanks for coming over," the guest came back with "Thanks for having us over." No responses to expressions of gratitude were observed i n the JE/AE data. It should also be noted that, i n Excerpt 15, the host seemed to be taking the i n i t i a t i v e to express gratitude, but i n the other four AE/AE v i s i t s the guests seemed to take the i n i t i a t i v e . Thus, we have i n Excerpt.16 .similar expressions to those i n Excerpt 15 but i n the reverse order: Excerpt 16 (from AE/AE V i s i t 4) Guest 1: Thanks for having us over. Host 1 : Thanks a l o t for coming over. In contrast to t h i s , only one guest i n the JE/AE v i s i t s takes the i n i t i a t i v e to express thanks. In the other four v i s i t s the Japanese guests say thank you only aft e r the host has taken the i n i t i a t i v e to thank them for coming or for the g i f t (as i s evident i n Excerpt 14). It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that few s p e c i f i c expressions of gratitude (such as the English expression "Thank you for the gift") were observed i n the JJ/ J J or JJJ / J J J v i s i t s . In two of the J J / J J v i s i t s hosts said: Vlaza waza doomo arigatoo gozaimashita. [Thank you for (coming) a l l t h i s way.] or something s i m i l a r . However, none of the hosts thanked t h e i r guests for the g i f t . Rather than thanking t h e i r hosts s p e c i f i c a l l y for the food provided as i n the AE/AE v i s i t s , i n three out of the six J J / J J and J J J / J J J v i s i t s , guests used the routine, Gochisoosama deshita, which i s an expression thanking the host for t h e i r h o s p i t a l i t y i n general, i t appears that the Japanese language has a number of routines for expressing gratitude that do not require the recipient of a g i f t or services to be s p e c i f i c . This suggests that the tendency, on the part of the Japanese ESL students not to be s p e c i f i c when expressing gratitude i n English could be evidence of transfer from t h e i r LI. 95 4.4.4 Indefinite Suggestions to Meet Again Indefinite suggestions to meet again were offered i n two AE/AE v i s i t s (one by a-host and one by a guest) and i n three JE/AE v i s i t s (one by a host and two by guests). Excerpt 17 gives the flavour of the NS exchanges: Excerpt 17 (from AE/AE V i s i t 1) Host 1: We'll get i n touch and maybe we'll go climbing or something. Host 2: Yeah, i f we ever get another sunny day around here...and Ransom...is f e e l i n g good. Guest 1: Give us a c a l l when he's f e e l i n g better. In the other AE/AE example, a similar suggestion was made by a guest: "We'll have to get together and watch a movie or something." The Japanese ESL students' suggestions to meet again were sim i l a r i n that they were l e f t i n d e f i n i t e , but they were markedly d i f f e r e n t from NSs' suggestions i n the way they were expressed: "If you have time, I want to meet again, meet you again" and "If you are okay, we want to meet you next time, okay?" Five out of the six JJ / J J and JJ J / J J J v i s i t s included i n d e f i n i t e suggestions to meet again. Three of the suggestions contained the expression /condo [ next. time J and two of the suggestions contained the expression mata [again] which seem to have influenced the Japanese ESL students' suggestions i n t h e i r L2, as noted above. 4.4.5 Farewells ..V.V The "farewells" (also c a l l e d "the terminal exchange" by Bardovi-Harlig, Hartford, Mahan-Taylor, & Reynolds, 1991) refer to the expressions that actually terminate, the interaction, such as i n Excerpt 18: Excerpt 18 (from JE/AE V i s i t 4) Host 1: Okay, well, we'll see you l a t e r . Hope you can f i n d your way back... Okay, bye. ' -Host 2: Host 1; Host 2: Okay,: have a good evening. Stay warm! Okay, good night. Guests: Goodnight. Bye. This f i n a l part of t h i s closing segment i s usually si g n a l l e d by an expression such as "okay, well" or " a l r i g h t , well" (part of the "preclosing" i n Bardovi-Harlig et a l . ' s terms) as i n Excerpt 19: Excerpt 19 (from AE/AE V i s i t 1) Host 1: Alrighty, well, we'll see you guys l a t e r . Guest 1: Nice meeting you. Host 2: Thanks for coming over. Guest 1: Thanks for having us. Bye. Guest 2: Bye. Host 1: See ya. Guest 1: See ya l a t e r . As shown i n Excerpt 19, routines such as "nice meeting you" and expressions of gratitude were often repeated as the guests were walking out the door. In three out of the f i v e AE/AE v i s i t s , humorous comments were made, and .there was considerable laughter observed as the farewells were exchanged. This phenomenon was not observed i n the JE/AE v i s i t s . Transcribing t h i s section was d i f f i c u l t because the angle of the video camera did not always make i t easy to t e l l which participant was speaking when the guests were at the door. From what was transcribed, the hosts did most of the t a l k i n g , and the Japanese ESL students did not say much more than "bye" i n most of the JE/AE v i s i t s , as was evident i n Excerpt 18. Excerpt 20 gives an example of a Japanese native speaker farewell exchange: Excerpt 20 (from JJ / J J V i s i t 1) Host 1: Ki wo tsukeie. [Be careful.] Guest 1: Shitsurei shimasu. [Goodbye.] Guest 2: Ojamashimashita. [Sorry to have disturbed you.] Host 2: Ja mata kondo. [Well, (see you) again next time.] Japanese seems to have a number of routines for farewell exchanges that are used almost automatically. In only one of the six v i s i t s was another topic of conversation brought up as the guests were leaving. In one of the J J J / J J J v i s i t s , v i r t u a l l y no farewell exchanges were evident other than the host's Sore de wa, nochi hodo [Well, see you soon.] 4.4.6 Summary To the observer's eye, some of the farewells, such as the one just mentioned, seemed somewhat hurried. These b r i e f farewell exchanges may have been influenced by the fact that both hosts and guests knew that" follow and that t h i s was not a r e a l goodbye. This was a flaw i n the design of the study that detracted from the naturalness of the s i t u a t i o n and could be r e c t i f i e d i f t h i s study "were to be replicated. Nevertheless, despite the one.drawback mentioned above, the analysis of the closing segment of the interactions has provided a r i c h source of data on how native speakers of English close an i n t e r a c t i o n i n the context of v i s i t i n g someone1s home for the f i r s t time and i n what areas Japanese ESL students would benefit from some t r a i n i n g and practice. As mentioned i n Chapter 2, Bardovi-Harlig et a l . (1991) .found few current ESL textbooks that consistently gave examples of complete closings, and learners cannot always r e l y on t h e i r pragmatic knowledge of closings i n t h e i r f i r s t language and culture. The data from the present study could be used to augment such ESL materials on t h i s very involved speech event of closing a conversation. 4.5 Conclusion This chapter has highlighted the "major res u l t s pertaining to the f i r s t two research questions. Comparing the interactions c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y has revealed a number of s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences i n the way Americans and Japanese interact when v i s i t i n g someone's home for the f i r s t time. Examining each speech act i n the various segments of the i n t e r a c t i o n revealed a number of areas i n which the Japanese ESL students could benefit from further t r a i n i n g and practice. We now turn to the re s u l t s of the second two research questions which focus on the pedagogical aspects of the project. 99 Chapter 5 Results (Part II) The research questions to be addressed here are related to the pedagogical aspects of the project: (2a) How well do Japanese ESL students learn cross—cultural pragmatics by doing t h e i r own ethnographic research? What are the problematics and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of such an approach?; and (2b) How might s p e c i f i c pragmatic t r a i n i n g i n the classroom have enhanced the learning process of Japanese ESL students? How e f f e c t i v e would the textbook have been i n preparing them for t h e i r v i s i t ? Three sets of data were examined i n order to assess the pedagogical findings of the project: the f i n a l reports handed i n by the students which included the students' edited t r a n s c r i p t s of t h e i r v i s i t s and tables showing cross - c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences; the pretest and posttest role plays performed i n class; and the questionnaires f i l l e d out by the students at the end of the project. 5.1 The Project Assessed Pedagogically: F i n a l Reports F i r s t , the f i n a l reports (see Appendix I) submitted by Class A were examined. The students did not make as many changes on t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t s as expected, which could be a r e f l e c t i o n of the lack of time or motivation to work on i t or uncertainty as to what was expected of them. However, the changes that they did make showed that most of the students had learned something about the pragmatics of s o c i a l v i s i t s . Some notable changes made were: 1. In the h o s p i t a l i t y segment, some students changed "I want Chapter 5 Results (Part II) The research questions to be addressed here are related to the pedagogical aspects of the project: (2a) How well do Japanese ESL students learn cross-cultural pragmatics by doing t h e i r own ethnographic research? What a i r e - t h e problematics and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of such an approach?; and (2b) How might s p e c i f i c pragmatic t r a i n i n g i n the classroom have enhanced the learning process of Japanese ESL students? How e f f e c t i v e would the textbook have been i n preparing them for t h e i r v i s i t ? Three sets of data were examined i n order to assess the pedagogical findings of the project: the f i n a l reports handed i n by the students which included the students' edited t r a n s c r i p t s of t h e i r v i s i t s and tables showing cross - c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences; the pretest and posttest r o l e plays performed i n class; and the questionnaires f i l l e d out by the students at the end of the project. 5.1 The Project Assessed Pedagogically: F i n a l Reports F i r s t , the f i n a l reports (see Appendix I) submitted by Class A were examined. The students did not make as many changes on t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t s as expected, which could be a r e f l e c t i o n of the lack of time or motivation to work on i t or uncertainty as to what was expected of them. However, the changes that they did make showed that most of the students had learned something about the pragmatics of s o c i a l v i s i t s . Some notable changes made were: 1. In the h o s p i t a l i t y segment, some students changed "I want 100 tea, okay?" to the more na t i v e - l i k e "Tea sounds good." 2 . In the small t a l k segment,, they added more information to t h e i r one-word answers and thought of questions to ask t h e i r host: e.g. Host: Do you l i k e (name of college)? Guest: Yes. To t h e i r one-word response the students added: "I think (name of college) i s a good place. How about you?" 3 . In the closing segment, they changed their.excuses to leave from "I have to go back" to "We should probably get going" or "Well, we better go." 4 . Rather than simply., saying "thank you" and "bye" at the end, some of the students added expressions l i k e "Thanks for having us," "Thanks for the cookies," and "It was good meeting you." One out of the f i v e groups did not appear to understand the process expected of them and made grammatical changes or cleared up misunderstandings such as answering negative questions i n c o r r e c t l y , and so on, rather than rephrasing or adding speech acts. A l l the groups f i l l e d out the table comparing the two cultures (see Appendix I) and seemed to be quite aware of the s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences between the way Americans i n t e r a c t with each other during s o c i a l v i s i t s and the way Japanese 101 Table 5 .1 Results of the Students' Cross-cultural Comparison American V i s i t s Japanese V i s i t s Same or d i f f e r e n t — how? 1. Guests sometimes take t h e i r shoes o f f (esp. when i t . rain s ) , but usually not. Different — i n Japan guests always take t h e i r shoes o f f when they enter. 2. Both hosts usually go to answer the door and welcome guests. Same •— a l l 5 groups, but one group added that sometimes only one host does 3. Hosts usually open g i f t s i n front of guests and say how much they l i k e the g i f t . Different — a l l 5 groups said that hosts do not open g i f t s i n front of guests 4. In interviews, guests said, they don't usually bring a g i f t for such a short, v i s i t . '_ Different ~ 3 groups said i n Japan they would bring a g i f t S ame— 2 groups 5. Hosts usually give guests a choice of what to drink and guests say what they'd l i k e . Different — a l l 5 groups said i n Japan hosts decide what to offer—^usually green tea 6. Hosts sometimes just put the food on the table and l e t the guests help themselves. Same — 3 groups Different — 2 groups said hosts o f f e r the food to guests 7. Hosts and guests often make lo t s of compliments to each other. Different — 2 groups Same — 2 groups B l a n k — 1 group 8. Hosts and guests both sta r t the conversation by asking each other questions. Everyone pa r t i c i p a t e s . Same — 4 groups Blank — 1 group 9. The conversation i s kept going by making responses and asking more questions about the same topic etc. Same -— 3 groups Different — 1 group said "conversation not kept going" Blank — 1 group 10. Guests use various expressions to say they should go. Different — 3 groups said a few set expressions are used Same — 2 groups 11. Hosts and guests both thank each other s p e c i f i c a l l y for coming, for the g i f t etc. Same — a l l 5 groups, but they might not have understood the word " s p e c i f i c a l l y " 12. Hosts and guests use casual expressions ("you guys") and joke a l o t even i f they met for the f i r s t time. Different — a l l 5 groups said Japanese don't use casual expressions and jokes when meeting for the f i r s t time 102 in t e r a c t . For f i v e of the items i n the table, a l l f i v e groups' answers were i d e n t i c a l , but f o r the remaining items there was some disagreement across groups. Table 5.1 shows the results of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r exercise. The answer to the f i r s t item was already given to the students as an example. One concern with t h i s exercise was that i t i s not ce r t a i n whether the students were basing t h e i r answers on the data they had been working with or t h e i r own i n t u i t i o n . Another concern i s that the table tends to stereotype, and i f there had been more time i t would have been b e n e f i c i a l to discuss i n d i v i d u a l preferences according to s i t u a t i o n , status, family background, and so on. Despite these l i m i t a t i o n s , the table was a helpful exercise for focussing students' attention on cross-c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences. -None of the groups added t h e i r own observations i n the two blanks provided at the bottom of the o r i g i n a l table.. It i s not known how many of the 12 items of comparison the.students would have, come up with on t h e i r own i f they had not been provided. 5.2 The Project Assessed Pedagogically: Role Plays The pretest and posttest role plays were not very helpful as data because students switched roles making i t hard to compare. In addition, some of the students did not take the role plays very seriously and were obviously hamming i t up for the enjoyment of t h e i r peers. This confirms Aston's (1995) suspicion that role plays are not necessarily r e f l e c t i v e of natural speech: "...the relevant concerns may be the putting on of a performance which i s entertaining for actors and observers a l i k e , giving r i s e 103 to the overacting, laughter, and distancing from role which t y p i f y much role-played inte r a c t i o n " (p.64). However, i n the posttest role plays, some of the students were observed using new expressions they had learned such as: "Tea sounds good" or "Thanks for having us, 1 1 and so on, demonstrating that they had learned something through p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h i s project. 5.3 The Project Assessed Pedagogically: Questionnaire The questionnaire (see Appendix J) tended to e l i c i t vague answers to the question: "What did you learn or gain from p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h i s project?" Most of the students answered something to the ef f e c t of "difference between American and Japanese culture or v i s i t i n g " and did not elaborate. What they said they found d i f f i c u l t about the project was, almost without exception, communicating during t h e i r s o c i a l v i s i t . F i n a l l y , suggestions for future research projects included: not repeating s i m i l a r class a c t i v i t i e s over and over again (this was probably a reference to the tedious task of transcribing), scheduling v i s i t s e a r l i e r , making sure Japanese hosts and guests did not know each other i n the JJ / J J v i s i t s , making the project shorter, and learning American customs before the v i s i t . The l a s t suggestion mentioned has p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e and warrants further comment here. The purpose for the pedagogical aspect of the project was to see what the students could learn by c o l l e c t i n g and analyzing the data themselves as opposed to the instr u c t o r using a textbook to provide them with the language and knowledge about pragmatics beforehand and giving them a chance practice. In some respects, the project was not as 104 e f f e c t i v e as anticipated for t h i s p a r t i c u l a r group of Japanese ESL students at t h e i r intermediate l e v e l of proficiency. One problem was that the project took longer than anticipated, and the students began to lose i n t e r e s t . It would have been even longer i f the students had been expected to do more of the work themselves. As i t was, the researcher was overburdened with having to arrange the v i s i t s , doing the transcribing and typing, making handouts for the students, and so on. It was hardly a teaching tool that instructors would be encouraged to use on an ongoing basis. What could have been done- d i f f e r e n t l y ? The i n s t r u c t o r of the course suggested that we should have made the project part of the students' grade,, but the required wording of the consent forms made that impossible. Instead/ i f the students had a second v i s i t to look forward to they might have been motivated to learn more. As we saw with Wes (Schmidt, 1983), motivation appears to be highly f a c i l i t a t i v e for developing pragmatic competence. However, for t h i s p a r t i c u l a r proficiency l e v e l , using the textbook to give students some idea of the language and customs to expect and giving them the chance to practice before t h e i r v i s i t s might have been more e f f e c t i v e than sending them out as ethnographers with no i n s t r u c t i o n i n pragmatics beforehand. 5.4 The Textbook Evaluated The language provided i n textbooks i s not always r e f l e c t i v e of natural speech, however. In analyzing the textbook (Skillman & McMahill, 1990) for t h i s course on Functions in American English and comparing the language and other information provided • : 1 0 5 with the data from the present study, a number of inadequacies were found i n the text. In the opening segment, no examples of compliments other than the hosts 1 compliments about the g i f t were given i n the textbook. The data from the present study, l i k e data from many other studies (Wolfson, 1989b; Holmes & Brown, 1987) , show the important role that compliments play i n English as a s o c i a l lubricant. Compliments are covered i n another chapter i n the textbook, but are noticeably absent i n the chapter on Visiting People's Homes. Also, i n the section on giving and receiving g i f t s , the probes or prompts that the giver sometimes uses to see how well the recipient appreciates the g i f t found i n the present study and others (Eisenstein & Bodman, 1993) are also absent from the textbook, other than expressions such as "I'm glad you l i k e i t . " A h o s p i t a l i t y segment including language and customs for o f f e r i n g and accepting food or drink i s not included, and thus the textbook would not have prepared the students for t h i s aspect of t h e i r v i s i t . S i m i l a r l y , there i s no small t a l k segment i n the textbook, although t h i s i s found i n a previous chapter which the students had already covered. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that t h i s previous chapter .'.did: not adequate prepare students for making conversation with t h e i r hosts i n re a l i n t e r a c t i o n , but i t i s unclear why not. Perhaps i t can be explained, as i n House ( 1996-), as being due to the students' "control of processing" (Bialystok, 1993) not functioning well enough (see section 2.2.3 i n the present study). F i n a l l y , i n the closing segment, the textbook suggests that 106 when guests make an excuse to leave that hosts might say among other things: "Oh, what a shame" or "Oh, that's too bad." (Skillman & McMahill, 1990, p. 77), but i n a l l of the data c o l l e c t e d i n the current study hosts said simply "Oh, okay" when guests said they had to leave. Also, i n three out of the f i v e AE/AE v i s i t s i n the current study, guests used the expression "Thanks for having us" i n response to t h e i r host's expression "Thanks for coming over." Although a number of possible expressions of thanks are provided i n the textbook, t h i s p a r t i c u l a r one i s missing and would be an important addition. The data from the present study i s limited to university students and may not be r e f l e c t i v e of language use for people i n other age groups or other walks of l i f e , but as other studies have also shown (Bardovi-Harlig, Hartford, Mahan-Taylor, and Reynolds, 1991), these examples i l l u s t r a t e the inadequacy of cer t a i n ESL textbooks and the importance of speech act studies of t h i s kind for obtaining more authentic data (Cohen, 1996) . 5.5 Conclusion As we saw i n Chapter Two, a number of researchers have made the suggestion that students be given the task of c o l l e c t i n g and analyzing data on pragmatics for themselves (Holmes & Brown, 1987; Bardovi-Harlig, Hartford, Mahan-Taylor, & Reynolds, 1991). This approach may be more successful with very advanced students, although many of these students are no longer attending ESL classes. This project has shown that ESL students at an intermediate l e v e l of proficiency who are i n the target speaking country for a very short time would not learn a great deal i f they had to c o l l e c t and analyze a l l the data for themselves i n order to learn about language or c u l t u r e — t h a t i s , unless they were highly motivated, were w i l l i n g to devote a considerable amount of time to being an ethnographer while they were here, and had instructors w i l l i n g to spend many hours helping them out. It would be b e n e f i c i a l to add c u l t u r a l experiences such as actually v i s i t i n g an American home to the ex i s t i n g curriculum. Also, as was demonstrated by t h i s project, videotaping the v i s i t and having the students view the' video l a t e r can be a helpful exercise. However, the researcher would not suggest revamping the entire Functions of American English course or removing the textbook altogether. The textbook needs to be evaluated i n l i g h t of current research on speech acts, but despite the li m i t a t i o n s mentioned above, i t s t i l l has i t s place as a tool i n the classroom for learning pragmatics. In conclusion, we have seen that ESL students can learn something about pragmatics by being t h e i r own ethnographers, but at c e r t a i n proficiency "levels they need a considerable amount of guidance and assistance i n order to do t h i s . As Schmidt (1993) has observed: "Explicit.teacher about the pragmatics of the second language can also play a role i n learning, provided that i t i s accurate and not based s o l e l y on f a l l i b l e native speaker i n t u i t i o n s " (p. 36). It appears that learners need: (1) to have the textbook supplemented with authentic cro s s - c u l t u r a l material based on data from speech act studies of t h i s kind; (2) to put t h e i r knowledge into practice i n rea l l i f e interactions;: and (3) to then be given the opportunity to r e f l e c t on t h e i r experience under the guidance of the i n s t r u c t o r . The results reported i n t h i s chapter have shown the important role that ethnographic techniques, combined with i n s t r u c t i o n , can play i n the development of a learner's pragmatic competence. The concluding chapter w i l l c r i t i q u e the methodology of the present study and provide suggestions for future research. 109 Chapter 6 Summary and Conclusion The t h i r d and f i n a l set of research questions w i l l be addressed i n t h i s chapter: (3a) What are the advantages and disadvantages of .collecting speech act data by videotaping semi-structured interactions i n a natural s e t t i n g and by conducting retrospective group interviews?; and (3b) How might research methods i n interlanguage pragmatic studies of t h i s kind be improved upon? . -F i r s t , a summary w i l l be made of how the project was ca r r i e d out. This w i l l be followed by a.second section discussing advantages of the data c o l l e c t i o n methods employed and implications of the r e s u l t s . In the t h i r d section, l i m i t a t i o n s of the project and disadvantages of the data c o l l e c t i o n methods w i l l be discussed i n order to determine what could have been done d i f f e r e n t l y . The f i n a l section w i l l discuss what questions were l e f t unanswered and give suggestions for future research. 6.1 Summary of the Project As outlined i n Chapter One, the purpose of t h i s project was to compare c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y the interactions of Japanese ESL students v i s i t i n g Americans i n t h e i r homes (JE/AE), Americans v i s i t i n g fellow Americans (AE/AE), and Japanese v i s i t i n g fellow Japanese i n America (JJ/JJ) and i n Japan (JJJ / J J J ) . Chapter Two provided the the o r e t i c a l background for the study and reviewed related studies with an emphasis on the rationale for the chosen methodology and focus of each study. 110 Details of the data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis procedures chosen for the present study were given i n Chapter Three. The goal was to examine speech acts i n t h e i r f u l l discourse context i n as natural a s i t u a t i o n as possible. However, guidelines were given to hosts and guests so as to provide some structure for making comparisons.across v i s i t s . The v i s i t s were videotaped and recorded on cassette tape. After each v i s i t , a group interview of hosts and guests Was conducted following an interview schedule. The Japanese ESL students were involved as t h e i r own ethnographers i n the data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis. The students spent ten days i n class analyzing the data under the guidance of the researcher. Videos were transcribed. Students' attention was drawn to observe differences between t h e i r interactions with Americans (JE/AE) and the interactions between native speakers (AE/AE and JJ/JJ) i n terms of the following speech acts: greetings and introductions, giving and receiving g i f t s , compliments, o f f e r i n g and accepting food and beverages, s t a r t i n g a conversation and keeping i t going, making an excuse to leave, expressing- gratitude, and so on. They were asked to make corrections, on the. tr a n s c r i p t s of t h e i r v i s i t and to f i l l out a form about cross-cultural s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences based on what they observed. These re s u l t s were reported i n Chapter Five (Research questions 2a and 2b). Long a f t e r the pedagogical aspects of the project were over, the researcher continued to work with the data, analyzing the same speech acts i n the context of v i s i t i n g someone's home for the f i r s t time to see what cross-cultural s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences were evident and to determine i n what areas the I l l Japanese ESL students could use further t r a i n i n g and practice (Research questions l a and l b ) . These re s u l t s were reported i n Chapter Four and w i l l be summarized i n the section to follow. F i n a l l y , the methodology of the present study was cri t i q u e d , and advantages and disadvantages of the data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis procedures were assessed. In addition, questions l e f t unanswered by the study were also determined i n order to obtain d i r e c t i o n f o r future research endeavours (Research questions 3a and 3b). Reflections on these topics make up t h i s f i n a l and concluding chapter. 6.2 Implications: Advantages of the Methodology A number of advantages that the data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis procedures of the present study have over other methodologies were pointed out i n Chapters One and Two, but these should be discussed again i n retrospect. ' 6.2.1 Advantages Over Other Methods Being able to examine the speech acts i n t h e i r f u l l discourse context was one advantage the present study had over numerous speech act studies that have made use of a Discourse Completion Test (DCT) (see section 2.2.1.1). This advantage was esp e c i a l l y evident when analyzing sequences such as the giving and receiving of the g i f t where the giver was seen to collaborate with the recipient i n the speech act of expressing of gratitude (see also Eisenstein & Bodman, 1993). Context also allowed the researcher to determine what components are generally included i n cer t a i n speech events, such as i n the h o s p i t a l i t y segment and the 112 c l o s i n g segment. Another advantage of the methodology was that i t was a natural s i t u a t i o n rather than a role play where participants are sometimes forced to play unfamiliar roles. In the present study participants were able to be themselves—college students who were either hosts or guests i n a si t u a t i o n which they were, for the most part, f a m i l i a r with. One Japanese participant said i n the interview that his family rarely, i f ever, entertained at home because his house i s too small, but most of the other participants had experienced being hosts or guests i n a home v i s i t s i t u a t i o n . In the interview, one pair of American participants said that the situ a t i o n was p a r t i c u l a r l y f a m i l i a r for them because they had l i v e d i n the dorms on the college campus where i t was quite common" for roommates to v i s i t another pa i r of roommates who have just moved i n . Some studies make use of natural data c o l l e c t e d i n the f i e l d by observation, but the data are often not comparable i n terms of the r e l a t i v e s o c i a l status of .'the i n t e r l o c u t o r s and the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n , and so on:. It was thought that the guidelines provided for hosts and;guests would provide the: structure necessary to allow comparability between interactions. However, the guidelines may not have been necessary: The participants were a l l college-aged students who were v i s i t i n g one another for the f i r s t time, and t h i s s i t u a t i o n would have made the data comparable without providing more detailed guidelines. This point w i l l be elaborated on i n the next section on l i m i t a t i o n s . Videotaping rather than only tape recording the i n t e r a c t i o n was another advantage not only making i t possible to sort out who said what for most of the exchange:, but also allowing the observation of certain d e t a i l s such as: removing of shoes, handshaking or bowing, whether a g i f t was wrapped or not, whether guests helped themselves to food or not, nodding, glances during pauses, and so on. Tape recording the int e r a c t i o n , i n addition to videotaping, was advantageous i n that i t provided a much more d i s t i n c t sound when the audio portion of the video was unclear. Interviewing participants provided some insights that would not otherwise have been available concerning such points as: whether g i f t s are normally opened i n front of the host or not (or i f a g i f t would have been brought at a l l ) , how making conversation went for the participants, how f a m i l i a r they were with the s i t u a t i o n , how conscious they were of the video camera, and so on. The next section w i l l cover some improvements i n technique that might have made the interviews even more e f f e c t i v e as a research t o o l . Involving the Japanese ESL students i n the data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis procedures allowed pedagogical implications to be tested out rather than just suggested as i n numerous other studies. By being t h e i r own ethnographers, students at an intermediate l e v e l of.proficiency were able to learn something about the pragmatics of a s o c i a l v i s i t and about c r o s s - c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences, but not.without considerable guidance and assistance. 6.2.2 Implications of the Results A more detailed analysis by the researcher revealed a r i c h data source from which valuable information was gleaned on 114 p a r t i c u l a r areas i n which .Japanese ESL students should receive further t r a i n i n g and practice and on cr o s s - c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences.; Table 6.1 summarizes the areas i n each segment and speech act where t r a i n i n g and practice should be recommended. As Cohen (1996) suggested (see section 2.1.2), t h i s information could then be used to supplement already e x i s t i n g language materials i n order to provide a more accurate and relevant source of input that would benefit t h i s p a r t i c u l a r group of students and "teach to the gaps" i n t h e i r knowledge of the pragmatics of a s o c i a l v i s i t . In addition, an awareness of c u l t u r a l differences beyond the language points already noted would prepare students for future v i s i t s to American homes. A number of Japanese social.customs were observed i n the present study that d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from American customs and would make suitable material for class discussion. For example, from the opening segment, i t i s a well-known fact that i n Japan people always take t h e i r shoes off at the door. However, the students may not be aware that some Americans do the same espe c i a l l y when.it.is wet out and that, when i n doubt, i t might be best to ask before entering. Japanese people introduce: themselves by t h e i r l a s t name (and sometimes f i r s t name, as we l l ) . Americans (at least college-aged students i n casual situations) introduce themselves by t h e i r f i r s t names. Most Japanese ESL students already know t h i s , but they may need to be reminded to say t h e i r name slowly and c l e a r l y . In Japan, i t i s customary to bow when introductions are made.- In America,, handshaking does not always occur, but when i t does, students may need to be reminded to shake hands firmly. 115 Table 6.1 Areas for Further Training and Practice Speech Act Areas for Training and Practice Opening Segment: 1. Greetings and • introductions -saying "I'm ~." or "My name's ~." .instead of "My name i s ~." -pronouncing name c l e a r l y 2. G i f t giving and _ collaborating i n expressing gratitude -saying "We brought you a l i t t l e g i f t . " instead of "This i s present for you." and using probes to see how well the recipient l i k e s the g i f t 3. Compliments -using more compliments at the beginning of the in t e r a c t i o n H o s p i t a l i t y Segment: 1. Responding to o f f e r : . of beverages -responding with "Oh, juice sounds good." instead of just "Oh, ju i c e . " 2. Helping oneself to food - f e e l i n g freer to help oneself i n appropriate contexts Small Talk Segment: 1. Responding to topics i n i t i a t e d by . ; host -responding with more than one-word answers to keep the conversation going 2. Asking guestions to develop or i n i t i a t e topics -asking good questions and expanding on what i s heard 3. Making verbal responses -responding with more than a nod or a monosyllabic response 4. Negotiating for meaning -not assuming, or pretending they understand (clearing things up) Closing Segment: 1. Leave-taking -saying "Well, we should probably go."• instead of "I have to go back." 2. Preclosing routines and responses -responding "It was good meeting you, too." to "It was good to meet you." 3. Mutual expressions of gratitude -taking i n i t i a t i v e & being s p e c i f i c -responding, with "You're welcome" or a return expression of thanks 4. Indefinite suggestions to meet -saying "We'll have to get together and watch, a movie or something. " 5. Farewells -repeating routines and expressions of gratitude, and using humour Guests i n Japan are usually seated on the f l o o r (or on cushions on the floor) when the room has tatami mats. In America, guests are usually seated on comfortable chairs or sofas. Again, the students should be aware of t h i s , but should be encouraged to s i t back i n the chair and t r y to be a l i t t l e more relaxed. In Japan, g i f t s brought to the. host are not usually opened in front of the guest unless i t i s food to share during the v i s i t . In America, the g i f t i s usually opened, and the host and guest collaborate i n expressing thanks. Saying "sorry" or expressing shame instead of gratitude i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n might happen i n Japan, but i t i s not something that would l i k e l y occur i n America. In America, compliments would be made about the g i f t to ensure the giver that i t i s well received. As far as the h o s p i t a l i t y segment goes, i n Japan, the host decides on a beverage (often Japanese tea) and serves i t to the guest(s). In America,, usually a l i s t of beverages to choose from i s given (including coffee or tea v juice or soda, milk or water, and, i n some homes, a variety of alcoholic beverages depending on the time of the v i s i t ) . Guests are expected to choose what they would l i k e to drink and can ask questions i f they are uncertain about what the host i s o f f e r i n g . Hosts i n Japan may have to o f f e r food to a guest more than once before a guest w i l l reach out and take something. Guests i n America sometimes wait to be offered, but may help themselves to food that i s put i n front of them. If a Japanese guest hesitates to accept food that i s offered the f i r s t time, the o f f e r may be repeated, but i n some cases the American host might not make a 117 second o f f e r . American guests tend to state the f i r s t time whether they want something, or not. . Cultural differences i n the small t a l k segment and the cl o s i n g segment are almost a l l related to language use, and these points have already been covered i n Table 6.1. It should be noted that many of the points summarized i n t h i s section regarding c r o s s - c u l t u r a l differences i n the pragmatics of language use and customs may not always hold true where diverse circumstances, d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l status and background, or other variables might have led to very d i f f e r e n t r e s u l t s than those recorded here. -6.2.3 Summary As has been seen i n t h i s section, videotaping semistructured interactions i n a natural s i t u a t i o n and conducting retrospective interviews has provided a r i c h data source which could benefit both language learners arid instructors, as well as providing a s t a r t i n g point for further research. In the following section, consideration w i l l be given to what"could have been done d i f f e r e n t l y , arid l i m i t a t i o n s and disadvantages of the methodology w i l l be discussed with the purpose of making future research endeavours even more successful. 6 . 3 Limitations: Disadvantages of the Methodology This section w i l l present l i m i t a t i o n s of the present study and disadvantages of the methodology i n regard to: (1) the structuring of the s i t u a t i o n , (2) the videotaping of the interactions, and 3. the interviewing of the participants. As 118 far as the pedagogical aspects of the project were concerned, r e f l e c t i o n s on what could have been done d i f f e r e n t l y were already covered i n Chapter Five and w i l l not be repeated here. 6.3.1 Structuring the Situation As mentioned i n the previous.section and i n Chapter Four, the structuring of the si t u a t i o n , which was expected to be a strength i n the project design, turned out to be a weakness. The purpose for providing guidelines for the hosts and guests (see Appendix D) was to allow for comparability across interactions. For example, the researcher wanted to compare the speech acts such as expressing gratitude that would accompany the giving and receiving of a g i f t , so the guests were instructed to bring one. However, as mentioned i n section 4.1.2, the very fact that the guests were t o l d to bring a g i f t and that some of the hosts knew to expect one may have,affected the spontaneity of some of the language surrounding that event. In addition, we do not know for cert a i n whether or not the guests would have brought a g i f t i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n . In interviews, some of the- American participants said that t h e i r families always took gifts.when they v i s i t e d someone's home and that they would do the same, especially when they were v i s i t i n g new neighbours for the f i r s t time. Two of the participants said they would not bring a g i f t when the v i s i t was between college students, and they f e l t strange being asked to do so. Most of the female Japanese participants said that they would probably bring a g i f t e s p e c i a l l y i f they were meeting someone for the f i r s t time or a f t e r not seeing each other for a long time. One 119 male Japanese participant said he does not always bring a g i f t and, i n fact, two male guests i n the JJJ/ J J J v i s i t s did not bring a g i f t despite the request i n the guidelines to do so. Hosts, on the, other hand, were requested i n the guidelines to provide food and drink for t h e i r guests. Again, i t would have been i n t e r e s t i n g to see what would or would not have been provided had t h i s not been one of the guidelines. Considering ' the importance that o f f e r i n g food and beverages has i n a s o c i a l v i s i t (see section 4.2.3), i t i s l i k e l y that the hosts would have provided them regardless of the request to do so. One way to correct•the problem with structuring might be to change the wording of the guidelines;in the following way: "If you would normally do so, bring a small g i f t for your hosts." or "If you would normally do so, f e e l free to provide food and beverages for your guests."; This might prevent participants from f a i l i n g to do these things just because they knew the s i t u a t i o n was set up as a research project, but i t would also give them the option of not giving a g i f t or serving food and beverages i f i t did not come naturally. As mentioned i n section 4.4.6, the closing segment was another part of the interaction that may have been affected by the structuring of the si t u a t i o n . Both hosts and guest were t o l d that the guests should take" the i n i t i a t i v e to leave af t e r 20-25 minutes of chatting and that the guests would be c a l l e d back i n soon a f t e r for the retrospective group interviews. Some seemingly abrupt farewell exchanges may have only been b r i e f because a l l concerned knew that i t was not a f i n a l farewell. In fact, the researcher observed American participants - • . • 120 exchanging phone numbers, Japanese participants asking t h e i r hosts i f they could take a photo, and so on", a f t e r the interviews when the actual farewells were taking place. It might have been a good idea to turn the video camera back on at that time. Better s t i l l , interviews should have been scheduled for a d i f f e r e n t time and done, separately so that hosts and guests did not think they would see each other again so soon. Ultimately, i t .would have been id e a l to observe unstructured v i s i t s that were not arranged by the researcher, but i t would have been d i f f i c u l t to o b t a i n . s u f f i c i e n t c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y comparable data i f t h i s were the case. In order to make i t as natural a s i t u a t i o n as possible, i t would have been better i f fewer guidelines were provided. As mentioned above i n section 6.2, the participants were a l l students i n the same age group and s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n , and t h i s alone may have provided a l l that was necessary for the interactions to be comparable c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y . 6.3.2 Videotaping the Interactions For reasons described i n section 6.2, i t was d e f i n i t e l y an advantage to videotape the interactions, as opposed to merely tape recording them,-and t h i s technique i s highly recommended for subsequent studies of t h i s kind. However, there are a number of l i m i t a t i o n s that could be addressed here. As far as the obtrusiveness.of t h i s technique goes, i n interviews, most.participants said that they were not very conscious of the camera during the v i s i t and, even i f they were aware of i t , they did not think i t affected what they did or said very much. Many of these participants said they were used to \ - - " 121 being videotaped at family gatherings or i n class. Some participants were more aware of the camera simply because they were seated facing i t and could see the red l i g h t flashing. Some of the Japanese participants said i t made them nervous, but that they were nervous i n any case because of meeting Americans i n t h e i r home for the f i r s t time. One participant said she was concerned about the camera picking up a l l her nervous habits, but that i t did not a f f e c t the conversation at a l l . Another participant said that being recorded made them think there was a constant need for conversation: "We f e l t l i k e we had to f i l l the pauses and keep the conversation going for the video or tape recorder. We could have been watching a game on T.V., just relaxed and not said anything" (from AE/AE Interview 5). S t i l l another participant said that she was t r y i n g to be careful not to tal k about people behind t h e i r backs, and s i m i l a r l y , another participant said that she t r i e d to avoid swearing, ta l k i n g about "guy topics", or gossiping. The AE/AE v i s i t s seemed quite casual as they were, but one female participant mentioned that without the video camera the v i s i t would have been "a l i t t l e less formal." She said they probably would have met the new pair of roommates i n the parking l o t and, i f in v i t e d over, they would have gone over to t h e i r new neighbours' apartment i n t h e i r sweat pants. For the video camera, they said they t r i e d to go "middle ground": "We didn't want to wear dresses, but we did change out of our sweats" (AE/AE Interview 3). It has already been noted i n section 4.1.1 that proxemics 122 such as how far apart the,hosts and guests were seated could not be compared across v i s i t s because the angle of the camera dictated the seating arrangement. In an interview, one host said they d e f i n i t e l y would not have sat so close, e s p e c i a l l y with people they were meeting for the f i r s t time, and d e f i n i t e l y not i f the guests were of the opposite sex. Unfortunately, even with rearranging the seating arrangement, unless a l l four participants could have been put i n a straight l i n e on a couch, which would have been too unnatural, i t was impossible to get a f u l l face view of a l l participants. This made i t very d i f f i c u l t to observe f a c i a l expressions afterwards. As mentioned i n section 2.2.1.2, Houck and Gass (1996) claimed that videotaping interactions allowed them to make note of gestures such as a raised eyebrow, but i n t h i s study such subtle gestures were very d i f f i c u l t to capture on f i l m , both because of the angle of the camera and also because of the poor quality of the equipment. The researcher found i t easier to observe these features i n person. If observation i s impossible, two cameras with better picture quality would have to be used. Of a l l the li m i t a t i o n s noted above, perhaps the most important was the influence the camera had on the flow of the conversation. This could.possibly be r e c t i f i e d i n the guidelines^ by t e l l i n g participants that they were not obligated to turn off the T.V. i f they would normally have i t on, and that they were not required to' t a l k the entire time or f i l l i n pauses for the sake of the camera. Besides t h i s , many of the lim i t a t i o n s discussed, concerning such things as conversation topics avoided, dress, proxemics, and f a c i a l expressions were points not covered i n the analysis and would therefore not have been problematic. Clearly, the advantages of videotaping the interactions far outweigh the disadvantages. 6.3.3 Interviewing the Participants As mentioned . above i n section 6.2, conducting retrospective group interviews provided valuable' information for the analysis of the data and c r i t i q u e of the methodology. The main disadvantage of the interviews was the problem of scheduling group interviews with hosts and guests immediately following the v i s i t s . As observed i n section 6.3.1, t h i s may have affected the clo s i n g segment of the interactions because participants knew that they would have a second opportunity to say goodbye. The problem could have been r e c t i f i e d by f i r s t interviewing the hosts and then the guests at a l a t e r time. Interviewing hosts and guests separately would have been more e f f e c t i v e , e s p e c i a l l y . i n the case of the JE/AE interviews where the Japanese guests said far less than t h e i r American hosts. In some AE/AE interviews, hosts and guests may have actually stimulated each other to provide information that might otherwise not have been offered. However, the interviews for the JE/AE v i s i t s would have been even more informative i f the Japanese guests had been interviewed separately i n t h e i r own language. The researcher chose to do the interviews immediately following the v i s i t s because, as discussed i n section 2.2.1.4, much information can be l o s t i f there i s too much of a time lapse. However, as i n Cohen and Olshtain's ( 1993) study, /-:.'•.' 1 2 4 participants could have been shown the video of t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n to help them r e c a l l t h e i r thought processes (see section 2.2.1.4). Viewing the video together would have also been b e n e f i c i a l for the interviewer, who could then have asked more s p e c i f i c questions about various features of the i n t e r a c t i o n rather than following a fixed set of interview questions. As Boxer (1996) also discovered (see section 2.2.1.4), following a fixed set of interview questions did not lead to uncovering; as much information as a more open-ended interview might have. In one of the JJ/ J J interviews conducted by the students themselves, the interviewer was unaware at f i r s t that there was an interview schedule to follow and asked his own s p e c i f i c questions for the f i r s t half of the interview based on his observation of the int e r a c t i o n . The f i r s t half of the interview proved to be a far more richer source of data, than the second half when the interview schedule was being followed. In retrospect, there were a number of other things that could have been done d i f f e r e n t l y i n order to make the interviews more e f f e c t i v e as an ethnographic t o o l . F i r s t of a l l , Schumacher and McMillan (1993) talk.about the importance of explaining the purpose of the interview to participants i n most studies. The researcher needed to be clear on the purpose herself and then explain the purpose to the participants at the outset of the interview. Secondly, Marshall,and Rossman (1995) claim that "the most important aspect of the interviewer's approach concerns conveying an attitude of acceptance—that the participant's information i s valuable and useful" (p.80). In the t r a n s c r i p t of the interviews 125 for the present study, there were a number of times when the informant's, response was questioned because i t went against c e r t a i n assumptions that the researcher had. Thirdly, these assumptions were also evident i n the kind of probes the researcher sometimes used i n the interview. It has been said that: The key to successful interviewing i s learning how to probe e f f e c t i v e l y — t h a t i s , to stimulate an informant to produce more information, without, i n j e c t i n g yourself so much into the i n t e r a c t i o n that you only get a r e f l e c t i o n of yourself i n the data. (Bernard, 1994, p. 215) ].._.'-An example of poor probing can be seen i n Excerpt 21: Excerpt. 21 (from JE /AE Interview 1) Interviewer: Do you think i t [the camera] affected what you said or did? Guest 1: No. Interviewer: No? Like for example, i f the camera wasn't there do you think you might have spoken more? Did i t make you a l i t t l e b i t shy? Did the camera make you shy? Guest 1: No. Interviewer: No? So no change i f there was no camera? You're not sure? I t 1 s kind of hard to t e l l , r e a l l y , b u t — . . The problem with the probes i n t h i s example i s that they were leading questions. The interviewer did not convey acceptance of the informant's answer and seemed to be tr y i n g to change her mind. F i n a l l y , i t would have been better to space the interviews out more. Bernard (1994) talks about how boredom and fatigue are 126 among the biggest problems facing researchers who use a l o t of semistructured interviewing to generate data. He c i t e s a study-where interviewers were doing two interviews a day over a period of 12 days. The second interview on any given day was shorter, and even the f i r s t interviews grew increasingly shorter during the 12-day period. The present researcher conducted 15 interviews i n a 12-day period. Towards the end, the tr a n s c r i p t s show the interviewer halfheartedly asking some of the questions that had f a i l e d to generate in t e r e s t i n g answers i n previous interviews and shortchanging questions that did have the potential to provide i n t e r e s t i n g data. To sum up, the following changes i n interview technique would be recommended for future studies of t h i s kind: 1. Interview hosts f i r s t and guests separately l a t e r on. 2. Interview Japanese participants i n t h e i r own language. 3. Explain the purpose of the interview to participants. 4. Show the video to refresh participants' memories and to allow the interviewer to ask s p e c i f i c questions. 5. Use an open-ended format, rather than following a fixed set of questions. 6. Convey an attitude of acceptance. 7. Learn how to probe e f f e c t i v e l y without i n j e c t i n g s e l f into the data. 8. Spread the interviews times out so that boredom and fatigue do not set i n . Implementing these changes would make the retrospective interviews more e f f e c t i v e .as an ethnographic tool i n speech act studies of t h i s kind. 127 6.3.4 Summary Limitations i n regards to the structuring of the si t u a t i o n , the videotaping of the interactions, and the interviewing of the participants have been 1presented i n a considerable amount of d e t a i l . The purpose of t h i s section was not to discount i n any way the data or the res u l t s of t h i s study, but to provide stepping stones for generating an even richer source of data i n future speech act studies. The f i n a l section discusses questions that were l e f t unanswered by the present study and gives d i r e c t i o n for further research ; i n the f i e l d . 6.4 Conclusion: Suggestions for Future Research The present study was organized around three sets of research questions pertaining to: (1) the cr o s s - c u l t u r a l comparison of the pragmatics of a s o c i a l v i s i t ; (2) the pedagogical aspects of having students be t h e i r own ethnographers;.and (3) methodological issues i n interlanguage pragmatics. For each set of research questions, re s u l t s were reported i n Chapters Four, Five, and Six respectively. In the process of answering these research questions, additional questions f o r future, research .were also generated, and these w i l l be presented i n this, concluding section. 6.4.1 The Cross-Cultural Pragmatics of a Social V i s i t The f i r s t set of research questions had to do with cross-c u l t u r a l pragmatics: (la) Without s p e c i f i c pragmatic t r a i n i n g i n language and culture, how well do Japanese ESL students inter a c t i n English during a s o c i a l v i s i t i n an American home? How does the production of speech acts (such as. greetings and introductions, g i v i n g " g i f t s , making compliments, accepting the o f f e r of food and beverages, s t a r t i n g a conversation and keeping i t going, making an excuse to leave, and expressing gratitude) by Japanese ESL students compare with the i l l o c u t i o n of the same speech acts by native speakers of English?; and (lb) How does the i n t e r a c t i o n of Japanese ESL students, with Americans compare c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y with the.interaction of native speakers of Japanese during a s o c i a l v i s i t ? Is there any evidence of pragmatic transfer from t h e i r LI coming into play i n the interlanguage of the Japanese ESL students? These questions were the focus of Chapter Four where examining the Japanese ESL students' interlanguage i n comparison with NSs' production of various speech ;acts revealed a number of areas requiring further t r a i n i n g and practice and a number of c r o s s - c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences. Some instances of LI transfer were also observed. For each interaction,. .numerous s p e c i f i c questions about the exchange were generated, many of which were mentioned along with the r e s u l t s . One example was whether the Japanese ESL students' frequent s i l e n t nodding meant they were following the conversation or not. Another was whether the a b i l i t y to make conversation was a c u l t u r a l t r a i t or a matter of personality, and so on. Other questions l e f t for future research revolve around the issue of a c c e p t a b i l i t y . In some speech act studies (such as Eisenstein & Bodman, 1993) ,. native speakers are c a l l e d upon to rate the NNSs1 production of speech acts i n terms of t h e i r a c c e p t a b i l i t y . In the Japanese ESL students?; production of speech acts a number of utterances were found that d i f f e r e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y " from the NSs' production of the same speech acts, but the question i s : to what extent i s i t important to conform pe r f e c t l y to NS standards? In t h i s same, vein, future studies might look at not only the utterance i t s e l f and i t s acceptabilty to NSs i n meaning.and form, but also at the tone of voice i n which i t i s said. Some utterances"might conform to NS standards when analyzed i n a t r a n s c r i p t , but the tone of voice i n which i t i s said might not convey the sense of s i n c e r i t y and warmth that i t should i n order to be considered acceptable. Additional questions concern the issue of the reasons behind some of the differences. For example, when the Japanese ESL students had d i f f i c u l t y expressing -thanks, s p e c i f i c a l l y i n the clo s i n g segment was i t because: (1) they lacked the vocabulary or the pragmatic knowledge to make more s p e c i f i c expressions of gratitude; (2) they had the knowledge; but for lack of control of processing or fear of making a mistake they were not able to process i t quickly enough; or (3) they were transfering s i m i l a r vague expressions of gratitude from t h e i r LI? Understanding the reasons behind some of the differences might lead to more e f f e c t i v e language teaching and learning. Further questions for future research have to do with the variables of age, status, gender, personality, c u l t u r a l background, and so forth. How would the interactions d i f f e r i f hosts or guests were of a d i f f e r e n t age bracket or s o c i a l status from each other? How does the gender makeup of the part i c i p a n t s a f f e c t the interaction? How does personality come into play as 130 far as i n i t i a t i n g conversation goes? How might the interactions d i f f e r i f the ESL students were from a d i f f e r e n t language and c u l t u r a l background? 6.4.2 Students as Ethnographers The second set of research questions were concerned with the pedagogical aspects of the project: (2a) How well do Japanese ESL students learn c r o s s - c u l t u r a l pragmatics by doing t h e i r own ethnographic research?.. What are the problematics and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of such an approach? and (2b) How might s p e c i f i c pragmatic t r a i n i n g i n the classroom have enhanced the learning process of Japanese ESL students? How e f f e c t i v e would the textbook have been i n preparing them for t h e i r v i s i t ? These questions were the focus of Chapter Five where the students' reports, role.plays, and questionnaires were examined i n order to assess the project pedagogically. ESL students at an intermediate l e v e l of proficiency were able to learn something about the cros s - c u l t u r a l pragmatics of a s o c i a l v i s i t by being t h e i r own ethnographers, but not without considerable guidance and assistance. They might have benefitted from pragmatic t r a i n i n g i n the classroom before t h e i r v i s i t , but the textbook was found to be inadequate as a source of authentic input. Longitudinal studies on the role of i n s t r u c t i o n i n learning pragmatics are c e r t a i n l y c a l l e d for. Would the students notice more on t h e i r own as ethnographers i f they were given the chance to repeat the process a number of times for d i f f e r e n t speech events u n t i l they became more s k i l l e d at the techniques? How well would a si m i l a r group of students learn the pragmatics of 131 speech events i f speech act.data, such as the data from the present study, were f i r s t used to teach to the gaps i n t h e i r knowledge before they experienced the event firsthand? Other pedagogical .questions that could be raised concern the students themselves rather than the process. How well would students from a more advanced proficiency l e v e l learn cross-c u l t u r a l pragmatics by being t h e i r own ethnographers i n a project simitar to t h i s one? How does motivation come into play? If the same group of ESL students i n t h i s study had a second s o c i a l v i s i t to look forward to or, for some other reason, were more motivated to learn, would they, have-put more e f f o r t into working with the data and have learned more? Further questions for-subsequent studies have to do with the teaching of culture i n the language classroom. Considering the wide variety of ind i v i d u a l preferences according to the sit u a t i o n , status, and family background, how can stereotypes be avoided when bringing up c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences? Certainly more data from a wide variety of sources are needed, and generalizations from one study should only be made with reservations. 6.4.3 Methodological Issues i n Interlanguage.Pragmatics The t h i r d set of research questions dealt with methodological issues:' (3a) ;What are. the advantages and disadvantages of c o l l e c t i n g speech act data by videotaping semi-structured interactions i n a natural setting and by conducting retrospective group interviews? and (3b) How might research methods i n interlanguage pragmatic studies of t h i s kind be 1 3 2 improved? These questions have been the main focus of Chapter Six where advantages and disadvantages of the methodology have been discussed. Videotaping semistructured interactions i n a natural s e t t i n g and conducting retrospective group interviews provided a r i c h source of comparable data. However, a number of changes i n the methodology were suggested for future studies of t h i s kind. These changes form the basis for further questions. F i r s t , to what extent did the guidelines set out for hosts and guests actually a f f e c t what they said and did? It was suggested that comparability could s t i l l be maintained i f less structure was provided. Either the guidelines could be streamlined or the wording changed so as to give participants the option of not bringing a g i f t or serving food, and so on, i f they would not normally do so. The question, then, i s whether or not s u f f i c i e n t data would be generated on the various speech acts i f less structure were provided. Clearly, the number of subjects would have to be increased and more interactions would need to be videotaped. Other questions centre around the use of a video camera. How obtrusive was the camera, and what effects did i t actually have on the participants and the interactions? Would i t have helped to explain to participants i n the guidelines that i t would be okay to leave the T.V on.and have more pauses i n the conversation i f they would normally do so? What techniques are available for improving the picture: and sound qua l i t y of the video? S t i l l more questions have to do with the interviews. How 133 would the closing.segment of the interactions.have varied i f group interviews had not been-scheduled immediately following the v i s i t ? How e f f e c t i v e would i t have been to: separate hosts and guests, interview the Japanese participants i n Japanese, watch the video to refresh participants' memories, ask more s p e c i f i c , open-ended questions, and so forth? As mentioned i n Chapter Two, a number of researchers have emphasized the importance of triangulation i n interlanguage pragmatics research (Cohen, 1996). In t h i s study retrospective interviews were combined with observation of a semistructured s i t u a t i o n . It would be interesting' to compare the data for the various speech; acts investigated with data e l i c i t e d by a DCT or with observational data from a purely natural s i t u a t i o n where the participants did hot know they were being observed. How would the re s u l t s vary i f the data were collected by d i f f e r e n t methods? These and many other questions remain to be answered by future c r o s s - c u l t u r a l speech act studies. The present study was designed to further research i n interlanguage pragmatics by: (1) examining speech acts that, have not been studied, (2) involving ESL students i n the data collection, and analysis procedures, and (3) improving upon research methods that have been used thus f a r . As research methods are refined, and many more studies are conducted on a wide variety of speech acts, the f i e l d of interlanguage pragmatics w i l l continue to have much to o f f e r those involved i n second language learning, teaching, or research. 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Rowley, MA: Newbury House. Wolfson, N. (198 9a). Perspectives: Sociolinguistics and TESOL. New York: Newbury House. Wolfson, N. (1989b). The s o c i a l dynamics of native and nonnative v a r i a t i o n i n complimenting behavior. In M. Eisenstein (Ed.), The dynamic interlanguage (pp. 219-236). Appendix C Role Play: V i s i t i n g People's Homes ROLE PLAY: VISITING PEOPLE'S HOMES 1. Greetings and Introductions 2. Guests give g i f t to hosts 3. Hosts offer beverages and dessert or snacks 4. Guests may offer to help i f appropriate 5. Small talk - getting to know one another 6. Guests make excuse to leave 7. Thank yous are exchanged 8. Guests may invite hosts to do something next time Goodbyes 148 Appendix D Guidelines for Hosts and Guests GUIDELINES FOR HOSTS P l e a s e p l a n t o p r o v i d e beverages and a d e s s e r t or snacks o f some k i n d f o r your g u e s t s . 2 . V i d e o camera p e r s o n w i l l a r r i v e f i r s t t o s e t up the camera . P l e a s e a s s i s t them i n a r r a n g i n g s e a t i n g so b o t h o f you and your two gues t s w i l l not have t h e i r backs t o the camera and so the camera w o n ' t have t o be f a c i n g i n t o d i r e c t l i g h t . A s m a l l c a s s e t t e p l a y e r w i l l a l s o be p l a c e d c l o s e by as an a u d i o b a c k u p . C a l l t o i n v i t e g u e s t s ove r when e v e r y t h i n g i s s e t up . 3. O f f e r gues t s food and beverages soon a f t e r t hey a r r i v e . . 4. A f t e r about 20-25 minu tes o f c h a t t i n g and g e t t i n g t o know one a n o t h e r , the gues t s w i l l t ake the i n i t i a t i v e t o l e a v e . The e n t i r e v i s i t s h o u l d o n l y l a s t 30 m i n u t e s . 5. A f t e r gues t s have l e f t , p l e a s e i n v i t e them back i n and c a l l L a u r a ( i f she i s not t h e r e a l r e a d y ! ) . You migh t want t o o f f e r beverages and food t o the v i d e o camera pe r son d u r i n g t h i s t i m e ! The v i d e o camera w i l l be t u r n e d back on , and L a u r a w i l l i n t e r v i e w the whole group i n f o r m a l l y about the e x p e r i e n c e f o r about 30 m i n u t e s . 6. Most i m p o r t a n t l y , r e l a x , en joy the v i s i t , t r y t o f o r g e t about the camera and j u s t a c t n a t u r a l l y ! THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT! 149 GUIDELINES FOR GUESTS 1. P lease p l a n to b r i n g a smal l g i f t between the two o f you (under $5.00) f o r your h o s t s . 2. AUAP s tudents wait at L a u r a ' s apartment (Orchard Meadows roommates who are guests wait at t h e i r own a p t . ) u n t i l v ideo camera person has set up. You w i l l r e c e i v e a phone c a l l when they are ready for you to a r r i v e . 3. G ive hos ts your g i f t soon a f t e r you a r r i v e . 4. A f t e r about 20-25 minutes of c h a t t i n g and g e t t i n g to know one another , you shou ld take the i n i t i a t i v e to l e a v e . The e n t i r e v i s i t s h o u l d o n l y l a s t 30 m i n u t e s . 5. A f t e r you have l e f t , the hosts w i l l c a l l you back i n . When Laura a r r i v e s ( i f she i s not t h e r e a l r e a d y ! ) , the v ideo camera w i l l be t u r n e d back on, and L a u r a w i l l i n t e r v i e w the whole group i n f o r m a l l y about the exper i ence f o r about 30 m i n u t e s . 6. Most i m p o r t a n t l y , r e l a x , enjoy the v i s i t , t r y to f o r g e t about the camera and j u s t act n a t u r a l l y ! THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT! 150 GUIDELINES FOR HOSTS (JAPANESE EXCHANGES) 1. Decide which two of you will be hosts and who will be the interviewer later on. Please plan to provide beverages and a dessert or snacks of some kind for your guests. 2. The video camera person will arrive f i r s t to set up the camera. Please assist them in arranging seating so both of you and your two guests will not have their backs to the camera and so the camera won't' have to be facing into direct light. A small cassette player will also be placed close by as an audio backup. Call to invite guests over when everything is set up. 3. The entire exchange will be in Japanese. Try to behave as you would in Japan. • Offer guests food, and beverages soon after they arrive. 4. After about 20-25 minutes of chatting and getting to know one another, the guests will take the initiative to leave. The entire v i s i t should only last 30 minutes. 5. After guests have left, please invite them back in. You might want to offer beverages and food to the video camera person during this time! The video camera will be turned back on, and the interviewer will interview the whole group informally about the experience for about 30 minutes. 6. Most importantly, relax, enjoy the v i s i t , try to forget about the camera and just act naturally! THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT! 151 GUIDELINES FOR GUESTS (JAPANESE EXCHANGES) 1. P lease p l a n to b r i n g a s m a l l g i f t between the two of you (under $5.00) for your h o s t s . (Maybe you c o u l d buy something smal l i n Vancouver?) 2. Guests wait u n t i l v ideo camera person has set up. You w i l l be c a l l e d i n when they are ready for you to a r r i v e . The e n t i r e exchange w i l l be i n Japanese . T r y to behave as you would i n Japan . 3. Give hos ts your g i f t soon a f t e r you a r r i v e . 4. A f t e r about 20-25 minutes of c h a t t i n g and g e t t i n g to know one another , you should take the i n i t i a t i v e to l e a v e . The e n t i r e v i s i t shou ld on ly l a s t 30 minutes . 5. A f t e r you have l e f t , the hosts w i l l c a l l you back i n . The v ideo camera w i l l be t u r n e d back on, and the i n t e r v i e w e r w i l l i n t e r v i e w the whole group i n f o r m a l l y about the exper ience for about 30 m i n u t e s . 6. Most i m p o r t a n t l y , r e l a x , enjoy the v i s i t , t r y to f o r g e t about the camera and j u s t act n a t u r a l l y ! THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT! 152 Appendix E Tricks for Easier Transcribing TRICKS FOR EASIER TRANSCRIBING 1. Just use initials for the people's names, and leave lots of space between people's lines so that you can add something later or we can make corrections: R: Hi! Come on in. space --S: Hi, I'm Sandy. space --K: I'm Keiko. Nice to meet you. etc. 2. Don't spend a long time rewinding to one spot and trying to get what they say. If you don't get it after trying two or three times draw a line and go on. Write a key word if you can catch one: K: What is your major? S: Speech ; and .. K: What is that? S: deaf people etc. 3. The important thing is to get down the order that people say things using the video because you can catch the details later on a tape recorder. Just try to get done as much as possible and I will check your transcription for you when it's done. Don't worry about spelling right now. Just do your best! 153 Appendix F Analyzing Native Speaker Data (Part I) Questions t o answer as you watch the f i r s t part of each of the f i v e American/American v i s i t : I. What kind of greetings and introductions do they use? 1. _ _ _ _ _ 2 . ; s 3 . . 4. 5. ; I I . What kind of expressions do the hosts use when they receive a g i f t ? 1. 2 . 3 . ' 4. :__ - - • 5. I I I . How do the hosts o f f e r beverages and food? 1. 2 . 3 . 4. 5. IV. How do the guests reply? (Do they help themselves to food that i s i n front of them or wait to be offered?) 1. 2 . _ 3 . 4. 5. 154 V. Do the hosts or guests make any compliments about anything? About what? Give some examples. 1. 2 . 3 . 4. 5. VI. What are some of the f i r s t questions people ask to make conversation, (and who s t a r t s the conversation, hosts or guests)? 1. 2 . 3 . 4. 5 . VII. What are some expressions people use to show that they are l i s t e n i n g and interested i n what the other person i s saying? 1. 2 . 3 . ; 4. 5. 155 Appendix G Analyzing Native Speaker Data (Part II) Questions f o r the l a s t part of the American/American V i s i t s : I. What expressions do the guests use to say they must go? 1. 2 . ; ; 3 . 4. 5. I I . What kind of c l o s i n g expressions do people use at the end of the conversation before they say goodbye? 1. 2 . 3 . 4. . 5 . ; I I I . How do hosts and guests thank each other? 1. Hosts: Guests: 2 . Guests: 3 . Hosts: Guests: 4. Hosts: Guests: 5. Guests: IV. Does anyone suggest they get together again? Who? What d i d they say? 1. 5. V. What kind of expressions do people use as they are leaving i n a l l the v i s i t s ? 156 Appendix H Plan for the Conclusion of the Project PLAN FOR THE CONCLUSION OF THE PROJECT The whole purpose of this project was to compare how native speakers of English, native speakers of Japanese, and Japanese ESL students communicate when visiti n g someone else's home. The idea was that, instead of the teacher telling you what the similarities and differences in the language and the culture are, we discover them together by visiting Americans and watching videos of other v i s i t s . One of the problems with this project was that transcribing was very d i f f i c u l t using the equipment we had, so i t took quite a few days to do that and left us with l i t t l e time to compare. But let's make the best of the three days we have l e f t ! Today (Tuesday) we will finish looking at the AE/AE (American speakers of English) v i s i t s . We want to notice how native speakers communicate. We will just do parts of i t in groups because we won't have time to watch a l l the videos together. If there is time, some of the groups can look at the JJ/JJ (Japanese speakers of Japanese) visits to compare with the American v i s i t s . Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will hand back part of the transcript of your vi s i t s (JE/AE = Japanese speakers of English v i s i t American speakers of English). Based on a l l you have learned by watching other visits, ycu will write a short one-page report together about your visit—what you noticed, how you could improve next time etc. Finally, on Thursday, we will a l l have a chance to be hosts and guests again in some *impromptu role plays using the expressions we have learned through our visits and videos of other people's v i s i t s . •"Impromptu" means you don't have to prepare the r o l e plays for homework or memorize them! By the way, i f you want to have your American v i s i t on your own video, bring a blank video tape, and I w i l l t r y to copy i t f o r you. Appendix I Comparing the Data Cross-Culturally 157 COMPARING THE VISITS 1. F i r s t , take your t r a n s c r i p t of your v i s i t and read through i t t o g e t h e r . Use the h i g h l i g h t e r pen p r o v i d e d to h i g h l i g h t a n y t h i n g you s a i d tha t you t h i n k you c o u l d improve on . Compare wi th the t r a n s c r i p t s o f some of the Amer ican /Amer ican v i s i t s . Pay a t t e n t i o n to the c a t e g o r i e s we looked a t : g r e e t i n g s and i n t r o d u c t i o n s g i f t g i v i n g o f f e r i n g and a c c e p t i n g food and beverages making compliments s t a r t i n g a c o n v e r s a t i o n keeping the c o n v e r s a t i o n going making an excuse to l eave c l o s i n g e x p r e s s i o n s ways hosts and guests thank each o ther s u g g e s t i n g to get toge ther aga in — goodbyes e t c . - -.2 How c o u l d you change..what you s a i d to-make i t more l i k e n a t i v e speakers of E n g l i s h would say i t ? W r i t e underneath what you would say next time you v i s i t an American home. Use a c o l o r e d arrow to add more t h i n g s you c o u l d say . 3. F i n a l l y , t h i n k about the s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s between the Japanese v i s i t s and the American v i s i t s . F i l l out the t a b l e on the next page and add a n y t h i n g you might have n o t i c e d . 158 American V i s i t s Japanese V i s i t s Same or d i f f e r e n t — how? 1. Guests sometimes take t h e i r shoes o f f (esp. when i t r a i n s ) , but usually not. D i f f e r e n t — i n Japan guests always take t h e i r shoes o f f when the enter. 2. Both hosts usually go to answer the door and welcome guests. 3. Hosts usually open g i f t s i n front of guests and say how much they l i k e the g i f t . 4. In interviews, guests said they don't usually bring a g i f t f o r such a short v i s i t . 5. Hosts usua l l y give guests a choice of what to drink and guests say what they'd l i k e . 6. Hosts sometimes just put the food on the table and l e t the guests help themselves. 7. Hosts and guests often make l o t s of compliments to each other. 8. Hosts and guests both s t a r t the conversation by asking each other questions. Everyone p a r t i c i p a t e s . 9. The conversation i s kept going by making responses and asking more questions about the same top i c etc. 10. Guests use various expressions to say they should go. 11. Hosts and guests both thank each other s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r coming, for the g i f t etc. 12. Hosts and guests use casual expressions ("you guys") and joke a l o t even i f they met f o r the f i r s t time. 160 1. Name of participant: 2. Male Female 3. Age 4. Year in college if student: 5. Major in college:. 2 of 2 Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior 6. Occupation: . 7. First language: . — 8. Parents' first language(s): 9. Foreign language(s) you have you studied, if any: . 10. Length of time studying the language(s): . 11. Experience(s) living or studying abroad: Country Length of stay Purpose 12. What did you learn or gain from participating in this project? 13. What did you find difficult about this project? 14. What suggestions do you have for future research projects of this kind? 

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