Achieving Understanding: Discourse in Intercultural Encounters, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Achieving Understanding

Discourse in Intercultural Encounters, 1st Edition

By Peter Broeder, Katharina Bremer, Celia Roberts, M.-T. (Department Of Linguistics, University Rene Descartes, Paris V, France) Vasseur, Margaret (Department Of Arts, Law And Social Sciences, Islington College) Simonot


288 pages

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This is a detailed study of understanding in a second language, related to the actual lives of minority workers. The focus is on everyday interactions between these workers and the bureaucrats of the society in which they are now resident. It provides an important contribution to the debate about the function of language as a social practice, adding a new perspective to the psycholinguistic and experimental paradigms, currently existing in second language acquisition research.

Table of Contents

1. Background to the understanding project

2. A social perspective on understanding: some issues of theory and method

2.0 Introduction

2.1 Identifying understanding and problems of understanding

2.2 Understanding and interaction

2.3 Understanding and context

2.4 Data analysis

2.5 Issues of variability

3. Causes of understanding problems

3.0 Introduction

3.1 Understanding problems triggered by a single, identifiable element

3.2 Understanding problems caused by relative degree of difficulty

3.3 Understanding problems caused by indirectness and implicit discourse norms

4. Managing understanding from a minority perspective

4.0 Introduction

4.1 The types of problems with understanding

4.2 Options the minority interactant can take: avoiding or indicating the problem with understanding

4.3 Managing procedures for indicating non-understanding

4.4 Face and the management of understanding

4.5 Potential for learning

4.6 Conclusion

5. Case studies

5.0 Introduction

5.1 Berta (Spanish-French)

5.2 Tino (Italian-German)

5.3 Ergun (Turkish-Dutch)

5.4 Santo (Italian-English)

6. Preventing problems of understanding

6.0 Introduction

6.1 Some options to prevent non-understanding

6.2 Resolving of ignoring problems of understanding: the interviewer's point of view

7. Joint negotiation of understanding: procedures for managing problems of understanding

7.0 Introduction

7.1 Classification following unspecific indication or 'symptoms' of non-understanding

7.2 Classification following specific indication: explication of lexical meaning

7.3 Maximal use of procedures-an example

8. Taking stock: contexts and reflections

8.0 Introduction

8.1 Facing upto our methods

8.2 Social and discoursal perspective on second language development

8.3 A critical perspective

8.4 Context and contextualisation

8.5 Institutional discourse

8.6 Some practical implications

Appendices, References, Index

About the Series

Language In Social Life

Language in Social Life is a major new series which highlights the importance of language to an understanding of issues of social and professional concern. It will be of practical relevance to all those wanting to understand how the ways we communicate both influence and are influenced by the structures and forces of contemporary social institutions.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics