1st Edition

Exploring the Power of Social Talk in a Foreign Language Possibilities for Integration and Critical Pedagogy

By Gerrard Mugford Copyright 2024
    200 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the fundamental interactional dimension to foreign language communication, including the establishment, development, consolidation and maintenance of interpersonal relations. It argues that interpersonal language use such as small talk, casual conversation and gossipy talk is not only key to meaningful and productive communication but that it is an essential dimension with respect to successful foreign language interaction and that engaging in interpersonal language is communicatively valuable and worthwhile in its own right. Crucially, it explores how teaching and learning can utilise the role of social talk and relational engagement in helping interactants to express, voice and convey their own values, attitudes and beliefs. Finally, it develops a critical relational pedagogy focused on language speakers’ needs, objectives and desires. Redressing the imbalance between transactional and interactional language teaching, and stressing the importance of phatic and relational language use in helping language users achieve their communicative goals, it will appeal to researchers, postgraduates and scholars in the fields of education and linguistics.

    1. Introduction. 2. Lay and theoretical concepts of phatic talk. 3. Collaborative structured phatic talk. 4. Convergence: Bridging cross-cultural phatic gaps. 5. Critical phatic talk. 6. Critical Pedagogy


    Gerrard Mugford is a lecturer in pragmatics, discourse analysis and sociolinguistics at la Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico. His current research interests include im/politeness, foreign-language interpersonal language use and critical pedagogy. His recent books, published by Routledge, are Addressing Difficult Situations in Foreign-Language Learning: Confusion, Impoliteness, and Hostility (2019), Developing Cross-Cultural Relational Ability in Foreign Language Learning: Asset-Based Pedagogy to Enhance Pragmatic Competence (2022) and Towards a New Pedagogy for Teaching Foreign Language Politeness: Halliday’s Model and Approaches to Politeness (Mugford, 2023, Routledge).