MCLLC Research Talk

10/11/2018 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Niles Gallery
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Atsushi Hasegawa
Intended Audience: 
In this talk, Dr. Atsushi Hasegawa will present some of the findings from his research on the language socialization process of study abroad participants in Japan.
There are many benefits that are believed to be associated with study abroad (SA), such as cultivating intercultural and global competence, advancing academic/career trajectories, and language acquisition. However, in terms of language development, previous research has reported inconclusive or sometimes contradictory results (e.g., Kinginger, 2013; Wang, 2010). This inconclusiveness is attributable, foremost, to the vast differences in experience that each SA participant undergoes in each environment. The traditional outcome-based research cannot sufficiently capture the complexity of SA experiences, but instead, process-oriented descriptive research should contribute to a fuller understanding of SA experiences (e.g., Kinginger, 2008, 2013). Building on this line of inquiry, my research aims to investigate a detailed account of the language socialization process by participants in three short-term SA programs in Japan. I
take up two central aspects of language socialization, namely, interpersonal relationships and interactional practice, as primary objects of analysis and closely describe how these
elements are intricately related vis-à-vis language development. Interpersonal relationship is an oft-mentioned notion in SA research, but the one that is rarely analyzed systematically. I employ social network analysis (SNA) to look into the structural properties of not only individual relationships, but also of entire program networks and sub-structures (communities, groups). The second element, interactional practice, is also an imperative aspect of SA. I use conversation analysis (CA) to closely document characteristics of and changes in interactional practices, such as code-switching, topic management, and repair/search activities, as well as in the use of verbal and nonverbal resources, which all constitute interactional competence (Hall & Pekarek-Doehler, 2011). These analytical foci—interpersonal relationships and interactional practice—are complementary in capturing the interplays of individual agency and surroundings, which together give rise to unique reality for every participant.


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