The interactional management of ‘language difficulties’ at work: L2 strategies for responding to explicit inquiries about understanding

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Abstract

In multilingual work-place settings, there are many ways of addressing (or not addressing) the issue of understanding, and different ways of handling when the issue is explicitly raised in the form of a question. Building on a previous study by Tranekjær (2015) and Tranekjær and Kappa (2016) of how employers in internship interviews orient to internship candidates as members of the category ‘second language speaker’, this paper examines the strategies employed by second languages speakers for refuting suspected language difficulties. Inspired by the training method CARM (Stokoe, 2011, Stokoe, 2013, Stokoe, 2014) the paper will explore the possibility of outlining differences in the efficiency of SL learner strategies for addressing inquiries about understanding. The paper in this way provides valuable input to language teachers and trainers within the field of diversity management and intercultural communication by illuminating not only the interactional trajectories of inquiries about understanding but also the interactional resources available to second language speakers of effectively ensuring intersubjectivity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume126
Pages (from-to)78-89
ISSN0378-2166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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