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Learning Discourses and the Discourses of Learning

CHAPTER 16

NEGOTIATION OF LANGUAGE SELECTION IN LANGUAGE EXCHANGE PARTNERSHIPS

This study examines interaction in Language Exchange Partnerships (LEPs), one type of out-of-class language use opportunity for language learners. The expansion of interaction in and across cultures has enabled universities to create more opportunities for language learners to meet and interact with their counterparts from different areas or countries. LEPs are one of the settings that provide language learners with second language (L2) use opportunities within university contexts. LEP refers to a pair of language learners or users who meet each other regularly, primarily for the purpose of improving their language skills and of increasing understanding of one another’s cultures. Since participants each have an interest in using their L2, how pairs negotiate their selection of language is of central interest.

This chapter reports on the language selection which characterises one LEP involving a learner of Japanese and a Japanese native speaker who was undertaking a course at the same Australian university. In particular, it analyses how the participants negotiate their use of English and Japanese. The data consists of the audio tape-recorded interactions of the Japanese-English exchange partnership in conjunction with diary entries by the participants as well as interviews with them. The study employed a conversation analytic approach to bilingual interaction in order to explore the interactional sequences that occur in LEPs (Auer 1984a, 1988, 1998). Although both participants are aware that LEPs offer one another an L2 use opportunity, asymmetrical use was observable in their actual language use. The analysis also identified various factors relevant to the language alternation by the participants.

INTRODUCTION

Language selection is an important issue for speakers in bilingual contact situations. Recent research within the field of bilingual interaction has reported upon language use/selection within various speech communities, with a particular focus on the language alternation taking place. Most studies have dealt with bilingual settings where considerable social and linguistic divergence exists. In contrast to these studies conducted in non-institutional bilingual settings, the foreign language (FL) classroom has also been of interest to researchers interested in second language acquisition, who have primarily considered the language used by learners and/or teachers (e.g. Polio and Duff 1994). Language Exchange Partnerships (LEPs) offer a third kind of bilingual interactive setting where language learners use their foreign or second language (L2) with their partner, who is a native speaker (NS) of that language and an L2 speaker of their native language, outside the classroom.1

Language exchange partnerships constitute important social contexts where L2 learners and users interact outside of classroom settings. Since language exchange partners meet with each other primarily for the purpose of practising/using their L2, how they negotiate their selection of language is of central interest. Despite the importance of the topic of language selection in bilingual interactive settings, the nature of the interaction has been minimally treated by the existing studies of this kind of language use setting. In this chapter, an attempt is made to explicate the patterns of language selection occurring in one such bilingual interactive setting. In particular, the following questions are addressed:

  1. When and why do language exchange partners alternate languages? and,
  2. How do language exchange partners negotiate their language selection?

I will begin by briefly describing the nature of LEPs, and differentiate them from other bilingual contact situations. After outlining the conceptual framework and methodology employed, examples of language alternation in an LEP will be examined.

LEPs (LANGUAGE EXCHANGE PARTNERSHIPS)

The internationalisation of university education has increased the opportunities for language learners to use their L2 with their counterparts from different parts of the world. Accordingly, many universities now set up programs which introduce local students and overseas students to one another. Examples of such programs are presented by a number of studies that report on attempts made by Japanese universities to set up schemes that enable overseas students and speakers of Japanese, such as university students or people in the local community, to interact with each other (Matsumoto 1999, 2001; Mimaki et al. 1999; Tamaoka 1999; Muraoka and Mimaki 2000; Kaneda 2001; Inokawa 2002; Tasaki 2003).

A similar kind of language use setting is represented by LEPs. LEPs include two language learners who are native speakers of the language their partner is learning; for instance, an Australian learner of Japanese, and a Japanese student who is studying at an Australian university and who is interested in improving his or her competence in English. This type of interaction allows partners with a reciprocal interest in establishing contact to meet each other, practise their language skills and share knowledge about their respective languages and cultures. A few previous studies have described these types of language use settings at universities, although different names have been employed to refer to the programs. These studies have demonstrated the benefit that is gained through these types of language use opportunities (cf. Fragiadakis and Licwinko 1986; Stoller et al. 1995; Voller and Pickard 1996). While this kind of bilingual context can be differentiated from both institutional and non-institutional bilingual settings, LEPs can be said to represent quasi-institutional bilingual settings. At the same time, it should also be noted that, in contrast to a partnership where learners are paired up through a university scheme, it is also possible that students find a partner through their own private social networks or through a language teacher’s introduction and start to meet each other for language practice or some other purpose (cf. Masuda 2005).

LEPs differ from other formal L2 learning settings, such as classroom learning or tutoring situations. While LEPs appear to have some common characteristics with tutoring situations where one-to-one interaction takes place, they are different from tutoring in that they do not necessarily replicate a teacher-student learning situation. This kind of interaction is not therefore characterised by one-way language learning since both participants are primarily interested in using and improving their L2. This focus on language use and learning also differentiates LEPs from ordinary informal conversation that may take place between a NS and a non-native speaker (NNS), although again there are similarities. Even though the important role of social interaction in language development has been recognised in a considerable body of literature that draws on sociocultural theory (cf. Ohta 2000: 51), to date very little attention has been given to social contexts like LEPs.

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

This study adopts a conversation analytic approach to bilingual interaction in order to explore the interactional sequences that occur in LEPs (Auer 1984a, 1988, 1998). Li Wei claims that one of the fundamental features observable in this approach is that of uncovering ‘the underlying procedural apparatus by which conversation participants themselves arrive at local interpretations of language choice’ rather than depending upon analysts’ own interpretations of language alternation (Li Wei 2005: 381).

We can predict that there will be a bilingual use of two languages in LEP settings. As a result, it is highly likely that language alternation will be observed as a recurrent behaviour in this kind of bilingual interaction. The term ‘code-switching’ has been used in the research literature with a variety of conceptualisations (Clyne 2003). The terms ‘code-switching’ and ‘language alternation’ will be used interchangeably in this study in accordance with Auer’s use of these terms (Auer 1984a, 1988). For Auer, “‘language alternation” is a cover term for all instances of locally functional usage of two languages in an interactional episode’ (Auer 1984a: 7).

Auer (1984a,1988, 1998) makes a distinction between two types of language alternation according to its function: participant-related and discourse-related. The participant-related language alternation serves to signal the attributes of the speaker (e.g. preference and competence) while the discourse-related one provides cues for the organisation of the conversation (e.g. topic change and change in participant constellation). This distinction appears to be useful in examining the interaction in LEPs where partners with differing language proficiency levels employ two languages.

A considerable number of studies have been undertaken to date which adopt a conversation analytic approach in exploring bilingual interaction in a wide range of settings (cf. Auer 1998; Li Wei 2005). For example, Auer’s (1984a, 1988) study was conducted in the former West Germany, with a focus on the children of Italian migrant workers with a Southern Italian background. Such settings are rather different in social and linguistic terms to those in LEPs where the interactants have different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Because of this, language exchange partners are both novice and expert in their own L2 and first language (L1) respectively. Although LEPs are bilingual interactive settings which are growing in frequency and importance, particularly for second language acquisition, there is hardly any conversation analytic research that examines language selection within them.

METHODOLOGY

PARTICIPANTS

The data for the study was collected by investigating six pairs involved in LEPs. Each pair consists of an Australian student (including one New Zealand citizen), who was studying Japanese or who had studied it in the past, and a Japanese student, who was studying at the same Australian university, either as an exchange or an overseas student. Five out of these six pairs were introduced to each other by the Language Exchange Program organised within the university, with the other pair being arranged through the introduction of the language teacher. In this chapter, I will focus on one pair, Yuri and David. The background of this pair is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Background of the participants

DATA COLLECTION

The data used in this study is of three kinds: audio-tape recordings of language exchange meetings, diary entries by the participants, and individual interviews with the participants. The participants were given an audio tape recorder by the researcher and were asked to record one of their language exchange meetings. Direct observation by the researcher was not conducted, in order to allow the participants to have interaction that was as natural as possible. The data was then transcribed by the researcher, employing a modified system developed by Du Bois et al. (1993). The participants were asked to keep a diary on the day they met their partner. They were instructed that they could write whatever they felt about their meeting, either in English or Japanese, choosing whichever they felt was most effective to express their thoughts. Diary entries by the participants are considered to be useful in the present study to supplement the follow up interviews as a way of accessing participants’ unobservable thought processes. These diary entries provided the participants with the scope to reflect on their own meeting and write freely about their interactions.

The individual interviews consisted of two parts and were conducted in the form of semi-structured interviews. The first part of the interview aimed at gathering general information as to the participants’ expectations and evaluations of the partnerships and function of the LEP. In the second part of the interview, a follow-up interview was employed where the participants were asked in detail about the interaction that they had had with their partner. The follow-up interviews were conducted as soon as possible after their language exchange meeting to ensure the accuracy of their memory (cf. Gass and Mackey 2000; Neustupný and Miyazaki 2002). Auer considers that the use of participants’ comments is controversial (Auer 1984a, 1984b). However, participants’ comments are useful in this study in conjunction with analysis of the participants’ behaviour in relation to language selection. As Gumperz claims, the information obtained from participants becomes a rich source when treated with caution (Auer 1984b: 112).

FINDINGS

Before starting an examination of the participants’ language use, it is important to note that each participant uses his or her L2 in a different context for a different purpose. For Yuri, English is the main language used for living and studying as an exchange student in Australia. On the other hand, David is in the process of learning the language in a formal language program and the context where he uses Japanese is Australia, where he generally uses English in his daily life.

In LEPs, as has been stated above, the language use in the interaction between two participants is of fundamental interest. In this regard, guidelines of the Language Exchange Program at the university suggest that partners concentrate on one language each week or use half of the meeting time for each language.

Yuri and David did not set any rules about their language use in their meeting, and the bilingual use of English and Japanese was observable in the data. In his interview, David confirmed that they have no rules, explaining that if he finds something hard to explain in Japanese, he would explain it in English. Similarly, Yuri reported that she is content with having no rules although, at first, she had considered whether they should set rules.

In keeping with the conversation analytic approach, I explore when and why the participants alternate between their L1 and L2 by sequentially examining examples of participant- and discourse-related language alternation, and then demonstrate how they negotiate their selection of language. The language alternations by David will be discussed first, and those by Yuri will follow.

The first example is taken from a conversation in which David is explaining the book that he read on the weekend, which is written in English about Japanese history. The conversation up to the beginning of this extract was mainly conducted in Japanese. Transcript conventions can be found in the Appendix.2

Extract 1

In line 9 of (1) above, David switches to English, which he will maintain (except for his question ‘is that true?’ in line 15) until the end of this speech event, i.e. an explanation of the book he had read. Regarding this shift to English, David explained in the follow-up interview that he was trying to explain in Japanese but switched to English as he could not continue in Japanese. His account revealed that he was having trouble with explaining in Japanese about the bomb or biological weapons called (black wind)’. Furthermore, the fact that he was struggling with explaining in Japanese is identified by the following prosodic cues: several pauses appear across his turns before the switch in line 9, there is use of a filler in line 1 (chchchchch=), recurrent use of interjections ‘um’ across his turns, and the presence of English words in lines 1 and 3. Therefore, it can be said that David’s lack of ability to explain his ideas in his L2, Japanese, is presented through this participant-related switch.

Extract 2 seems to be a discourse-related alternation and is taken from a conversation in which Yuri and David talk about the football finals. The preceding interaction was mainly conducted in Japanese.

Extract 2

When asked by Yuri about the match, David initially responds in Japanese in line 8, constructing the first part of a sentence. After Yuri’s backchannelling in Japanese, David shifts to English, in line 10, to say that the Sydney-based team ‘won’, which is followed by .h (in-breath). Then, with some nervous laughter which may indicate his shyness, he asks Yuri how to say ‘(they) won (the match)’ in Japanese. Yuri, who is now taking the role of an expert, provides the correct expression. David repeats the Japanese word (winning)’, which is confirmed by Yuri in the next turn. In line 14, he transforms the retrieved word, which was originally in noun form, into a verb so that it completes the predicate in the previously half-constructed sentence (line 8). The conversation then continues in Japanese, which makes David’s choice of English in line 10 salient. When asked about his use of English here, David confirmed that it occasionally happened that he would ask Yuri about an expression that he could not produce in Japanese. The important point here is the fact that the surrounding stretch of talk is in Japanese. Based on the fact that David did not switch to English from Japanese when asking Yuri for particular Japanese lexical items in other sequences in the conversation data, it can be said that David’s switch to English in line 10 takes on a discourse-related function, marking his request for Yuri’s assistance with the Japanese word he did not know, rather than participant-related one (that is, due to David’s lack of competence in producing a question sentence in Japanese). It can thus be said that his shift to English serves to separate his request for the required linguistic information from their current conversation that is taking place basically in Japanese. A similar example was found in Liebscher and Dailey-O’Cain (2005).

Extract 3 comes from a stretch of conversation about the assignments and exams that Yuri and David have towards the end of the semester. The interaction up to the beginning of this extract occurred mainly in English:

Extract 3
 

After several turns of interaction in English, David shifts to Japanese when he suggests that he would practise with Yuri for his aural-oral test in Japanese (line 5). This choice of Japanese is accepted by Yuri who utters a minimal response. Regarding his switch to Japanese in line 5, David commented in the follow-up interview as follows:

Extract 4
I just use every opportunity to speak Japanese so I can . . . cos if I spoke in English, I’d just keep speaking in English, I wouldn’t gain much from it, so whenever I, I always try and speak Japanese first, and if I struggle, or find it really hard to explain something, and then I’d speak in English

In addition, in his diary on the day of the language exchange meeting, he described his language use in the meeting in the following way:

Extract 5
I tried to explain in Japanese and managed to help Yuri understand what I was saying. Only a few times did I use English to explain myself and that was mainly because either the topic was complicated, or my Japanese was a bit rusty.

Extracts (4) and (5) above clearly illustrate David’s strong linguistic preferences for Japanese as well as his attitude towards the LEP as an opportunity to practise his Japanese. In fact, the transcribed data of the interaction between Yuri and David contained more Japanese than English. The data also contains many examples of his strong preference for Japanese where he persistently uses Japanese without aligning with Yuri’s choice of English. It can thus be said that his switch to Japanese is participant-related; however, a closer look at the conversation provides a possibility for interpreting this code-switch as also serving a discourse-related function. What David raises in lines 5 and 7 of Extract 3 is his idea of practising with Yuri for his aural-oral test, which requires Yuri to provide him with linguistic assistance. David does not explicitly ask Yuri for help in his Japanese turns in this context. This can be seen in line 7, where he does not use a request-form in Japanese; rather it is a statement of his intention that he will practise with Yuri. However, contextually he seems to be suggesting his request for Yuri’s help. Then, he initiates an utterance in Japanese, uttering (practise)’, followed by a pause and the interjection (um=)’. It is thus likely that a request for Yuri’s assistance was made with David’s code-switch to Japanese. In other words, David’s request emerged as a new subject in their ongoing interaction with his shift to another language.

The following example is observed in the conversation that took place nearly at the end of their language exchange meeting. The conversation preceding this Extract 6 occurred mainly in Japanese:

Extract 4
 

In lines 6 and 8 of Extract 6, David asks Yuri if he (or they) should call the researcher now (he was supposed to call the researcher when he finished his language exchange meeting to be interviewed by the researcher). In line 8, one second after his utterance in Japanese, David shifts to English. Yuri accepts this choice in line 9, except for her last word uttered in Japanese. In the following turn, David shifts back to Japanese, which is maintained until the end of the meeting. In order to understand his temporary shift to English in line 8, attention should be given to the signalling that starts to appear from line 4. David’s statement in line 4 about Yuri’s being busy and his question in line 6 stretching over to the first part of line 8 demonstrate that David indirectly suggests their finishing the meeting, which might interrupt the flow of their interaction. Moreover, several pauses in lines 4 and 8 and the interjections ‘um’ in lines 4 and 6 mark his hesitation in making a suggestion that seems difficult to bring up. It may thus be that David’s attempt to bring up an awkward suggestion is demonstrated through his switch to English in this basically Japanese sequence, which then affects the development of the ongoing interaction. An aspect worthy of consideration here is the interaction of David’s Japanese proficiency and speech act (i.e. signalling the end of conversation in this example). It seems possible that for David to bring up such a delicate suggestion appropriately in Japanese is difficult. Therefore the suggestion was made through a temporary shift to his L1, in which he feels more confident, followed by a shift back to Japanese which consists of the overlap between Yuri and David himself. David’s switch to English thus seems to be discourse-related as well as participant-related.

In three of the above four examples, David’s use of his L1 (English) was observed in his interaction with Yuri, the NS of his L2. This may appear to contrast with his usual language choice (Japanese) within the language exchange setting, as has been evidenced in the above conversational extracts as well as from David’s own comments quoted earlier. The sequential analysis, however, suggests that it is not simply that David is breaching his policy of using Japanese but that his shift to his L1 is concerned with the development of the ongoing conversation (Auer 1998).

The following example of Yuri’s code-switching also seems both participant- and discourse-related. The interaction preceding Extract 7 was mainly conducted in Japanese:

Extract 7
 

In line 4 of Extract 7 above, the topic shifts from David’s Japanese assignment to Yuri’s friend who is also learning Japanese at the same university. This topic shift takes place within Yuri’s turn. After a pause of three seconds, Yuri starts a new topic, initially in Japanese. She then switches to English after one second within the same turn. This choice is accepted by David, and English is maintained until Yuri shifts back to Japanese in line 16. Yuri reports on her switch to English in line 4 as follows:

Extract 83
I thought if (I would speak in) Japanese, it would be difficult (for David), but it became hard for me to speak in English halfway, then David provided me with assistance, so I thought I could get it across somehow.

Yuri accounted for her switch to English in relation to her consideration for David’s competence in Japanese. In fact, she recurrently reported on her use of English in the interaction in reference to her consideration for David’s competence in Japanese. For instance, when asked about her English use in another sequence, she confessed that she was not very sure about how much David could actually understand Japanese, which led Yuri to use David’s L1, i.e. English. These accounts make her switch look like a simple case of a participant-related language alternation related to competence of the other participant. This explanation, however, does not seem sufficient to capture the dynamic nature of the conversational sequence. A conversation analytic approach to this example provides further insights in this regard. Lines 14 and 16 contain several pauses that mark her speech as somewhat stumbling. Together with these pauses, the shift to Japanese in line 16 may also indicate that Yuri is having difficulty in explaining in English. Although it is observable from the conversation as well as the above report from Yuri that she is in trouble, she continues in English (with a temporary shift to Japanese, which returns to English). She finally succeeds in conveying her message to David with assistance from him, as is confirmed in Yuri’s account quoted above. Yuri’s preference for her L2, English, is thus presented by her switch to English in line 4. We can thus claim that this participant-related code-switching works in two directions, one for David and the other for herself.

As opposed to viewing this switch as participant-related, there is another possible explanation for the phenomenon found in Extract 7 above. The topic shift can be said to be marked by Yuri’s switch to English (Alfonzetti 1998). It is important to note here that, even though the initial topic shift was carried out in Japanese in line 4, Yuri repeats her original utterance translating it into English. This explanation thus provides an interpretation that the switch under discussion is discourse-related.

The following is another example where Yuri’s participant-related switch to English works in two directions. This sequence follows a conversation mainly in Japanese, in which David explains to Yuri about his aural-oral test in his Japanese class.

Extract 9
 

In line 6 of Extract 9, Yuri, with the switch to English, asks David if he has already decided the topic for the test. The answer is then provided by David in Japanese. Yuri repeats his answer translating it into English. After a pause of two seconds, David initiates, in a slightly digressive way, talking about when he will sign up for the test, again in Japanese. This time, the following turn by Yuri in line 10 is provided in Japanese, the language that David has consistently used. As a consequence, the language in the interaction changes to Japanese after some divergent choices made by the two interactants have occurred. Regarding the selection of English in line 6, Yuri accounted for it as follows:

Extract 10
I think Japanese would be easier for David to understand, and also, when I consider this is language exchange program, I sometimes feel like using English a bit more, so I would ask in English. . . . Sometimes I forget that David is learning Japanese, so I speak in English unconsciously.

In addition to the consideration for David’s competence in Japanese, Yuri acknowledges her desire to use English in the context of the language exchange. Both the consideration for the interlocutor’s competence and her own desire or preference for using English are represented by this participant-related code-switching. When focusing on the notion of preference, however, a careful analysis demonstrates a conflicting language preference occurring between Yuri and David. As has been confirmed by Yuri in her comments, the code-switching in line 6 signals her desire to use English with David in the language exchange setting. This desire is persistently displayed in line 8 by the fact that Yuri repeats David’s answer, which was originally provided in Japanese, in English. This may indicate her expectation that David should accept her use of English and switch to that language as well. Through an examination of the sequential interaction in this example as well as Yuri’s comments, it is observable that her participant-related language alternation works in two directions: one concern is with the co-participant’s competence, and the other, her own personal preference. It should also be noted that Yuri reported above that she sometimes forgets that David is learning Japanese, which consequently results in her using English. Temporary unconsciousness of the partner’s position as a language learner can thus be seen as another determinant of language selection.

Extract 9 above is important in that it also presents a clear case of negotiation of language selection (cf. Auer 1984a, 1995, 1998). As has been revealed earlier, David has a strong desire to speak Japanese as much as possible in his meetings with Yuri, which contributed to the presence of more Japanese than English in the spoken data. In Extract 9, his persistent use of Japanese obviously conflicts with Yuri’s use of English in lines 6 and 8. This discordance is caused by the gap between David’s explicit preference for using Japanese and Yuri’s use of English, which is based on her perception of David’s competence and her own preference. The conflict is resolved when Yuri agrees to David’s use of Japanese in line 10 by accommodating to David’s preferred language. In this regard, it is relevant to quote Yuri’s comment about her accommodation of David’s use of Japanese observed in a similar negotiation sequence to that of Extract 9 within the data:

Extract 11
Maybe Japanese would be better for him. The language people speak here (in the university, in Australia) is English, isn’t it? So I can use English in other occasions if I want, on the other hand, I think there are fewer people who speak Japanese. So if we could have as much time (for David to speak Japanese) as we could, (speaking in) Japanese is better, I suppose.

The above comment suggests that Yuri is aware of the context where David is situated as a learner of Japanese, which is different from her own context. Yuri is situated in an L2 setting where English is used dominantly in the society and had already spent a year in the U.S. before she came to Australia. She could thus perceive David’s need to practise Japanese as being greater than her own need to speak English in their meeting. There were several negotiation sequences of a similar kind across the data that terminate with Yuri accommodating to David’s choice of Japanese.

What is now clearly important is to consider the issue of language selection along with the partners’ evaluation of their language use in their meeting. Yuri stated in her diary that she feels comfortable in using two languages without any rules on language use although she admitted in the interview that, in their first meeting, she had been more conscious of selecting English and Japanese in considering David’s language development. A diary entry by David presents his view towards using two languages in their meeting by describing it as ‘a funny mix of English and Japanese’ where Yuri tries to speak English while he tries to reply in Japanese. What emerges from their perspectives is that both evaluate the status quo (using two languages without any explicit rules) positively, or at least neutrally. In this regard, it is important to acknowledge that the focal pair was relatively new and that they were still in the process of establishing their LEP. The perspectives of the partners on their language use/selection may thus change over time. Due to the limited scope of the current study, this issue could not be addressed in this chapter. However, future study needs to take this point into consideration.

CONCLUSION

This chapter has explored when and why language exchange partners alternate languages in an LEP and how they negotiate their language selection. Employing the categorisation of types of language alternation suggested by Auer (1984a, 1988, 1998), the sequential analysis has been able to show several aspects relevant to the language alternation by the participants. Firstly, both competence and preference of self as well as those of the co-participant were found to be important factors in participant-related alternation. Furthermore, the analysis discovered some examples of participant-related alternations that could be ascribed to the co-occurrence of both consideration for co-participant’s competence and self preference of the speaker. Secondly, I identified several instances where code-switches are used in discourse-related functions within the conversational sequences.

Considering that participants in LEPs are primarily interested in using their L2 with their partner, the use of L1 appears to be a contradictory behaviour. However, the analysis has revealed that the use of L1 does not necessarily indicate the participants’ waiver of the opportunity to use L2. Rather, the examples have shown the cases of L1 use to be related to the speaker’s lack of competence, consideration for the partner’s language preference, and the development of the ongoing interaction. Similarly, the use of L2 was observed not only as a consequence of the participants’ preference for using L2 but other factors were also identified, such as consideration for the co-participant’s competence, topic shift and temporary unconsciousness of the co-participant’s position as a language learner.

A range of evidence has been provided that Yuri is aware of the preference and/or needs of David for using Japanese. David also acknowledged the reciprocal nature of LEPs by stating in his diary that it is important that both can practise together. Although both participants are aware that the LEP offers one another an L2 use opportunity, asymmetrical use was observable in their actual language use. As has been stated previously, Japanese was used more often than English during the whole duration of their meeting. In addition, the sequential analysis has identified the occurrence of negotiation of language selection where the linguistic preferences of the participants are in conflict.

Considering the importance of an opportunity to use L2 outside the classroom, more work on language use/selection in LEPs needs to be done. Further research also requires longitudinal study, which will examine the relationship between language use/selection in LEPs and the language development of the individual participants. Such studies will also have implications for universities in enhancing their support for both local and overseas students studying in the same academic communities (Duff, this volume).

APPENDIX

TRANSCRIPT CONVENTIONS

Transcript conventions

Based on Du Bois et al. (1993).

ENDNOTES

1     Yuko Masuda was studying for an MA in Applied Japanese Linguistics at Monash University at the time of writing this article.

2     The conversation data gathered in Japanese were translated into English by the researcher, shown in italics. Code-switched words are not in italics in the translation.

3     The original interview data with Yuri were gathered in Japanese and were translated into English by the researcher. Words in (parentheses) were added by the researcher in order to enhance comprehensibility.

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Cite this chapter as: Masuda, Y. 2007. ‘Negotiation of language selection in language exchange partnerships.’ In Learning Discourses and the Discourses of Learning, edited by Marriott, H; Moore, T; Spence-Brown, R. Melbourne: Monash University ePress. pp. 16.1 to 16.18.

© Copyright 2007 Yuko Masuda
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Learning Discourses and the Discourses of Learning

   by Helen Marriott, Tim Moore and Robyn Spence-Brown