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Developing awareness and use of compliments in the Chinese homestay: A longitudinal case study

Developing awareness and use of compliments in the Chinese homestay: A longitudinal case study AbstractThe study abroad homestay enjoys a widespread reputation as a key context for language learning. However, a homestay advantage has been difficult to prove in large-scale quantitative studies. Few qualitative studies examine the long-term developmental processes that can take place in homestays at the micro-ethnographic level. This paper focuses on how one participant, John, gradually developed awareness of the role of compliments and ability to use them for various purposes. Drawing on Vygotskian sociocultural theory, this study analyzes qualitative changes in John’s use of compliments from informal interaction in two homestays across a year. Over time, John learned to use compliments for an array of purposes: expressing appreciation for food, maintaining his hosts’ positive face, developing cordial relationships, and defusing potential conflict. Development in John’s case is evident as he internalized this speech act that he once grappled with, and used it to mediate the behavior of the others when confronted with interactionally and emotionally challenging situations. This process led to John’s ability to participate appropriately as a guest at the Chinese homestay dinner table and to appreciate the subtleties of interpersonal communication that includes unstated expressions of affection. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Applied Linguistics Review de Gruyter

Developing awareness and use of compliments in the Chinese homestay: A longitudinal case study

Applied Linguistics Review , Volume 8 (4): 27 – Nov 27, 2017

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
1868-6311
eISSN
1868-6311
DOI
10.1515/applirev-2016-1003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe study abroad homestay enjoys a widespread reputation as a key context for language learning. However, a homestay advantage has been difficult to prove in large-scale quantitative studies. Few qualitative studies examine the long-term developmental processes that can take place in homestays at the micro-ethnographic level. This paper focuses on how one participant, John, gradually developed awareness of the role of compliments and ability to use them for various purposes. Drawing on Vygotskian sociocultural theory, this study analyzes qualitative changes in John’s use of compliments from informal interaction in two homestays across a year. Over time, John learned to use compliments for an array of purposes: expressing appreciation for food, maintaining his hosts’ positive face, developing cordial relationships, and defusing potential conflict. Development in John’s case is evident as he internalized this speech act that he once grappled with, and used it to mediate the behavior of the others when confronted with interactionally and emotionally challenging situations. This process led to John’s ability to participate appropriately as a guest at the Chinese homestay dinner table and to appreciate the subtleties of interpersonal communication that includes unstated expressions of affection.

Journal

Applied Linguistics Reviewde Gruyter

Published: Nov 27, 2017

References