Conversation Analysis

Conversation Analysis

Conversation Analysis

Conversation Analysis

Synopsis

Conversation analysis is a methodology that originated over three decades ago as a sociolinguistic approach but has since been adopted by scholars in a variety of other areas, including applied linguistics and communication. It is of great utility in second language acquisition research for its demonstrations of how micro-moments of socially distributed cognition instantiated in conversational behavior contribute to observable changes in the participants' states of knowing and using a new language. This volume describes the methodology in detail, discusses its relevance for current theories of SLA, and uses two extended examples of conversational analysis to show how learners succeed or fail at the job of learning the meaning of a word or phrase in conversational context. This book is one of several in LEA's Second Language Acquisition Research Series dealing with specific data collection methods or instruments. Each of these monographs addresses the kinds of research questions for which the method/instrument is best suited, its underlying assumptions, a characterization of the method/instrument and extended description of its use and problems associated with its use. For more information about these volumes, please visit LEA's Web site at www.erlbaum.com

Excerpt

This series is born of our belief that to adequately understand conclusions drawn from second language acquisition research, one must understand the methodology that is used to elicit data for that research. The concern with research methodology is common in all fields, but it takes on particular significance in second language research given the interdisciplinary nature of the field and the varying perspectives of second language researchers. Within a single common field, we have psychologists talking to linguists; we have sociolinguists concerned with variation talking to sociolinguists concerned with pragmatics; we have ethnographers talking to generative grammarians. Although all this is healthy for the long-term outcome of the field, it is problematic in that researchers bring with them research traditions from their own disciplines. Again, this is ultimately healthy but can lead to serious misunderstandings, in the short term, of the value of a particular elicitation instrument. As a result, research traditions are attacked through their methodologies without a full understanding of what linguistic or psycholinguistic or sociolinguistic knowledge or abilities a particular instrument is intended to tap. This series of monographs is an attempt to bring these issues to light.

The series consists of monographs devoted to particular datacollection methods of instruments. Each monograph probes a specific research method or tool, discussing the history of the instrument as well as its current uses. A major feature of each monograph is an exploration of what the research instrument does and does not purport to tell us about second language acquisition or use. Each monograph addresses the kinds of research questions for which the method or instrument is best suited, its underlying assumptions, a characterization of the method or instrument, and an extended description of its use, including the problems associated with its use. It is hoped that the series as a whole will reflect the state of the research in second language acquisition. It is only through a deeper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses, and the advantages and disadvantages of particular research tools, that the field of second language acquisition can get beyond issues of methodology and begin to work together as a collective whole.

--Susan Gass --Jacquelyn Schachter Series Editors . . .

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