|摘要: ||Under the urgent demand of globalization, universities in Asia tend to promote joint courses of local students and foreign students to develop their cross-cultural communicative skills and deepen their understandings of multicultural society. Past studies, however, reveal that asymmetrical power dynamics between native speakers (NSs) and nonnative speakers (NNSs) and their certain interactional practices make the categorization of NS and NNS more evident (Mori, 2003; Ikeda, 2005; Sugihara, 2010 in Japanese). |
Using the methodological framework of conversation analysis, this study demonstrates how NSs and NNSs of Japanese collaboratively carry out constructive and autonomous group discussion without a designated discussion leader. In particular, this study explores the participants’ interactional attempt to achieve equal participation between the NSs and the NNSs.
The data were collected from a group discussion course targeting students of Japanese major and exchange students from Japan at one Taiwanese university. The students are divided into four groups. Each group consists of one or two NSs, one advanced-/upper-intermediate-level NNS, one intermediate-level NNS, and one novice-level NNS. Thus, all the groups inherently encounter problem of power imbalance caused by asymmetric linguistic abilities and the participants’ potential orientation to the NS’s cultural norms (Sugihara, 2010 in Japanese).
My design of curriculum is informed by the “workshop-based education program fostering students’ self-directing communication abilities” developed by Morimoto & Otsuka (2012). More specifically, it employs the “fishbowl discussion” method in which one group conducts discussion, while another group observes and evaluates it. This study focuses on one group’s discussion, which receives considerably good evaluation from the observation group. Comparing the video-recordings of this group’s discussion and those of other groups’, the consequent analysis discloses distinctive interactional characteristics in this group.
The findings show that, while the other groups’ NSs tend to dominate discussion procedure, the NS in the target group often consults with other participants about who to speak and what to talk about next. As a result, in the latter group, both the NS and the NNSs are interactively involved in decision-making processes on discussion management. In addition, the target group allows the novice NNS to deliver his opinion first, whereas the novice NNSs in the other groups usually get their turns at the end. When the novice NNS cannot fully express his thoughts, the advanced NNS asks follow-up questions to elicit this novice’s opinion, which is usually the NSs’ role in the other groups. Meanwhile, the NS in the target group tends to rephrase other participants’ utterances and summarize discussion thus far. However, in such occasions, unlike the other groups, the NNSs in the target group frequently co-construct the NS’s utterances, so that they can not only demonstrate understandings and agreement, but also voluntarily join the NS’s navigation of the discussion procedure.
Under the globalization, advanced skills to discuss with people from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds are required to construct a fair democratic society. I believe that the results of this study are instrumental in facilitating equal participation of citizens in a multicultural society.