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Rethinking Silence: Contextual Understanding of Oral Participation in an L2 Academic Classroom

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2010, 18(1), pp.165-191
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

하명정 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article is a response to the need for a more nuanced understanding of the silence and talk concerns of participants with Asian and American backgrounds in relation to class participation. Although the silence of students from Asian culture in English-dominant education has been widely discussed in the L2 literature, a comparative approach to silence of Asian and American students in academic courses is scarce. By attempting to deconstruct dichotomizing trends of thinking about classroom silence embedded in cultural differences, this study aims to position dialogic negotiations of differences on the fault line in-between cultures. Using data from students’ essays and classroom observation over a semester, I compare and contrast perceptions of oral participation in an L2 academic class. I discuss what common expectations both groups have regarding oral participation and the differing attitudes they have toward silence and willingness to communicate. My discussion implies the need to remap dichotomizing ideas about East versus West and to form a pedagogically appropriate response to silence in increasingly intercultural academic communities.

Citation status

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