Talks and presentations

Spotlights on the ‘practiced language policy’ in the international university: a case study of multilingual interaction in higher education

December 10, 2018

Joint Conference Presentation, the Symposium of Classroom Interaction at the Internationalised University, University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K.

Higher Educational institutions in the UK, and universities in particular, are often adopting ‘internationalisation strategies’ to adapt to the continuous transnational movements of their staff and students. As a result, multilingualism is now a key characteristic of higher education in the UK. However, UK universities being traditionally shaped by English monolingual discourses and English as a medium of instruction, little is known as to whether the ethnolinguistic diversity of staff and students is reflected in day to day teaching and learning activities.

Interactional Competence: What can we tell from collaborative speaker transitions in multiparty university student meetings?

March 20, 2017

Conference Presentation, the colloquium of “Expanding the Scope of Interactional Competence” at the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) 2017 Conference, Portland, Oregon, United States.

The concept of interactional competence (IC) has been examined increasingly within the framework of CA (e.g., Kasper, 2009), especially beyond the boundaries of second/foreign language settings in the last decade (e.g., Hall, 2011; Okada, 2013). This extending body of research on IC has started to overlap with the growing body of research on multimodal L1 interaction (e.g., Ford & Stickle, 2012; Goodwin, 2007; Mondada, 2009), with a common interest on how multimodal resources are configured by participants to accomplish social actions collaboratively and co-ordinately. The present study lies at this intersection and attempts to provide both fields with empirical data from an educational and institutional setting, that is, university student group meetings. Drawing upon video- and audio-recordings ten hours of meetings of a group of naval architecture undergraduate students from the Newcastle University Corpus of Academic English (NUCASE) (Walsh, 2014), the current study aims at investigating the professional and academic IC(s) of university students to participate in multiparty group meetings.

Speaker Transitions and the Interactional Space: a Multimodal CA Analysis on University Student Meetings

December 19, 2016

Conference Presentation, the 10th CA Day Conference, Loughborough University, Loughborough, U.K.

Drawing upon video- and audio-recordings of group meetings conducted by architecture undergraduate students from the Newcastle University Corpus of Academic English (NUCASE) (Walsh, 2014), the current study aims at investigating the academic competences of university students to participate in multiparty group meetings. In particular, inspired by Kendon’s (1990) notion of transactional segment and Sacks and Schegloff’s (Sacks & Schegloff, 2002; Schegloff, 1998) idea of ‘body torque’ and ‘home position’, a sequential multimodal analysis was carried out to examine and compare cases of speaker transition in which speakers are seated at different positions around the squared desks, particularly to see how they manage to establish mutual orientation or enable mutual monitoring. It was shown that participants rely on different multimodal resources (e.g., body torque, inclination, gaze) available at different seating positions, and such resources were deployed to constitute, maintain or mobilise shared interactional space at different stages of their sequential actions.

Exploring Embodied Interaction beyond Text

September 04, 2015

Joint Conference Presentation, the colloquium of 'Characterising Interactional Competence in Higher Education Small Group Talk' at the 48th Annual Meeting of British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL), Aston University, Birmingham, U.K.

Undeniably, all human interaction is multimodal in nature and both vocal and bodily-visual elements are central to meaning-making. In recent decades, most corpus-based studies of language and communication have focused on linguistic analyses of texts (Adolphs & Carter, 2007). Further, although conversation analytic studies since the 1980s has addressed the importance of visual modalities (e.g. eye-gaze, gesture, body positioning) in social interaction, we still know little about their sequentiality and position in talk-in-interaction, especially ‘how different modalities play together to perform recognisable social practice’ (Mortensen, 2012).

Embodied Participation in University Student Meetings

June 25, 2015

Conference Presentation, Revisiting Participation: Language and Bodies in Interaction, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Despite a large existing body of research on school and language classroom interactions, much more is yet to be discovered on how university students interact with each other and participate in learning in higher education contexts (Benwell & Stokoe 2002). To gain a fuller picture of how participation is organised by tutors and students in university small group teaching (SGT) talk and unfold the reflexive relationship between the on-going talk and the organisation of multi-party collaborative participation frameworks (Goodwin 2007), the present study analyses video/audio recordings of peer-group and tutor-led SGT sessions across disciplines in the 1,000,000-word (approx. 120 hours) corpus named NUCASE (Newcastle University Corpus of Academic Spoken English).

How can Task-based Language Teaching be adapted in EFL contexts ? A case study in China

October 25, 2014

Conference Presentation, the 7th International Conference on English Language Teaching in China, Nanjing University, P.R.China

As we entered the ‘post-method’ era, a non-doctrinaire approach to the task-based method (TBLT) is increasingly supported, especially by voices from EFL contexts; it combines the context-free features of TBLT with contextual adaptations to local constraints and needs. Taking such a stance, the present case study seeks to uncover the actual teaching practice and teacher beliefs of a group of English teachers in a private secondary school in Zhejiang, China, where a communicative approach is encouraged. The study provides insights into teachers perceive and enact TBLT in local settings, and contributes to the under-developed area of classroom-based empirical studies on TBLT in mainland China.