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Chubak (2013) i feel like a bag lady and other business conversations.tesl

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  • 1. Let’s keep it real and other business conversations Lynda Chubak | TESL Toronto | May 25, 2013 Instructor: Toronto District School Board | University of Toronto | Fair Tide Communications © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 1
  • 2. What’s coming up • Examine an overview of social talk at work • Look at new Canadian research • Discuss applications to teaching and learning © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 2
  • 3. MA Thesis, SLA “I feel like a bag lady”: Personal interstices, self-disclosures and empathetic affiliation during workplace meetings. University of Toronto, November, 2012 © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 3
  • 4. Un/under-employment factors • Foreign credentials not recognized • Limited or no Canadian experience • Insufficient language skills (Gilmore, 2009, Statistics Canada, 2009, Galarneau & Morisette, 2004, 2008 © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 4
  • 5. Understanding interaction “In order to understand the relationship between interaction and the process of language learning, it is vital to understand how the interaction is organized.” Seedhouse, 2005 (p.172) © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 5
  • 6. Social talk a.k.a. Institutional talk a.k.a. off-task relational transactional minimally informative mundane/ordinary everyday non-restricted small talk on-task maximally informative business work-oriented restricted gossip humour greetings/closings © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 6
  • 7. Early days of ‘small’ talk 1923 Malinowski phatic communion 1960 Jakobson worthy of study 1975 Laver indexical of social roles and attitudes 1984 Sacks everyday conversation becomes a focus Phatic Communion Phaticity © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 7
  • 8. On closer examination… • Creates co-membership (Bardovi-Harlig & Hartford, 2005) • Builds interpersonal equity (Mirivel & Tracy, 2005) • Employed as a people management tool (Tracy & Naughton, 2000) • Used strategically (Boyle, 2000) • Self-perception of abilities mixed (Cunningham, 2006) • Develops cohesiveness (Coupland, 2000) • Fundamental to on-the-job integration (Holmes, 2005a) © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 8
  • 9. From idealized to authentic © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 9
  • 10. social talk institutional talk a.k.a. off-task relational a.k.a. on-task transactional minimally informative maximally informative mundane/ordinary business everyday work-oriented non-restricted restricted small talk gossip humour greetings/closings © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 10
  • 11. Blurring the boundaries • Introduced fluidly during driving lessons and at the hair salon (McCarthy, 2000). • Used to offset uncomfortable intrusions during doctor-patient encounters (Maynard & Hudak, 2008, Walsh, 2007). • Pursued concurrently, with rules of engagement (Koester, 2004). • Categorized by whether institutional or personal roles are foregrounded (Jaworski, 2000, Holmes, 2000b). • Applied as a linguistic tool, not necessarily determined by topic (Coupland & YlanneMcEwen, 2000). © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 11
  • 12. Defining a new term Interstices On the web In science In art Laurie Anderson In architecture © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 12
  • 13. Interstices in architecture “interstices where human feelings may cling and overgrow it like ivy” Nathanial Hawthorne, 1876 Campanile di Giotto, Florence, Italy © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 13
  • 14. Personal Interstice* a.k.a social talk pop up* *coined by Lynda Chubak These two new terms… • underscore the emergence of ordinary conversation within ongoing institutional talk. • highlight placement as an interactional feature. © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 14
  • 15. Social talk and institutional culture • Local conventions are expected (Tarone, 2005). • Topics are highly context-specific (Subramanian, 2007; Coupland, 2003). • Organizational culture becomes apparent. Off-task anecdotes foster team identity (Holmes, 2006, Mirivel & Tracy, 2005). • Social distance is negotiated (Coupland, 2000). • Subterranean power and institutional authority is constructed (Holmes & Stubbe, 2003; Holmes, 2006). © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 15
  • 16. Social talk and institutional culture Power Excerpt 1 construction Context: Tom enters Greg’s (his boss) office to make a request for a day off. 1 Tom: can I just have a quick word 2 Greg: yeah sure have a seat 3 Tom: [sitting down] great weather eh 4 Greg: mm 5 Tom: yeah been a good week did you get away skiing at the weekend 6 Greg: yeah we did, now how can I help you 7 Tom: I was just wondering if I could take Friday off and make it a long weekend. Excerpt from: Language in the Workplace, Holmes, 2006, Holmes & Stubbe, 2003 © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 16
  • 17. Difficulties and variations • Transitioning from brief to extended exchanges found to be difficult (Holmes, 2005a). • Gender variations arise (Eggins and Slade,1997). • Lack of variation in overlap and formulaic speech acts present, both features common to native speakers (Meierford, 2000). • Variations between genres in use of modals, hedges, intensifiers appear (Koester, 2005). • Variation in communication skills is connected to task type (Walsh, 2007). © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 17
  • 18. Self-disclosure “I look like a bag lady.” “I ate way too much sugar.” “I had a bunch of health issues.” © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 18
  • 19. Self-disclosure “the process of making the self known to other persons” – (Jourard & Lasakow, 1958, p. 91) Canadian psychologist Sidney Jourard (1926-1974) © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 19
  • 20. Self-disclosure features • Hargie and Dickson (2004) – Use of a self-referent (I, my, mine) – Content dealing with facts or feelings – Expression of one’s own experience or a reaction to another’s – Past, present or future being represented – A number of possible functions • Stokoe (2009), Antaki Barnes and Leudar (2005) – “a social performance which must be brought off in interaction” (p. 181). © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 20
  • 21. Self-disclosure: situated • Antaki et al (2005) – something said “on one’s own behalf”, something above and beyond what is readily knowable – presented as newsworthy – understood as volunteered • Stokoe (2009) – position of response central to understanding action © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 21
  • 22. Norm of reciprocity A common social phenomenon of giving or feeling something that corresponds to something previously received. Reciprocal sequence: Anne: Hi Bob, how are you doing? Bob: I’m fine thanks, Bob: How are you? Anne: Great thanks. © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 22
  • 23. Stories are multifunctional • Entertaining • Informative • Sites of identity (re)construction (Holmes, 2005b) © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 23
  • 24. Second stories A form of reciprocity – a second story that resembles the first. Sacks observed “how finely the second story picked up at least one sense of the point of the first” (1992, p. 765). © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 24
  • 25. Conversation Analysis “there is order at all points” American sociologist Harvey Sacks, 1935-1976 Conversation Analysis is the study of recorded, naturally occurring conversation or talk-in-interaction. © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 25
  • 26. Conversation Analysis John Heritage: • The “dominant method for the sociological study of interaction” (2009, p. 300). • Used in anthropology, engineering, palliative care, communications, linguistics, politics and law (2010). • Practiced in an estimated half of the world’s countries (2010). © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 26
  • 27. Conversation Analysis • A conversation model hypothesis: – A simplest systematic for the organization of turn-taking for conversation (Sacks, Schegloff & Jefferson, 1974). • The order of our everyday social interactions are what conversation analysts seek to locate. • Talk as action, not talk as language (Kitzinger, 2000). © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 27
  • 28. Talk as Action We are always “doing”. • Doing being ordinary (Sacks, 1970/1984) • Doing influence (Clifton, 2009) • Doing avoidance (Markee, 2011) • Doing gender (Kitzinger, 2009) • Doing power (Ladegaard, 2011) • Doing collegiality (Holmes, 2000b) • Doing self-disclosure (Chubak, 2012) © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 28
  • 29. Why that now?* *Schegloff & Sacks, 1973 © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 29
  • 30. Ordinary Institutional Forms of institutional talk are measured and examined against the primordial form of ordinary conversation (Drew, 2005). © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 30
  • 31. Canadian Workplace Research Data collection summer and fall of 2011 – Marketing firm ~100 employees – Institutional catering company ~60 employees – Engineering firm ~30 employees – 34 hours of audio | 69 individuals | 165 conversations from 1 to 107 minutes – 17 hours pre/post interviews | on-site observations | publically available information © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 31
  • 32. Unmotivated listening Through unmotivated listening orderliness emerges. “[T]he aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity”. Wittgenstein (1953/2009) © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 32
  • 33. Developing a collection Moving from one interactional practice to a collection, “talk” must: 1. be recurrent 2. be specifically positioned within a turn or sequence (or both), and 3. have some specific interpretation, consequence, or set of consequences. Heritage & Clayman, 2010 © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 33
  • 34. A potential collection… Self-reference, self-disclosure personal interstices 87 turns-at-talk included these 3 features: • the first person pronoun “I” (self-reference); • personal information about self to another (self-disclosure); • insertion into institutional talk (personal interstice). 21 were part one/part two of a reciprocal selfdisclosure a.k.a. second story sequence © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 34
  • 35. Self-disclosure sampling 1st: “I don’t want to do this [have a baby] again.” Dianne 2nd:“I don’t want a newborn. I don’t want a teenager.” Rachel 1st: “I had a bunch of chocolate and I felt like shit.” Dianne 2nd: “I ate way too much sugar…I was so sick.” Jake 1st: “I got pretty sick when I came to Toronto.” Jake 2nd: “I mean I had a bunch of health issues.” Denise Features: personal interstice, self-reference, self-disclosure, voluntarily offered, news component, second incorporates features and forms of first. © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 35
  • 36. Participants: Penny, Bookkeeper Rachel, Director, School Programs Context: Food Co. 20 minute meeting to review accounting issues. Food Co. Penny and Rachel Example 3a/b 1 [O↑kay, well that’s good to know. Pen 2 (1.1) ((paper rustling)) 3 Pen 4 Rac 5 (Thanks very [much.) [(But it’s still) screwing up elsewhere¿ (.) 6 Pen (°°I kno:w°°)= 7 Rac =I have a feeling that the report is right, 8 but where: we’re communicating is probably 9 where thuh (1.5) breakdown is. You look frozen. 10 (2.1) 11 Pen a Well I’m not bad except I look like a bag lady 12 cuz I’m [wearing ]hh= [↑No: you do:n’t.] 13 Rac 14 Pen 15 Rac 16 Pen [ 17 Rac [You look good:] 18 =[s(h)o ]ma(hhh)ny la(hh)yers •hh haha •hh haha [hehaha ha] he ha ] he•hhe thank yo(hh)u but. (0.3) 19 Rac I like it. 20 Pen •h I feel kinda crazy [but hhe]hehhe but= 21 Rac 22 Pen 23 Rac 24 Pen 25 26 [hmhhm =[I’m ]warm actually. [(xxx)] •hh usually- usually I feel- I-I am freezing usually [•hheh h heh he Rac b ] ] [yeah >I know. People] are always>when 27 I dress like that<People are always like 28 are you freezing¿ I’m like<not anymore. 29 [(Like I)] 30 31 Pen [hehe ha ]I was before when I was dress like a nor(h)mal [per(h)son(h])hehe ha © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 32 Rac [exactly. ] 36
  • 37. Participants: Frank, President Sanjaya, Engineering Intern Engineering Co. Frank and Sanjaya Example 9a/b Fra Y’ever feel¿ 20 San Oh: yah 21 San oh [yah. 22 Context: Engineering Co. 20 minute meeting to review site modifications. 19 Fra 23 San a Y’ah: (.) I’m- five uh: five s:::even 24 Fra Five seven, 25 San Five seven. (.) 26 27 San 28 29 [yah:: (x) Y-yu are what five six five seven? °Yah. (1.5) Fra 30 Wow. (1.5) 31 San ‘n he’s what six f:↑our? 32 Fra Six ↑six 33 San Oh: man. 34 Fra Six six. 35 San It’s a foot(uh hu hu 36 37 (.) Fra b (I’m a)five eleven in a good day. 38 (.)((papers shuffling)) 39 >I’m lucky(if I’ve a xx that’s six eight). 40 [>(I’ve]looked for)] a good excuse.= 41 San [huhu h] 42 Fra =>Ever since I’ve started shavin my head I’m five 43 ten.< •h: Anyway. uhm: (0.3) So that’s pretty 44 well it for room D. © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 37
  • 38. Discussion: Personal Interstices revisited • Personal interstices are architecturally embedded into institutional goal-oriented interactions. • Hierarchical roles do not systematically influence how these reciprocal sequences are either initiated or closed. • Returning to business talk is sometimes achieved as a multi-step, co-constructed endeavour. • Personal interstices do not necessarily have to be relevant to on-going task performance. © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 38
  • 39. Discussion: Norm of reciprocity and second stories revisited • Key descriptors/features are retained, mirroring another’s self and displaying empathetic affiliation. • “my mind is with you” (Sacks, 1992b, p.257) • Second parts display agreement, display understanding because: I also don’t want a newborn | I also ate too much sugar I also like the salt | I’m also not as tall as I say I’ve also had health issues | I’m also cook from scratch I also never click those things | I also dress in layers. • Workplace camaraderie is possibly achieved through these exchanges. © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 39
  • 40. Discussion • Careful examination of personal interstices reveals how collegial relationships are shaped by talk, and make the “seen but unnoticed” (Clifton 2006, p. 206) visible. • “These little exchanges are, then, the mundane sites in which the grand, macrotheoretical themes about norms and values and cultural capital are played out” (Schegloff, 1996b, p. 171). • Language proficiency may require having equal access to participating in these personal interstices, and access begins by becoming aware that they exist. © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 40
  • 41. Research applications This and other conversation analysis-based research can: 1. Better inform instruction. 2. Provide access to authentic conversation models. 3. Heighten awareness of workplace social talk’s pervasiveness and functions. 4. Demonstrate one way to show empathy and build workplace affiliation. © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 41
  • 42. Over to you… How can you see turning the findings from these studies into teachables? © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 42
  • 43. Thank you! Contact information: Email: Lynda.chubak@gmail.com Twitter: @lyndachubak LinkedIn: ca.linkedin.com/in/lyndachubak/ © Lynda Chubak, May, 2013 43
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