Being A Student At Radio School By Hana Mills

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Interview with 19 yearold female radio school student.

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Being A Student At Radio School By Hana Mills

  1. 1. Being a Student at Radio School <br />By Hana Mills<br />11<br />
  2. 2. Interview <br />When I conducted this interview with my flat mate on what being a student at radio school is like, what does the course require of you, what kinds of things does the course cover, and asked her to give a demonstration of a time she was on air, I took into consideration what I had already learnt about the topic and made some comparisons between how the topic was spoken about on and off the record. <br />
  3. 3. Discourse/Conversation<br />The topic was covered in a face to face interview and also off the record, when the microphone wasn’t on. <br />It was noticeable that at times when the interview became less formal it became more conversational and natural.<br />Turn Structure. In the majority of interviews there is an understanding and expectation that there be a turn structure; ask the question and wait for the answer. Attitudes towards ‘turns’ can be firm set or when an interview is not structured, turns resemble those made in a typical conversation where there are no absolute rules. <br />Power and Control<br />
  4. 4. Discourse<br />My findings in doing this interview were that when the interviewee is speaking off the record about Radio school, the tone is considerably more enthusiastic but the interviewee also berates parts of the course, for example recently she was talking about how their class has just been given three new assignments this week and when discussing this whilst cooking dinner her response was “It’s so gay, aye”. I considered this as a discourse marker and notice that in the interviewees’ every day speech, I could pick up quite a few discourse markers, such as: “Like”, “Hard out”, “I reckon“ “aye” and “Pretty much” Part of this I believe is to do with her culture and the region she lives in. The interviewee is aged nineteen, is Maori, and comes from a small rural community in the North Island. These discourse markers are representative of a type of regional dialect. But when I asked in the face to face interview about the weight of assignments and how hefty is the workload, the response was far more careful, there were none of these discourse markers and although she remained honest about her feelings, she delivered them with more caution: as though she was thinking about how to keep it short and simple and use more ‘appropriate’ language, instead saying “We’ve just been given three and that’s quite big for me but I think it’s just better not to procrastinate and just get on with it, but yeah” .<br />It was also noticeable that when more personal questions were asked like: Do you feel more comfortable talking to a certain age group, if so which? The answer didn’t come immediately, she seemed to think carefully about it before saying “I kind of prefer talking to the older audiences, like 25-40 for some reason. I don’t really know why. But it also helps to know who your audience is before”. When questions were more personal the interviewee’s voice lowered and deepened and when asked about achieving her goals and receiving advice on how to improve she kept ending her sentences with “I am getting better. I have been getting better”<br />
  5. 5. Conversation<br />At no time did the interview completely breakdown to become more like a conversation, however when asked about her latest assignment that I have given her ideas for because of the intimacy over this particular subject there was a small switch in both our language so that listening back it sounds like a little conversation within the interview. I was not surprised at this as in this case the intimacy levels are much stronger than those of strangers doing the interview. Despite setting up the interview and having all my questions planned and layed out, I began to notice myself becoming less stiff or formal in my deliverance putting in the gaps where the turn takes places things like “In other words” and “What I mean is”. The aim of this was not just to make sure that my questions were understood so that I could get full and detailed answers, but also to see if that generated any change in her own way of responding, did getting denied the first turn cause any switch in who held the power and control in the interview? Another thing I wanted to test was if there was a switch how long she kept herself in one position, did she keep it simple and careful or did she begin to take over so that my position was suddenly not so significant.<br />However my intentions didn’t appear to cause any change in how the interview flowed. Power share was equal and control kept the structure of the interview steady. Until the fake radio interview when I took charge in both positions of interviewer and interviewee. When I asked her to interview me, she wanted me to direct her, I was giving her the power and she was reluctant to take control. I was in control in both roles and that was never challenged.  <br />
  6. 6. Narrative<br />The Notion Domain<br />One story was discussed three times in three different ‘domains’ and each time the story was told the language changed.<br />I listened to the story as a friend, then as an interviewer, and lastly as an interviewer in a play role.<br />Code switching Reflexive Project. <br />Intimacy and Distance <br />When intimacy was strongest and when distance was created.<br />
  7. 7. The Notion Domain<br />When looking at the idea of “the Notion Domain” where there are different contexts of language that are used in different domains, topic can also determine what kind of language is appropriate to use. This topic of radio school is less formal than say climate change, so I also noticed that because the topic was less serious the tone and use of language was treated as less serious and delivered with a slight shift between formal and informal, again I studied the comparison between how she spoke about the topic on the record and off the record. My biggest comparison was in listening and asking questions about a promotion task the students were required to do as part of their course. I did this in three different domains. The promotion was called ‘Running Brides’ and the winner got a dream wedding worth $40,000. The students had to dress up in fake wedding gowns and take part in the race. I asked her to tell me how it went that evening and in talking naturally about it she had a lot of things both good and not so good things about the event, mostly the general idea was that it was stupid that they took part since it was an actual competion and they had to perpusoly lose, but it was a lot of fun and they were interviewed about their ‘relationship’ and it ended up on the tv one news and in the paper. However in the interview she gave a far more structured delivery of the story, going point by point and leaving out a lot of her personal feelings about it.<br />
  8. 8. Code-switching and Reflexive Project<br />During the fake radio interview I tried to reflect her language, typically labeled as non-standard NZE my dialect and voice changed , I was making a slight mockery of a radio host, being very loud and over the top. But when doing the interview, I switched to a formal dialect of standard NZE. I tried to avoid using any discourse markers to see if my language was picked up on and if any switches appeared. When I made these two very different switches I was interested to find that her language did not reflect my own, rather when we did the fake radio show, my switch was to non-standard English and her switch was to a more British standard English, even using a very English dialect. This was also the first time she had really mentioned herself and in the running bride’s story. Saying “I was the only one wearing a pink dress, it was a nice sparkly number. And it was excellent day, lovely weather” It was possibly a cause of how much distance the second interview created. Definatly when there was more intimacy like when discussing her radio show creation the language became less formal and when we were pretending to interview each other on air as strangers was where the most distance was created and both our language and dialects changed. <br />
  9. 9. Conclusion<br />I chose to interview my flat mate about radio school because I believed that doing a course where interviews are familiar it would be interesting to see how she performed off air as well as on air. What was different, when and how did it change? <br />

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