Accommodation in the ELF communication

Kanghee Lee
Accommodation in ELF
Accommodation in CAT
Accommodative strategies- convergence, divergence, maintenance
Motivations and consequences of accommodation
Types of accommodation- psychological (subjective)/linguistic(objective)
Optimal levels of convergence and divergence - over-, under-accommodation
Research in CAT
The research questions
The pilot study- focus group & semi-structured interview
 Accommodation –
adjusting speech to facilitate communication or
changing one’s speech to make it more intelligible or
sometimes converging one’s spoken habits to resemble
those of one’s interlocutors (Cogo 2009: 254)
 Mauranen (2007: 244) – ‘Adaptability and intercultural negotiation
skills’ → an essential requirement for successful communication in ELF
 Jenkins (2000, 2006) –ELF speakers need to adjust their speech in order
to be intelligible to interlocutors from a wide range of L1 backgrounds.
 Deterding and Kirkpatrick (2006) - the most important skill → the
ability to accommodate one’s pronunciation to the needs and the
knowledge of one’s listeners
 Cogo and Dewey (2006) - accommodation → one of the prevailing
strategies in ELF pragmatics.
 Seidlhofer (2004) - drawing on extralinguistic cues, identifying and
building on shared knowledge, gauging and adjusting to interlocutors’
linguistic repertoires, supportive listening, signalling non-comprehension
in a face-saving way, asking for repetition or paraphrasing
• Mauranen (2007) – the high demand for ‘clarity’ and ‘explicitness’
Rephrasing, topic negotiation, and discourse
reflexivity → Adaptive ELF discourse strategies
• Cogo (2009) - repetition and code-switching→ accommodative
strategies for communicative efficiency and cooperation,
signalling affiliation to their community & identifying them as
members of one of the multilingual ELF communities
• Kaur (2009) – ELF speakers pre-empt problems of understanding
Repetition & paraphrasing → repair strategies for
potential problems of understanding
 CAT- to describe and explain speech modification
and the underlying motivations, communication
processes, and consequences of shifts
 Convergence : to make their speech and communication
patterns similar to that of their interlocutors to gain
approval from an interlocutor and to facilitate
comprehension or improve the effectiveness
 Divergence: to accentuate the communicative difference
between themselves and their interlocutors to display
distinctiveness from one’s interlocutor or to reinforce
their positive sense of identity (maintenance)
 Maintenance: to persist the speech style and pattern,
socially divergent behaviour
 Linguistic accommodation (objective accommodation)
- actual speech behaviour (Gallois et al. 2005: 126).
 Psychological accommodation (subjective
accommodation) - speakers’ motivations and
intentions to converge or diverge (Thakerar et al 1982;
Gallois et al. 2005: 126).
 Over-accommodation – patronising or ingratiating
moves (e.g. foreigner talk or baby talk / patronising talk
for the elders)
 Under-accommodation - speaker’s maintenance of
linguistic behaviour and discourse patterns
Most research on CAT is based on NS-NS interactions
Mainly focus on phonological accommodation, not
syntactic or pragmatics
The lack of accommodation in NS-NNS interactions
→ the limitation of NNSs’ proficiency
What kinds of accommodation strategies do East
Asian ELF speakers typically use?
To what extent are East Asian ELF speakers aware
of accommodation in their communication?
How does accommodation vary according to a
range of sociolinguistic variables?
What are the implications for ELT in East Asia?
 Focus group
pre-sessional MA students from Korea (maletransportation engineering), Taiwan (male-material
engineering), China (female-marketing), and Thailand
(male-maritime engineering)
 Semi-structured interview
Chinese MA student (Linguistics-female) and 1
Taiwanese MA student (Business and Managementfemale).
→ Difficult to find dynamic accommodative interaction
Is focus group not adequate as a research method for
The lack of acquaintance among participants
Alternative method
Cogo , A. and M. Dewey. 2006. ‘Efficiency in ELF Communication: From Pragmatic Motives to Lexico-grammatical
Innovation,’ Nordic Journal of English Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2
Cogo, A. 2009, Accommodaing Difference in ELF Concersations: A study of Pragmatic Strategies in Mauranen & Ranta
(eds.) English as a Lingua Franca: Studies and Findings, p 254-273. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Deterding and Kirkpatrick 2006 Emerging South-East Asian Englishes and intelligibility . World Englishes, Vol. 25,
Issue 3-4, p. 315-529
Gallois et al. 2005. Communication Accommodation Theory in Gudykunst W. (ED.), Theorising about Intercultural
Communication, Sage, Language Arts & Disciplines.
Giles et al. 1991. Context s of Accommodation. Cambridege, UK : Cambridge University Press..
Jenkins , J. 2000. The Phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press
Jenkins, J. 2006. ‘Current Perspectives on Teaching World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca’. TESOL
Quarterly, Vol.40, No. 1, pp. 157-181
Kaur , J. 2009, Pre-empting Problems of Understanding in English as a Lingua Franca in Mauranen & Ranta
(eds.) English as a Lingua Franca: Studies and Findings, p 107-123. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Mauranen , A. 2007. “Hybrid VoIces: English a the Lingua Franca of Academics” in Language and Discipline Perspectives on
Academic Discourse, ed. Kjersti Flottum, 243-59. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Seidlhofer B. 2004. Research Perspectives on teaching English as a Lingua Franca. Annual Review of Applied
Linguistics 24: 209-239
Thekerar et al. 1982. Psychological and linguistic parameters of speech accommodation theory. In C.Fraser & K.R.
Scherer (Eds.), Advances in the social psychology of language (p. 205-255). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University

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