International teaching assistants’ initiation of negotiations in engineering labs
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- International teaching assistants’ initiation of negotiations in engineering labs
- Kim, Jeongyeon
- nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants; L2 interactional competence; unspecific meaning negotiation; engineering education
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- INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED LINGUISTICS, v.26, no.3, pp.420 - 436
- This study explores nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants’ interactional practices in engineering labs. Specifically, this study examines how the international teaching assistants (ITAs) initiate meaning negotiation while interacting with native English-speaking undergraduate students. The data for the study consist of 415 minutes of video-recorded interactions between four ITAs and undergraduate students in the engineering labs of an American university. The qualitative, discourse-driven analysis of the data revealed that the ITAs, initiating negotiations on the students’ turn, employed various unspecific initiators (e.g. ‘what?’) which were least effective in locating a problem. Initiation of negotiations occurred in multiples and was delayed. The findings highlight the importance of second language interactional competence, specifically the knowledge of how to handle a problem in the context of an engineering lab.
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