Intercultural Language Socialization through Volunteering: Blending Local and Global Programs of Action

By James Michael Perren.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study reveals different types of directives that are produced, but with ambiguity in form and conversation delivery. Multiple factors were shown to contribute to the international English users’ (L2 users) struggle to initiate relationships at nonprofit organizations. Native English speakers’ restraint to engage accompanied by the international participants’ lack of communication associated with fear of making mistakes had a profound impact on the extent of intercultural language socialization. Perception of native English speakers’ use of excessive speech rate in conjunction with additional facets of awkward delivery also resulted in less comprehension. The study demonstrates how manipulation of conversation delivery and implementation of strategies for interacting with people from different cultures leads to positive outcomes and increased comprehension. Findings from the study also show how challenges to asymmetrical social meanings contributing to conversations with distinct culturally-based communicative styles. Furthermore, L2 users’ active initiation and contribution to directive encounters was discovered through their exploiting the use of greetings, introductions, disclaimers, backchannel signals, and questions. These accounts show L2 users building relationships while simultaneously displaying familiarity with social appropriateness conventions characteristic of competent language users. L2 users of English were also shown to maintain communicative involvement through agency and their active involvement in negotiated interaction. L2 users were shown to deepen their prior linguistic and social connections through mutual involvement and strategic deployment of linguistic features such as backchannel signals, clarification questions, repetition, and directives as multiple resources. Interactional routines were shown to have a variable presence in the volunteer workplace and were sometimes embroidered with formulaic expressions. Results also show how lack of potential development correlated with an infrequency of interaction at the volunteer workplace as well as other concerns for maintaining positive face and reducing a negative self-image as an incompetent L2 user.

Keywords: Intercultural, Civic Engagement, Poststructural Theory, Second Language Acquisition, Language Socialization, Nonprofit Organizations

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 7, pp.33-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.249MB).

Dr. James Michael Perren

Assistant Professor of TESOL, TESOL Section, Department of World Languages, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA

James M. Perren earned his Ed.D. in Curriculum, Instruction and Technology in Education: Language Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Perren is an Assistant Professor in TESOL at Eastern Michigan University. His research interests include technology in language education, service learning in applied linguistics, intercultural communication, ESL teaching methodology, and second language acquisition.


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