Intercultural lunch breaks
The following audio files contain the recordings of different small groups of postgraduate research students at an international university during their lunch breaks. Most students know each other and meet and work together on a regular basis, although these specific lunch breaks were organised with the recordings in mind. The students participating in the gatherings have different linguacultural backgrounds. Thus, the audios will provide you an insight into different ways of using English language, and provide an example of how communication unfolds in an intercultural lingua franca situation. Students were not provided with pre-arranged topics to discuss. Instead, these emerged randomly during the lunch gatherings and therefore the contents of their discussions range from cats, to culture, travelling, international politics, or appraisals of healthcare systems.
Before listening to the audio you may find it useful to go back to Strand 6 (especially B6) and check if you can identify in the recording any of the features and/or strategies there described. Think about potential misunderstandings, repairs, accommodation strategies (convergence, divergence), linguistic features used and their impact, situated negotiations of form and/or meaning, creations or innovations, or how the different relations and identities being developed and performed are interwoven in the conversations (bear in mind that they are sometimes eating while interacting). It may also be interesting to analyse the extent to which the conceptualisations of English and ELF interactions you have learned so far (i.e. varieties, similects, virtual language, social practices, interlanguage, superdiversity, mobile resources), help you explain these specific communicative contexts. Think about what approach you would like to take to describe the interactions, and to what extent would the use of region/nation-based categorisations be useful (if at all).