Dealing with Communicative Problems in English as a Lingua Franca

Agnieszka Nowicka
2008 Kalbotyra  
Lingua franca communication in conversation analysis perspective The aim of the article is to discuss, first, how the differences in socio-cultural interaction styles can influence communication, second, what is interaction participants' orientation to the problems originating in those differing styles and finally, how such troubles are negotiated, and more specifically, repaired in communication. Conversation analysis (CA) will be used to analyze an illustrative excerpt of interaction in
more » ... h. In CA perspective, English as a lingua franca (ELF) communication is defined as a spoken interaction in English used as a contact language between persons who do not share either a native tongue or a common national culture (Firth 1996, 239-240). Even though the definition serves as a reference point for CA study of LF communication, it seems to be somehow static in the sense of not taking into account the dynamic context of the interaction, its locality and interactional relevance of such macro concepts as culture. The assumption of stable cultural differences between interlocutors seems too farfetched, since ELF can be as well used between the persons who share a common culture, for example, two Polish students of English communicating during class or both taking part in a conversation with a foreigner. Besides, in the process of language socialization, enculturation or simply school learning, the degree of the sharedness of cultural/discourse norms can change and the so called non-native speakers can reach a very high level of communicative competence in their second language. The main point, however, is that in the perspective of CA, the cultural aspect of communication does not need to coincide with its lingua franca aspect, since it appears that it is interaction participants' orientation that allows us to define communication in their perspective as either intercultural or simply lingua franca or both. Interactions can happen in lingua franca but it does not automatically entail their interculturality in terms of participants' orientations to "intercultural" subjects and differing socio-cultural identities, because interactants may or may
doi:10.15388/klbt.2008.7610 fatcat:fo4qgckc6fe65e5kpfklhfzplm