Reconstructing NS/NNS communication


  • Marta Gonzalez-Lloret


The study of miscommunication between native speakers (NS) and non-native speakers (NNS) is a recent one, derived mainly from the literature on miscommunication between native speakers, borrowing its terminology and paradigms. Most of the studies focus mainly either on the source of miscommunication or trouble source, or on how the repair process begins, that is who initiates the repair (either the speaker -self-repair initiation- or the listener -other-initiated repair). This study considers two other important steps in a case of miscommunication: the negotiation/repair and the re-establishment of communication. That is, who collaborates in the repair of the miscommunication and how the interaction is reconstructed. A better understanding of the reinstatement process is an essential step for Second Language Learning since sociolinguistic interaction is a vital part of communication. This paper presents eight interactions. Seven of them service encounters, between NS and NNS from a Conversation Analysis (CA) perspective, focusing on what type of misunderstanding or non-understanding occurs, who initiates the repair and how, who actually repairs the miscommunication and how, and how participants continue constructing the interaction after it is repaired. ?Much learning does not teach understanding? Heraclitus (540BC-480BC)