Kitchen Talk – Exploring Linguistic Practices in Liminal Institutional Interactions in a Multilingual University Setting

Chapter
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 5)

Abstract

This chapter reports on a small-scale investigation of how linguistic diversity is managed and turned into a resource for social meaning making in an informal, multilingual setting at a Danish university. Although firmly located within the institution of the university, the particular setting (known as a kitchen) represents a liminal space where institutionally implemented regulations and norms of conduct, including norms related to language choice, are less formalised than for instance in classroom settings. When language choice is not a predetermined condition of interaction, the act of selecting or negotiating a medium of interaction becomes a relevant activity for interlocutors to engage in, and we see this repeatedly in our data. Drawing on methods and theoretical insights originating in the Conversation Analytic tradition, we present a number of illustrative examples of the practices of language choice that students display during the formation or reconfiguration of engagement frameworks. We argue that language choice is an important aspect of ‘doing being an international student’ for local as well as non-local students, although the norms the two groups orient to are different.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the International University (CALPIU)Roskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark

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