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LINGUIST List 21.895

Tue Feb 23 2010

Diss: Applied Ling/Discourse Analysis: Vaughan: 'Just Say Something...'

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        1.    Elaine Vaughan, Just Say Something and We Can All Argue Then: Community and identity in the workplace talk of English language teachers

Message 1: Just Say Something and We Can All Argue Then: Community and identity in the workplace talk of English language teachers
Date: 23-Feb-2010
From: Elaine Vaughan <Elaine.Vaughanmic.ul.ie>
Subject: Just Say Something and We Can All Argue Then: Community and identity in the workplace talk of English language teachers
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Institution: University of Limerick
Program: PhD Applied Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009

Author: Elaine Claire Vaughan

Dissertation Title: Just Say Something and We Can All Argue Then: Community and identity in the workplace talk of English language teachers

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Discourse Analysis

Dissertation Director:
Anne O'Keeffe
Michael McCarthy

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis addresses the professional talk of English language teachers.
In doing so, it differs from the vast majority of the previous research by
focussing on naturally-occurring professional interaction outside the
language classroom. Teacher meetings were recorded in two different
settings: 1) the English department of a public university in México and 2)
a private language school in Ireland. In all, approximately 3.5 hours of
data, c. 40,000 words, was transcribed and analysed. The principle research
question focuses on how the existence of community and identity can be
linguistically codified. To address this question, the Communities of
Practice (CoP) framework is operationalised. The tripartite CoP criteria,
joint enterprise, mutual engagement and shared repertoire are used to
provide an over-arching narrative for the quantitative findings generated
by using corpus-based tools and the qualitative insights provided by
exploring these findings in depth, using discourse analytic methods,
particularly conversation analysis (CA). Pragmatic analyses provide a
further, crucial scaffold in the interpretation of the data. Analyses
explore everyday language that has taken on specialised meaning within the
community and how the professional knowledge encoded within it is
representative of a vast and intricate shared repertoire. This repertoire
is constructed, ratified, reified and continually re-negotiated through
regular, mutual engagement in the joint enterprises of the community. The
nexus of personal and professional identities, evidenced in the complexity
of reference within you, we and the particular reference encoded in they,
instantiate the construction of professional and community identity. Issues
of power and solidarity are explored through the prism of politeness theory
and the phenomenon of hedging. Humour and laughter are shown to provide a
frame within which to vent frustrations, resist institutional strictures
and even criticise students without compromising the teachers' professional
code.



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