Achieving Understanding

Achieving Understanding : Discourse in Intercultural Encounters

By (author)  , By (author)  , By (author)  , By (author)  , By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


This is a detailed study of understanding in a second language, related to the actual lives of minority workers. The focus is on everyday interactions between these workers and the bureaucrats of the society in which they are now resident. It provides an important contribution to the debate about the function of language as a social practice, adding a new perspective to the psycholinguistic and experimental paradigms, currently existing in second language acquisition research.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 17.78mm | 454g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0582086442
  • 9780582086449

Table of contents

1. Background to the understanding project
2. A social perspective on understanding: some issues of theory and method
2.0 Introduction
2.1 Identifying understanding and problems of understanding
2.2 Understanding and interaction
2.3 Understanding and context
2.4 Data analysis
2.5 Issues of variability
3. Causes of understanding problems
3.0 Introduction
3.1 Understanding problems triggered by a single, identifiable element
3.2 Understanding problems caused by relative degree of difficulty
3.3 Understanding problems caused by indirectness and implicit discourse norms
4. Managing understanding from a minority perspective
4.0 Introduction
4.1 The types of problems with understanding
4.2 Options the minority interactant can take: avoiding or indicating the problem with understanding
4.3 Managing procedures for indicating non-understanding
4.4 Face and the management of understanding
4.5 Potential for learning
4.6 Conclusion
5. Case studies
5.0 Introduction
5.1 Berta (Spanish-French)
5.2 Tino (Italian-German)
5.3 Ergun (Turkish-Dutch)
5.4 Santo (Italian-English)
6. Preventing problems of understanding
6.0 Introduction
6.1 Some options to prevent non-understanding
6.2 Resolving of ignoring problems of understanding: the interviewer's point of view
7. Joint negotiation of understanding: procedures for managing problems of understanding
7.0 Introduction
7.1 Classification following unspecific indication or 'symptoms' of non-understanding
7.2 Classification following specific indication: explication of lexical meaning
7.3 Maximal use of procedures-an example
8. Taking stock: contexts and reflections
8.0 Introduction
8.1 Facing upto our methods
8.2 Social and discoursal perspective on second language development
8.3 A critical perspective
8.4 Context and contextualisation
8.5 Institutional discourse
8.6 Some practical implications

Appendices, References, Index
show more

Review quote

"This is another outstanding text in Longman's Language in Social Life Series. It should be purchased and read at the earliest possible opportunity."

International Journal of Bilingualism

"Anyone interested in setting up a research project on cultural pragmatics...will find everything they have ever wanted to know in Achieving Understanding. This is a substantial volume...because of the breadth and length of the study."

ELT Journal

"A well-conceived research design, an interesting perspective, and a data-driven approach make 'Achieving Understanding' a thorough exploration of its topics. It will certainly be of interest to researchers in intercultural communication, critical linguistics, and second language acquisition, but specialists in (mis)understanding will find it indispensable....the authors are to be commended for providing not only a well-crafted design, but also a theory that has enormous heuristic potential."

Discourse and Society
show more