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Communicating in a Lingua Franca: Children’s Interaction in an International Summer Camp

Issue: Vol 4 No. 3 (2010) Second strings and linguistic connections: bilingual and bilinguistic explorations. Dedicated to Professor Michel Blanc

Journal: Sociolinguistic Studies

Subject Areas: Gender Studies Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/sols.v4i3.535


The aim of this paper is to investigate how children negotiate their language and social roles using English as a lingua franca in an international summer camp. Through detailed analysis of interactions in a group activity, it is found that the children employ a range of linguistic and interactional resources, in particular, language alternation, clarification and repair, and shadowing, to negotiate and manage their participation, despite disparities of their English language abilities. The analysis also shows how the participants deal with the tensions in group dynamics, which arise partly out of discrepancies between their self-perceived and other-perceived language abilities. The findings have theoretical and practical implications for understanding and facilitating youth interaction in multicultural settings.

Author: Jiang Yan, Zhu Hua

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