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Title: Gender and pragmatic transfer in topic development
Authors: Itakura, H
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Source: Language, culture and curriculum, 2002, v. 15, no. 2, p. 161-183 How to cite?
Journal: Language, culture and curriculum 
Abstract: It is well established that gender influences second-language acquisition. However, there has been little research on the role of gender in pragmatic transfer. This study examines whether gender influences pragmatic transfer of topic development behaviour in informal conversation by focusing on Japanese learners of English. Because their L1 (Japanese) norms of speaking are strongly affected by gender, transfer of these norms into L2 (English) context may mean that Japanese female learners are denied learning opportunities, and that both male and female Japanese learners are constrained to gender-specific modes of interaction instead of fully exploring a broader range of L2 uses. The same tendency may be found in other cultures, although to varying degrees. This quantitative-qualitative analysis of paired L1 and L2 mixed-gender conversations suggests that learners are indeed constrained to gender-specific modes of interaction – that is, male self-oriented and female other-oriented conversational styles and strategies – in both L1 and L2. It also reveals that gender-related conversational styles may have different levels of transferability, leading to the male speakers' reduced dominance in L2, as their strategies require more advanced interactional skills in L2. These findings point to several areas in SLA research that may prove of value to pursue.
ISSN: 0790-8318 (print)
1747-7573 (online)
DOI: 10.1080/07908310208666641
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