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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Okay? Yeah? Right?: Negotiating understanding and agreement in master's supervision meetings with international students
Author(s): Bowker, David
Supervisor(s): Benwell, Bethan
Keywords: supervision
international students
conversation analysis
Issue Date: Sep-2012
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The aim of this study was to explore communication between supervisors and international students in the context of master’s supervision meetings. Nine meetings between three lecturers and seven students were audio recorded and analysed using Conversation Analysis. The focus of the study is the supervisors’ use of Yeah?, Okay? and Right? after students’ minimal responses and silence, usually following supervisors’ informing and advising turns. The use of these tags in this position is distinctive, and throws some light on the practice of supervision and on the ways students and supervisors orient to their roles. The tags can be seen to function to underline the supervisors’ actions of informing or advising, to mark transitions in the supervisors’ talk, to express doubt about the students’ understanding or agreement, and to invite students to speak. The sequences of which these tags are a part highlight both the asymmetrical relationship between supervisors and students and the negotiation of understanding and agreement that is a central issue in this setting, particularly when supervisors and students do not share the same linguistic or cultural background. I conclude by outlining some implications for supervisors’ practice, and also some specific suggestions which might be considered by teachers of English for academic purposes.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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