Embodied resistance : a historiographic intervention into the performance of queer violence
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This study analyzes the development of Interactional Competence by a learner of Spanish in the study abroad context. The data are derived from six conversations between the learner and a native speaker of Spanish filmed over the course of the learner’s academic year abroad. The analysis of the data consist of two main foci: analysis of the learner’s displayed skills in speaker selection, alignment activity, and topic management, and how those skills evolved over the course of the year abroad; and analysis of the roles that the learner and the native speaker play in co-construction, again examining how those roles evolved over time. The learner’s level of development at the beginning of the year abroad in the three categories of interactional resources analyzed showed already relatively strong skills in speaker selection and nascent or undeveloped skills in alignment activity and topic management. By the end of her stay abroad, she showed stronger skills in both speaker selection and alignment activity, and improved though still limited skill in topic management. The learner’s development in these interactional resources is viewed as evidence of improvement in Interactional Competence. Examination of the roles the interactants assumed revealed orientation to the novice/expert paradigm, as evidenced by their discussion of language learning and by the prevalence of repair. In their discussions, the interactants propose an engagement in which the learner can participate in concert with an expert but with limited responsibility and available support. Over the course of the year, both of the interactants initiated repair less frequently, especially in terms of form-focused versus meaning-based repair. Orientation to the novice/expert dynamic and movement away from this dynamic over time was viewed as evidence of the learner’s trajectory from peripheral towards full participation in interaction. In addition, the learner’s movement towards fuller participation in the interaction was displayed in her greater activity in coconstruction while the native speaker held the floor, especially in terms of alignment activity. This research helps characterize and develop the notion of Interactional Competence and provides insights into facets of the development of the learner’s Interactional Competence in the study abroad setting.