Changing frames in native speaker and learner talk

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This study examines how Spanish native speakers (NSs) and second language (L2) learners deal with changing frames in talk. Goffman’s (1974) ideas of frames and ‘keys’ are extended to NS-learner informal interviews to characterize the pragmatic resources that NS and learners use to change frames. The data indicate that the participants signal changes using various pragmatic resources, such as questions implying a new frame, personal comments, and emotional reactions such as laughter or sympathy. Frame changes can also be rejected. The study illustrates the role of pragmatics in pointing to changes in the discourse, showing that L2 communication difficulties can stem from such changes. These pragmatic resources should be part of the description of ‘shared repertoires’ that facilitate dialogue in NS-learner communities.


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