Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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This paper examines some aspects of English and Lebanese-Arabic adult-responses to child-answers, exploring the way the use of preferred communication strategies reflects culturally-based assumptions about learning and guiding learning. Adults who regularly deal with young children develop preferred interactive strategies which derive from social attitudes. Naturally there is an element of individual style, but this is only recognisable as individual in relation to the norm. These early experiences teach children how to make sense of the world and how to relate within it. They develop a relational competence, learning how to adapt to differing role expectations as they move between home, peer, preschool and school groups. Understanding how to ask and answer appropriately is certainly part of being a competent speaker. Home and pre-school norms are not always the same, and young children and adults don’t always understand each other, particularly in crosscultural interactions. Data was elicited from dyads engaged in narrative and descriptive tasks using sets of pictures. The approach is interpretive. In cross-cultural studies there is not always a neutral middle ground between cultures from which one can easily develop objective interpretations. There is a different ranking of values, assumptions and expectations. Part of the analytical approach of this research is aimed at reducing the potential for cultural bias in interpretations by using Natural Semantic Metalanguage to produce cultural scripts representing meanings.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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