Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



As in every conversation, negotiation for control and connection is at the heart of communication in the study abroad homestay. Finding a comfortable footing on the control-and-connection continua (i.e., closeness versus distance, and hierarchy versus equality) is both a product and a process of language learning in the homestay. Drawing on interviews of all parties and recordings of homestay interactions, we present the dialectical interplay of control and connection through analysis of conversational narratives recounted at Chinese homestay dinner tables. We recruit Wertsch’s (1998) notion of mediated action to show how stories, as cultural tools, were employed by the hosts and students to construct moral injunctions and to cultivate closeness through mutual caring (), affective gratification (), and attentiveness (). Findings of the study challenge assumptions about homestay communication as a power struggle only and underscore the importance of teaching students to appreciate the value of interpersonal exchange in homestay settings.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Blum-Kulka, S.
    (1997) Dinner talk: Cultural patterns of sociability and socialization in family discourse. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Brown, R., & Gilman, A.
    (1960) The pronouns of power and solidarity. InT. Sebeok (Ed.), Style in language (pp.253–276). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Cook, H.
    (2006) Joint construction of folk beliefs by JFL learners and Japanese host families. InM. A. Dufon & E. Churchill (Eds.), Language learners in study abroad contexts (pp.120–150). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853598531‑009
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853598531-009 [Google Scholar]
  4. (2008) Socializing identities through speech style: Learners of Japanese as a foreign language. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781847691026
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847691026 [Google Scholar]
  5. Du Bois, J. W., Schuetze-Coburn, S., Cumming, S., & Paolino, D.
    (1993) Outline of discourse transcription. InJ. A. Edwards & M. D. Lampert (Eds.), Talking data: Transcription and coding in discourse research (pp.45–87). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Frank, V.
    (1997) Potential negative effects of homestay. Paper presented at theMiddle Atlantic Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Albany, NY, March.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Goodwin, M. H.
    (2015) A care-full look at language, gender, and embodied intimacy. InA. Jule (Ed.), Shifting visions: Gender and discourses (pp.27–48). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Iino, M.
    (2006) Norms of interaction in a Japanese homestay setting – Toward two-way flow of linguistic and cultural information. InM. A. DuFon & E. Churchill (Eds.), Language learners in study abroad contexts (pp.151–173). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853598531‑010
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853598531-010 [Google Scholar]
  9. Isabelli-García, C.
    (2006) Study abroad social networks, motivation, and attitudes: Implications for SLA. InM. A. DuFon & E. Churchill (Eds.), Language learners in study abroad contexts (pp.231–258). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853598531‑013
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853598531-013 [Google Scholar]
  10. Juveland, S.
    (2011) Foreign language students’ beliefs about homestays. Unpublished MA thesis, Portland State University.
  11. Kinginger, C.
    (2008) Language learning in study abroad: Case studies of Americans in France. Modern Language Journal, 92, Monograph. 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2008.00821.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2008.00821.x [Google Scholar]
  12. Kinginger, C., Lee, H.-S., Wu, Q., & Tan, D.
    (2016) Contextualized language practices as sites for learning: Mealtime talk in short-term Chinese homestays. Applied Linguistics, 37, 716–740. 10.1093/applin/amu061
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amu061 [Google Scholar]
  13. Kinginger, C., Wu, Q., Lee, H.-S., & Tan, D.
    (2016) The short-term homestay as a context for language learning: Three case studies of high school students and host families. Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education, 1, 34–60. 10.1075/sar.1.1.02kin
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sar.1.1.02kin [Google Scholar]
  14. Klapper, J. & Rees, J.
    (2012) University residence abroad for foreign language students: Analysing the linguistic benefits. The Language Learning Journal, 40(3), 335–358. 10.1080/09571736.2011.625215
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2011.625215 [Google Scholar]
  15. Lantolf, J. P. & Thorne, S. L.
    (2006) Sociocultural theory and the genesis of second language development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Lee, S.-H.
    (2017) Developing awareness and use of compliments in the Chinese homestay: A longitudinal case study. Applied Linguistics Review, 8, 441–467. 10.1515/applirev‑2016‑1003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2016-1003 [Google Scholar]
  17. Li, C. N., & Thompson, S. A.
    (1989) Mandarin Chinese: A functional reference grammar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Pellegrino-Aveni, V.
    (2005) Study abroad and second language use: Constructing the self. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511620584
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620584 [Google Scholar]
  19. Pomerantz, A.
    (1986) Extreme case formulations: A way of legitimizing claims. Human Studies, 9(2), 219–229. 10.1007/BF00148128
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00148128 [Google Scholar]
  20. Pryde, M.
    (2014) Conversational patterns of homestay hosts and study abroad students. Foreign Language Annals, 47(3), 487–506. 10.1111/flan.12100
    https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12100 [Google Scholar]
  21. Rivers, W.
    (1998) Is being there enough? The effects of home stay placements on language gain during study abroad. Foreign Language Annals, 31(4), 492–500. 10.1111/j.1944‑9720.1998.tb00594.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.1998.tb00594.x [Google Scholar]
  22. Schiffrin, D.
    (1984) Jewish argument as sociability. Language in society, 13(3), 311–335. 10.1017/S0047404500010526
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500010526 [Google Scholar]
  23. Tannen, D.
    (2001) I only say this because I love you. New York, NY: Random House.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Waring, H.-Z.
    (2014) Managing control and connection in an adult ESL classroom. Research in the Teaching of English, 49(1), 52–74.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Wertsch, J. V.
    (1998) Mind as action. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. (2002) Voices of collective remembering. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511613715
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511613715 [Google Scholar]
  27. Wilkinson, S.
    (1998) On the nature of immersion during study abroad: Some participant perspectives. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 4(2), 121–138.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. (2002) The omnipresent classroom during summer study abroad: American students in conversation with their French hosts. The Modern Language Journal, 86(2), 157–173. 10.1111/1540‑4781.00142
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1540-4781.00142 [Google Scholar]
  29. Wu, R.-J. R.
    (2004) Stance in talk. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.117
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.117 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): homestay; intercultural communication; mediation; narrative; sociocultural theory
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error