Topic continuity in informal conversations between native and non-native speakers of English


Topic management by non-native speakers (NNSs) during informal conversations has received comparatively little attention from researchers, and receives surprisingly little attention in second language learning and teaching. This article reports on one of the topic management strategies employed by international students during informal, social interactions with native-speaker peers, exploring the process of maintaining topic continuity following temporary suspensions of topics. The concept of side sequences is employed to illustrate the nature of different types of topic suspension, as well as the process of jointly negotiating a return to the topic. Extracts from the conversations show that such sequences were not exclusively occasioned by language difficulties, and that the non-native speaker participants were able to effect successful returns to the main topic of the conversations.

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Divisions: ?? 53981500Jl ??
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: © 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston. Multilingua, Volume 32, Issue 3, Pages 321–342, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI:
Uncontrolled Keywords: informal conversations,NS-NNS interactions,side sequences,topic management,Language and Linguistics,Linguistics and Language,Communication
Publication ISSN: 1613-3684
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2024 08:04
Date Deposited: 20 May 2013 09:12
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
http://www.degr ... i-2013-0015.xml (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2013-04
Authors: Morris-Adams, Muna (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5031-3599)



Version: Published Version

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