One of the main challenges and opportunities for language learners in a study abroad context is learning to navigate the routines of L2 social interactions and politeness practices necessary for establishing oneself as a legitimate social actor and forming meaningful interpersonal connections. This can be particularly difficult when there is significant divergence between learners’ self-presentation strategies and understandings of politeness associated with their existing languages and those that are prevalent in the new cultural environment. This chapter reports on a study examining the ways in which L2 Japanese learners enrolled at UK universities made sense of their experiences of politeness within the context of forming interpersonal connections during study abroad in Japan. It presents narrative accounts based on interviews with university students who studied at a partner institution in Japan for 9–12 months. Analysis focuses on the ways that learners not only attempted to understand the cultural significance of politeness forms according to contextual norms but also actively incorporated their knowledge of other languages and cultures into their developing understandings of politeness.
McConachy, TroyFujino Hanako
Department of English and Modern Languages
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-07-06