Conversation orientation and cognitive processes: A comparison of U.S. students in initial interaction with native- versus normative-speaking partners

Ling CHEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study compares thought patterns, perceptions of interaction (perceived interaction smoothness and interaction involvement), and conversation orientation of U.S. students (N = 60) in dyadic interaction with a partner who is either another American or a non-American nonnative speaker of English. As hypothesized, U.S. participants with nonnative-speaking partners perceived interaction as more difficult, or less smooth, than did their counterparts with native-speaking partners. U.S. participants with nonnative-speaking partners also displayed different thought patterns, having more thoughts showing confusion, as well as more thoughts focused on the partner and less on the content of the ongoing conversation, than those with fellow native-speaking partners. U.S. participants with a nonnative-speaking partner also exhibited a different conversation orientation pattern, focusing more on understanding of the other's message, less on clarifying their own message, and less on displaying their own involvement. Specific thought categories and perceived interaction smoothness were correlated with conversation orientation indices for participants in interactions between native and nonnative speakers. Finally, interaction involvement was found to contribute most to variation in perceived interaction smoothness for both U.S. and non-U.S. participants in interactions between native and nonnative speakers. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-209
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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