Unlike the norms of everyday conversation, the practice of foreign language pedagogy may place teachers and students in the situation of making 'free' conversation on institutional demand, in an attempt to support the learners' acquisition of the relevant language through scheduled communication with an expert speaker.

As ordinary conversation is often defined in theoretical explorations as non-institutional talk, with institutional discourse conversely defined as non-conversational, such institutionalisation of conversation practice manifests in the act as a potentially contradictory form of interactional hybridity, which can present considerable challenges to both the teachers and the students. That is to say, it marries two opposing tendencies: a general symmetry of participation, which enables the participants to engage with one another on relatively equal footing, with an asymmetry of institutionalisation, underpinned by a differentiation of role expectations.

Through discourse analysis of recorded interaction between teachers and students, the project unpacks and elaborates on processes of institutionalisation in such conversation practice, focussing in particular on the participants' nomination of topic, as pre-allocated to the students, and their compliance in talk with monolingual policy. It thereby aims to provide insights into institutionalised dynamics as these present stumbling blocks to the pursuit of conversation making.

The preallocation of student topic nomination and negotiated compliance in conversation-for-learning

Author: Marion Nao Date: 25 December 2013 Journal article

‘So You Are from England’: Categorization and Cultural Reduction in First-time Conversation Lounge Encounters between Foreign Teachers and Japanese Students of EFL

Author: Marion Nao Date: 18 December 2013 Journal article


'What's in a frame?' Single play as collaborative action

Author: Marion Nao Date: 09 October 2013 Dissemination / Communication

Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice

Author: Marion Nao Date: 03 April 2013 Journal article


'We gotta talk about something, right?' : topic as metacommunication in first-time encounters between teachers and students in a conversation lounge

Speaker: Marion Nao Date: 24 May 2011 Conference paper/presentation


Masked pedagogy : negotiating self, topic and expertise in conversation-for-learning [extended summary]

Author: Marion Nao Date: 24 May 2011 Thesis/dissertation


The 'foreign' teacher in conversation : categorization and cultural display in first-time encounters with Japanese students

Speaker: Marion Nao Date: 23 May 2011 Seminar/workshop


Framing a monolingual context : the sequential organization of pragmatic implicature and its consequential meaning trajectory

Speaker: Marion Nao Date: 14 April 2011 Conference paper/presentation


Signalling expectations on topic nomination in teacher-student interaction : insights from a pragmatics of metacommunication

Speaker: Marion Nao Date: 28 March 2011 Seminar/workshop

The pragmatic realization of the native speaking English teacher as a monolingual ideal

Author: Marion Nao Date: 01 December 2010 Journal article


The foreign teacher in conversation : cross-cultural reduction at the intersection of topic and didactic footing

Author: Marion Nao Date: 14 September 2010 Conference paper/presentation


Navigating a 'local' conversational trajectory in a 'globally' framed institutional event : the pre-allocation of student topic nomination in L2 conversation-for-learning

Author: Marion Nao Date: 14 September 2010 Conference paper/presentation

Start date
31 August 2010
End date
30 August 2011
Grant holder
Dr Marion Nao
Grant amount
Grant reference
Linguistics (General)
Grant type