SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

Conference Theme - Teaching and Learning (Im)Politeness

Teaching and learning Politeness

The staggering explosion of research on (im)politeness we have witnessed in recent decades has arguably paid relatively little attention (especially at the theoretical level) to one aspect which is crucial to the description of any cultural phenomenon. This is the transmission of and acculturation to (im)polite norms and associated linguistic systems (e.g. honorifics), or, in very broad terms, the ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’ of (im)politeness.

We have therefore called for papers that focus on the following areas of inquiry:

  • How do (im)politeness systems and norms get transmitted across time, individuals and groups? What kinds of socialization practices are observed that enable such transmission? What kinds of private or public indoctrination practices that attempt to regulate such transmission can be observed?
  • What kinds of acculturation processes do children or other novices such as adult foreign language learners need to undergo in order to engage competently with a community’s normative parameters?
  • How do language teachers or pedagogical materials conceptualize (im)politeness when aiming to provide efficient (but unavoidably condensed) descriptions or explanations to learners? What are the political implications of such conceptualizations? How do instructors or instructional materials position themselves vis-à-vis standard and non-standard varieties and normativity?
  • How do theoretical and folk conceptualizations of (im)politeness account for native and non-native competence, as well as performance? How do increased mobility, multilingualism and multiculturalism impact on such accounts?
  • What systemic and cultural aspects of (im)politeness are particularly challenging to adult foreign language learners and how does this challenge develop longitudinally in relation to overall proficiency?
  • How do educational policies (for example as evidenced by attempts at formulating proficiency measures such as the Common European Framework or the guidelines of the American Council for TFL) accommodate (im)politeness in their descriptions of competencies?
  • However, in keeping with previous LPRG conferences, papers on any other aspect(s) of (im)politeness will also be considered.