This paper explores the issue of roles of social interaction for developing pragmatic competence in a second language. As an example, it examines interactions between a learner of Japanese and native speakers, focusing on ‘receipts’, or a kind of listener responses (e.g. soo desu ne [That’s true]). A learner’s conversations recorded during one-year study abroad in Japan and recorded in the U.S. before and after the period were analyzed using conversation analysis. Even though corrective feedback was rarely provided to the learner’s inappropriate receipt use, his interlocutor’s next-turn action served as implicit feedback and provided him an opportunity for a more competent action. Moreover, although not interactionally modified, the interlocutor’s utterances and embodied actions provide comprehensible linguistic resources that the L2 speaker can draw on when performing similar actions.
Midori Ishida earned her Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her research interests include interlanguage pragmatics, conversation analysis, and the roles of interaction in second language acquisition. Her works have been published in Language Learning, Pragmatics and Language Learning, the Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, and other edited books. She is currently teaching Japanese at Santa Clara University.