Applied linguistics has been open to methodologies from a variety of disciplines. Some would say it is the defining feature of the field (Brumfit, 1997). Originally developed by sociologists to describe social organization on a micro level, conversation analysis (CA) is becoming increasingly important in applied linguistics research. Fitting with this year’s conference theme, ‘Transdisciplinarity’, our panel explores the mutually-beneficial understanding of new conceptualizations of multilingualism in applied linguistics and the participant-centered methods for empirical analysis of CA.
Although CA has been an extremely useful tool for applied linguistics to illuminate the nature of language use in a great variety of real world contexts including language learning and intercultural communication, from the perspective of applied linguists, two theoretical problems come to mind. The first is the treatment of English as the (implied) baseline data for comparative findings. A second is the assumption that baseline speakers are monolingual, standard variety speakers. To that end, we have invited our colleagues who work with multilingual data as both conversation analysts and applied linguists to address the following three questions in the panel:
(1) What do you consider 'baseline' when working with multilingual interactional data?
(2) What difficulties are there working with multilingual data?
(3) What do we do when findings from multilingual data look different from classic CA findings?