Group meetings at the international university


Susanne Kjærbeck & Dennis day

This research project focuses on cultural and linguistic practices in group meetings, either in the form of project group meetings conducted by the students themselves (provided by Assistant Professor Janus Mortensen), or in the form of supervisor meetings/tutorials. As part of the project, we followed three project groups and video recorded their supervisor meetings during one semester. This material covers a total of 17 meetings which are now safely stored in the CALPIU data base, the majority of them being accessible for other researchers.

With point of departure in our ethnomethodological approach (ethnomethodology and conversation analysis) we have been focusing on the following issues:

  1. 1.The organizational features of language use in linguistically and culturally diverse study programs. Research questions: What sorts of social activities do students instigate in order to fulfill the course requirement? What are the interactive methods by which interactants establish and pursue, for example common goals and resources, identities, interpersonal relations, rights and obligations, conflict and conflict resolution?

  1. 2.The relationship between culture and language use in interaction through exploring how this relationship is enacted in authentic instances of project group meetings. Main research question: What findings in the analyses of language and interactive processes might serve to constitute the investigated program as a ‘multicultural’ or ‘international’ program?

  1. 3.Interaction and cognition. We were interested in studying the practical methods for displaying understanding and pursuing students’ understanding  in project group tutorials in order to describe central cognitive processes in this type of instruction.

  1. 4.Interaction and epistemics. Our research interest was how certain role identities – an institutional identity, or one’s language or ethnic background – may be made relevant in the negotiation of knowledge distribution in  supervision meetings.  Knowledge was explored as a collaboratively occasioned product of, and resource for, interaction, rather than as an internal feature of an individual’s mind.

  1. 5.Methodological  issues. A series of methodological issues were raised by our data material and our participant oriented approach.  One central issue was the conceptual understanding of 'international' and the inference to 'intercultural' which we treated as a topic for our study, not as a resource. In our approach, we understand 'interculturality’ as referring to the interactive and endogenous phenomena whereby interlocutors co-construct their interaction as intercultural interaction, specifically in the work interlocutors do to identify themselves and each other as members of different cultural groups. Consequently, our focus was on how a particular spate of communication becomes intercultural for interlocutors.

Day, Dennis & Kjærbeck, Susanne. In press. 'Positioning' in the conversation analytical approach. In Studies in Narrative.

Day, Dennis & Kjærbeck, Susanne. In press. Student displays of understanding in group tutorials. In G. Rasmussen, C. Brouwer & D. Day (eds.) Evaluating ”cognitive” competences in interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Day, Dennis & Kjærbeck, Susanne. 2011. Educational Practices in the International University : Language as a Resource for Intercultural Distinction in a Project Group Meeting. In Language and Learning in the International University: From English Uniformity to Diversity and Hybridity. Bent Preisler; Ida Klitgård; Anne Fabricius (eds.). Multilingual Matters, vol 21: 99-121.

Day, Dennis & Susanne Kjærbeck. 2008. Agendas, excuses of work and assuming resposibility.  In Higher Education in the Global Village. Hartmut Haberland; Janus Mortensen; Anne Fabricius; Bent Preisler; Karen Risager; Susanne Kjærbeck (eds.). Roskilde University:  123-148.

CALPIU’12 international conference. Roskilde, DK. April 2.-4. 2012

Panel on Epistemic authority. Panel organizers: Spencer Hazel, Dennis Day and Susanne Kjærbeck.

Paper/Kjærbeck, Susanne: Managing epistemic authority in supervision meetings in an international university program.

MOVIN (Microanalysis of Verbal and Non-verbal Interaction) spring meeting, Roskilde University, April 19.-20, 2012.

Data session/Kjærbeck, Susanne. Analysis of epistemic authority in supervision meetings in an international study program.

NORDISCO 2010 – Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse and Interaction. Aalborg University, November 17-19, 2011.

Paper/Day, Dennis & Kjærbeck, Susanne: Educational Practices in the International University: Interculturality in Project Work?

International Conference, University of Southern Denmark, Campus Kolding 11 - 12 October 2011: Between Tradition and Change: The Future of English in the Light of Globalization, Transculturalism and Internationalization.

Presentation by Day, Dennis & Kjærbeck, Susanne: ’International Education on the Ground Floor’

The 21st Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association, Stockholm University 7-10 September 2011.

Presentation by Day, Dennis & Kjærbeck, Susanne: ‘Group comprehension displays in a tutorial setting’).

International Conference on conversation Analysis. Mannheim, July 4-8, 2010.

Paper by Day, Dennis & Kjærbeck, Susanne: Student Displays of Understanding in Group Tutorials.

Video Conferenced Ph.D workshop on Interaction and Evaluating Cognitive Competences. Southern Denmark University, Odense, December 2009.

Presentation by Day, Dennis & Kjærbeck, Susanne: Student displays of comprehension in group tutorials.

The 16th NIC Symposium on Intercultural Communication November 26-28, 2009, Borås, Sweden.

Presentation by Day, Dennis & Kjærbeck, Susanne: ’Language as a resource for intercultural distinction in project group meetings’

Conference on Transnational Student Mobility – Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the International University. Roskilde, December 15, 2008.

Panel: Educational Practices in Linguistically and Culturally diverse Environments – Interaction in Study Programs (Organized by Dennis Day & Susanne Kjærbeck).

Paper by Day & Kjærbeck: Project Group Meetings at the International University

Guest Lecture at Newcastle University UK, April 28, 2009.

Dennis Day: How international students study internationally: A cultural analysis


Publications and Presentations