With a focus on intercultural communication between Japanese and Americans, this book describes how differing listening styles and conversational behaviour across cultures can negatively influence intercultural communication. Responding to the many calls for studies examining the teachability of listener responses in the language classroom, the authour investigates whether listener responses would be a suitable target for instruction in the EFL/ESL classroom, and, if so, what instructional methods are best suited to teaching this elusive aspect of pragmatic competence. By addressing these issues, this book provides exciting and novel insights into various aspects of Applied Linguistics. By supplementing language data and questionnaires with retrospective and longitudinal research techniques, the authour is able to present a much richer description and deeper understanding of how and why participants used listener responses in the manner they did. With the findings supporting an explicit approach to teaching listener responses, this book provides language practitioners with a direction in which to move forward.
Beyond this practical application, this study sheds new light into such theoretical debates as the role of consciousness in language teaching (the Explicit vs. Implicit debate), the universality of Grice's theory of conversation and the potentially differing conceptualisations of politeness across cultures.