Negotiating face in feedback conferences: A linguistic ethnographic analysis


Copland F (2011) Negotiating face in feedback conferences: A linguistic ethnographic analysis. Journal of Pragmatics, 43 (15), pp. 3832-3843.

This article examines the negotiation of face in post observation feedback conferences on an initial teacher training programme. The conferences were held in groups with one trainer and up to four trainees and followed a set of generic norms. These norms include the right to offer advice and to criticise, speech acts which are often considered to be face threatening in more normal contexts. However, as the data analysis shows, participants also interact in ways that challenge the generic norms, some of which might be considered more conventionally face attacking. The article argues that face should be analysed at the level of interaction (Haugh and Bargiela-Chiappini, 2010) and that situated and contextual detail is relevant to its analysis. It suggests that linguistic ethnography, which ‘marries' (Wetherell, 2007) linguistics and ethnography, provides a useful theoretical framework for doing so. To this end the study draws on real-life talk-in-interaction (from transcribed recordings), the participants' perspectives (from focus groups and interviews) and situated detail (from fieldnotes) to produce a contextualised and nuanced analysis.

Face; Feedback; Negotiation; Initial teacher training; Linguistic ethnography

Journal of Pragmatics: Volume 43, Issue 15

Publication date31/12/2011
Date accepted by journal19/09/2011