Organized Panel Session
Four studies examine scenes of cross-cultural socialization between learners of East Asian languages and members of the target communities. All papers use the idea of the “Third Space,” where “different cultures converge, contest and cooperate” and where “rules for games do not entirely and constantly conform to the assumptions and norms of one culture, but are dynamic and fluid, motivated by specific goals of the game in question and negotiated among involved players” (Jian, 2018). How do language learners manage their space in the target cultural community? How do the existing members of the target community respond to the process? The four presenters address these questions from different perspectives. Zeng analyzes discursive performances of American professionals in China to suggest that language proficiency and domain expertise both figure in their co-construction with their Chinese counterparts of the socio-cultural reality. Noda examines winning performances in the International Speech Contest in Japanese in Japan over the last 50+ years, focusing on a performative strategy through which the performers as newcomers in the community share scenes with their new communities. Tobaru addresses the gaps in expectations about speech style of American study abroad students between these students and the members of the hosting Japanese community. Arakaki examines the variables affecting various degrees of engagement in study abroad students’ attempts to build new social networks during their first months of arrival in Japan. The four presentations will be discussed further by Jian, who has developed the notion of the “Third Space” with Walker.