Beyond "change-of-state": 'oh' as a facilitator of teacher-student interactions in an ESL conversation class

Hanae Katayama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


This paper will address some aspects of the particle 'oh' that have not been discussed in the existing literature (Heritage, 1984; Heritage, 1998; Schiffrin, 1987). In addition to its function as a so-called "change-of-state" marker; the particle functions also as what I call ''feigned 'oh'" and "emphatic 'oh'." I will demonstrate that these two types of 'oh' play critical roles in facilitating interaction, especially when involving ESL (English as a Second Language) speakers. I will also demonstrate that the main speaker strongly influences the emergence of 'oh', and thus 'oh' occurs as a mutual product of the speaker and the interlocutor rather than a product of only the interlocutor. This mutual orientation of 'oh' was frequently observed in my data from an ESL conversation class, because the ESL speakers were not particularly confident about their speech production and thus anticipated confirmation of their meaning by their teacher- interlocutor. This paper will expand the discussion of 'oh' and contribute to the literature on co-participation and interaction as they apply to ESL/EFL (English as a First Language) settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrossroads of language, interaction, and culture
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings from the 7th Annual CLIC/LISO Conference
EditorsL. D. Linton, Michele Wakin
Place of PublicationGoleta, CA
PublisherRegents of the University of California
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2002
EventAnnual Conference on Language, Interaction, and Culture (7th : 2001) - Santa Barbara, CA
Duration: 1 May 20011 May 2001


ConferenceAnnual Conference on Language, Interaction, and Culture (7th : 2001)
CitySanta Barbara, CA


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