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Migration Studies Lecture: Junko Mori

When Apr 11, 2018
from 02:00 PM to 03:30 PM
Where Foster Auditorium
Contact Name
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The Migration Studies Project is pleased to announce an invited lecture by

Junko Mori
Department of Asian Languages and Linguistics
University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Text, talk and embodied practices: “Unpacking” handover notes for international workers at a Japanese healthcare facility"

April 11, 2018
2:00PM - 3:30PM
Foster Auditorium

As a famously known aging country suffering from labor shortage, Japan started to recruit healthcare workers from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, through the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) established with the respective countries. Ten years into this program, however, the results have been mixed, largely because of the difficulty in providing rapid and effective language and culture training suitable for the professional purpose. The country also characterized as “a model case of successful language modernization” (Heinrich 2012) is at a critical juncture for reevaluating its language policies and education to meet the 21st century demands of the changing demographics.

In this presentation, I will share a preliminary analysis of video-recorded interactions between Japanese caregivers (kaigo-shi) and their international counterparts, and discuss how international healthcare workers and their Japanese colleagues are coping with the structural challenge caused by the EPA-based program. By adopting multimodal conversation analysis (CA) (Goodwin 2013; Mondada 2012, 2014; Streeck, Goodwin & LeBaron, 2011), the analysis explicates how the participants coordinate talk and embodied practices (pointing to documents, gesturing, nodding, gazing) to “unpack” information conveyed in shift handover notes in which specific instructions regarding each care-receiver and other announcements are shared. Through the process, I hope to demonstrate how multimodal institutional CA can enhance the understanding of communicative practices observed in workplace interaction. The presentation will also consider how divergent approaches in applied linguistics need to be brought together, not only to advance theory-building, but also to generate sound recommendations for practical interventions.