Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Applied Linguistics Review

Editor-in-Chief: Wei, Li

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.286

See all formats and pricing
More options …

Co-construction of ``doctorable'' conditions in multilingual medical encounters: Cases from urban Japan

Junko Mori / Chiharu Shima
Published Online: 2014-04-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2014-0003


This paper, as part of a growing body of studies that investigate translingual communicative practices, introduces a microanalysis of doctor-patient interactions that took place in urban Japan, a country that has been identified as belong to the expanding circle of world Englishes (Kachru 1986). Through the examination of two cases of primary care visits, one conducted in lingua franca English and another in a hybrid of Japanese and English, the study demonstrates how a Japanese doctor and two migrant patients from Ghana skillfully deploy a variety of semiotic resources to achieve the problem presentation stage of their encounters. More specifically, it investigates how concerns expressed by the patients become constructed into ``doctorable'' (Heritage and Robinson 2006) medical conditions through their subsequent interaction. The turn-by-turn examination of interactions reveals how the doctor's biomedical knowledge, embodied in his interactional practices, together with his cooperative disposition (Canagarajah 2013) to the interactional uncertainty inherent in multilingual and multicultural encounters, serve as a critical vehicle for making both the doctor's and the patients' seemingly ``truncated multilingual repertoires'' (Blommaert 2010) work in this particular institutional context.

Keywords: conversation analysis; expert knowledge; medical interaction; translingual practice; Japanese

About the article

Junko Mori

Junko Mori is professor of Japanese language and second language acquisition at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her publications have investigated grammar and interaction, classroom discourse and intercultural communication by using the sociological methodology of conversation analysis. Her most recent project studies the impact of globalization of higher education upon world language education.

Chiharu Shima

Chiharu Shima received her graduate training at Monash University (MA) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D.). Her areas of interest include multilingualism, medical interaction, and intercultural communication at workplace. Her dissertation examines the language socialization processes of Indonesian and Filipino nurses who relocated to Japan under a program based on an economic partnership agreement.

Published Online: 2014-04-11

Published in Print: 2014-04-01

Citation Information: Applied Linguistics Review, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 45–72, ISSN (Online) 1868-6311, ISSN (Print) 1868-6303, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2014-0003.

Export Citation

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in