Observation and Fieldwork: Interruption and Questions in Conversations

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Interruption and questions are communication tools which characters employ in their conversation to create understanding (Morrow et. al., p. 67). In the research on the use of language in real life, I observed the use of both Interruption and questions in two conversations. The first conversation was with my mom and my older sister who is still schooling and the second was the class master and my friend. I observed the conversation between my mom and my older sister during breakfast when she was leaving for school in the morning. The second observation I made it after the accounting lecture in which my friend approached the lecturer who is still the class master for some conceptual clarification.

First conversation

My mother tended to interrupt more during the conversation with my older sister. The conversation was primarily based on some challenges which my sister was facing at school and which needed intervention from our mother. Based on the social context of the society, socialization is a complex process which is primarily facilitated by the paternal roles played by each parent. As a mother, she had to intervene in my sister's situation since she could not settle the problematic issues she was facing at school on her own. The number of interruptions portrayed by my mother was basically as a result of the central role which as a parent she is mandated to play in the family unit as a part of the society. The language is the primary moderator of the socialization process required while the social role of my mother to portray the many interruptions which were evident in the conversation.

In my opinion, the interrupter behaved that way because she was guided by its social role as a mother which she had to play in the family and the society at large. As a mother, my mother had to interrupt the conversation with her daughter to allow the provision of the best solutions to the challenges that she was facing. Age is also a primary moderator of the conversation between the parent and children because my mother who is 45 years of age and my sister at 16 years old sets a conversation difference that affects their conversation (Morrow et. al., p. 100). Age plays a significant role in the direction and also the characteristics of a conversation. In this case, since my mother is my sister elder, she had to interrupt to convey the critical message which as part and parcel of the conversation could provide direction to my sister. Therefore, the effect of the interruption was to educate my sister on the role of age and the social role which our mother as a mother has to play in her children social life. The interruption enabled my mother to take enough time to provide the essential solutions to my older sister`s challenges she is faced with at school.

Second conversation

The second conversation takes place between my friend and the accounting lecturer. The conversation was characterized with keenness and seriousness in addressing the central issues. The primary communication tool sued in this conversation application of questions in the clarification of the concepts which my friend asked for from the lecturer. My friend asked many questions during the conversation since she was the one who requested for clarification.

I think my friend behaved that way because based on his social role as a student he had to seek clarification of all concepts which she didn't understand during the lecture session. Failure to seek clarification can result in poor performance hence, my friend is obligated to seek clarification on the major lesson concepts. The lecturer took less time as compared to my friend since as per his social role as a teacher she had to clarify each asked question. The lecturer took less time because he had to maintain professionalism and being official in the conversation and the choice of words was strictly professional. I believe the effect of the questions was to facilitate a clear understanding of the burning issues which my friend didn't understand during the lecture session (Morrow et. al., p. 67).

The lecturer's age which is approximately 50 years and my friend was 23 years played a significant role in defining the characteristics of the conversation in addition to the professional environment set up. The age of the lecturer and the official nature of the context made the conversation attract simple and professional conversation between the lecturer and the student. My friend humbled himself during the questioning session to portray respect for his elder. This aspect enabled the lecturer to sacrifice his time to provide extra services to his student. The humbleness of the student reflected the difference in age as well as academic qualification between the student and the lecturer. This context confirms that conversations are not only defined by the professionalism and class but also age and intellectual difference between the people involved (Morrow et. al., p. 67).


Work cited

Morrow, Keith, et al.,"Communicative language testing." The Cambridge guide to secondlanguage assessment 140 (2012).


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