Conversation Partnering
Guided Project
Anthropology 105
Language & Culture
Chapter 1-General Directions
• This is a semester long project in which you will serve as a
“conversation partner” for student whose first language is
different from yours.
• You are expected to meet with this person on a weekly basis
(for each chapter of the book) and follow the instructions
outlined in the lecture.
• Select someone to be your partner and submit this information
to the instructor at this point. KEEP NAMES AND OTHER
unless he/she is a classmate.
• Obtain a journal to record your information and the
requirements for each chapter. You may use a notebook or a
binder with tabs diving each chapter with the specific
• Be sure to have a clear outline at the beginning of your journal
and to keep journal notes as you work with your partner.
– Please clarify any question with your instructor as they may arise.
Chapter 2
Conversation Partners - Kinship
Identify basic kin terms,
discuss similarities and differences
See: W/R pp. 25-27 (CP 2.5)
Chapter 2
Conversation Partners - Colors
Identify basic color terms and ranges,
discuss similarities and differences
See: W/R pp. 25 and 23
(CP 2.1 and Web Ex 2.1).
Chapter 3
Using Phonetics & Phonemics
• working with your conversation partners:
– map phonemic contrasts
– compare phonological systems
– use your understanding of phonemes & allophones
to assist with accent reduction (or to pronounce your
CP’s language better)
• See Workbook/Reader p. 49.
Chapter 4- Words & Sentences
• In your journal, compare and analyze similarities
and differences in word order &/or sentence
– List various simple verbs
– Discuss grammatical similarities & differences
• Ex. Noun + Verb + Pronoun
Ex. Adjective + Noun OR Noun + Adjective
– Select a semantic domain (new or old one) and
compare words for various items.
– Help your conversation partner learn some rules of
the English language, such as regular vs. irregular
verbs, the 3 affixes for “not,” rules for allomorphs, etc.
List how the information from class enabled you to
help your Conversation partner.
Ch. 6- Communication style,
Kinesics, OR Proxemics
Describe a difference you have noticed between your own communication
style, kinesics, or proxemics and that of your conversation partner. What
misunderstanding resulted from this difference? Give a specific example.
Describe the misunderstanding: What happened? Where and when did it
happen? Was there anyone else involved besides you and your CP? Try to
use as much of Hymes’ SPEAKING acronym as you need to guide your
answer, but also please try to be brief.
Analyze the misunderstanding: What is it about the difference between
your two communicative styles, kinesics, or proxemics that seems to have
caused the misunderstanding? Go beyond the simple description in #3
above to explore deeper linguistic and cultural patterns. What do you now
understand about the differences in communication style, kinesics, or
proxemics that exist between you and your CP?
Suggest a Repair: What might you do differently the next time you are in a
similar situation with your CP? What might your CP do differently the next
time he/she is in a similar situation with someone from your culture? Why do
you think the repairs you suggest will work? Might they work in all cases?
Why or why not?
Chapter 6
Non-verbal Communication
• Optional exercise of Non-Verbal
– Attend a party/gathering, or even a conversation that
your partner has from someone of her/his cultural
group and identify these differences.
• Is your partner’s proxemic any different with someone from
her/his culture?
• Identify and list various kinemes messages used.
• Is the tone of voice, pitch, use of paralanguage different than
your culture?
• Does this culture have any speech substitutes you observe
or your partner reports?
Chapter 7
Writing and Literacy
• Compare & analyze similarities and differences
in writing systems between you and your
conversation partner.
– Obtain a text in the language of your conversation
partner and try to read it and identify similarities in
grammar and words (lexicon).
– Read it out loud to your partner and address the rules
of grammar and pronunciation.
– In your journal describe these aspect and your
reaction to this activity.
Chapter 8• Most languages develop a form of “play
language” or “Pig Latin.” Discuss these
language variations with your partner and
list some examples as well as the cultural
– What are the rules?
– Are there variations?
– How is this language similar or different from
the one you use in your culture (i.e. Pig
Chapter 9
• Research the linguistic family trees of both your
language and your partner’s
How closely related are they?
How distant are they from one another?
List words that share the same roots
Are they members of the same language family? Or
the same macro-family?
– If the speakers of your two languages came into
contact in a long-term trading situation, what kind of
pidgin language do you think they might create?
Chapter 10
• Conclude your semester long ethnography by
writing a thorough analysis of your experience
with your conversation partner.
• List concepts, vocabulary, cultural traits, and
other aspects you learned from this experience.
• Will you keep in touch with your partner?
• How do you feel about this assignment being
• Did you enjoy this assignment? Please give your
honest feedback to improve this assignment.
• Be sure to thank your partner for his/her

Conversation Partnering Directions