Dancing K-Pop with Chinese and “English in class please” : Policy negotiations as relational-languaging episodes

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270–286
Journal / PublicationRELC Journal
Issue number2
Online published4 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


Pointing out that language policy negotiations in classroom discourse are an understudied kind of “language-related episode”, and proposing that Tim Ingold’s notion of “meshwork” dissolves a boundary that typically encloses their analysis, this paper examines how a rich and indicative example of student group interaction on a British university campus in China becomes interwoven with multiple threads, including: different languages, Korean pop dance moves, coffee from the campus Starbucks, and the teacher’s repeated attempts at English-Medium Instruction policy enforcement. Our example was discovered in corpus recordings of group activities during classes in English for Academic Purposes, then transcribed for embodied activity (primarily speech and gesture) and further explored in relation to the multiple threads which visibly and audibly became involved. Analysis of the episode shows how students’ relational-languaging behaviours must negotiate, respond, and adapt to the policy enforcement, illustrating some of the tensions immanent to the transnational higher education experience.

Research Area(s)

  • EMI language policy, policy negotiation, L2 group interaction, language-related episodes, languaging, meshwork, gesture