Filozofická Fakulta

Methodology of Language Management Research

The essential prerequisite of the methodology used in the analysis of language management is that organized and simple management are/should be interconnected (see Nekvapil & Sherman 2015). Therefore those methods which make it possible to analyze individual interactions are emphasized. Since its origin, the Language Management Theory has developed some of the findings of ethnomethodologically informed conversation analysis (particularly in the area of the analysis of correction sequences) as well as its methods. Ideally, both the auditory and visual aspects of naturally occurring interactions should be captured (Marriott 1991, Neustupny 1996) and detailed transcripts of these interactions analyzed.

However, since all stages of the management process are to be described (without being confined to the stage of implementation in the way conversation analysis is), the investigation of language management employs methods which make it possible to also deal with noting, evaluation and the planning of adjustments and of feedback, i.e. with phenomena from the mental field. In this respect, the method used most frequently is the so-called follow-up interview. During such interviews the researcher lets the participants in the recorded interaction themselves reconstruct the individual stages of language management which occurred in the interaction investigated; e.g., listening to a particular segment of the recording, the researcher asks the speaker whether and how he evaluated a certain word-form used during the recorded interaction by his interlocutor (Neustupný 1990, 1999).

However, since in a number of social settings the analysts are denied direct access to the actual interactions (e.g. for ethical or professional reasons), Language Management Theory relies also on methods which enable the analysts to at least approach these interactions in a relevant manner. In the so-called interaction interview (Muraoka 2000, Neustupný 2003, Sherman 2006) the speakers reconstruct the details of the interactions in which they have taken part, relying solely on their memory (and occasionally other aids such as appointment books), unlike in the follow-up interview. Further methods include focus groups, systematic (self) observation (To & Jernudd 2001) as well as other types of interviews (narrative, semi-structured). Obviously, the summarization of simple language management which accompanies the application of these methods represents a methodological problem which must receive due attention (Nekvapil 2004).

Methodology in language management research was the central theme of the 3rd International Language Management Symposium held in Prague in September 2013. For publication, see Fairbrother et al. (2018).


Fairbrother, L., Nekvapil, J. & Sloboda, M. (eds.) (2018). The Language Management Approach: A Focus on Research Methodology. Berlin: Peter Lang. Contents

Marriott, H. (1991). Native-speaker behavior in Australian-Japanese business communication. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 92, 87-117.

Muraoka, H. (2000). Management of intercultural input: A case study of two Korean residents in Japan. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 10 (2), 297–311. PDF

Nekvapil, J. (2004). Language biographies and management summaries. Language Management in Contact Situations, III, Report on the Research Projects, 104, 9–33. PDF

Nekvapil, J. & Sherman, T. (eds.) (2015). Special Issue: The Language Management Approach: Perspectives on the Interplay of Bottom-Up and Top-Down. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 232. FRONTMATTER & CONTENTS 

Neustupny, R. (1996). Australians and Japanese at Morwell: Interaction in the work domain. In Marriott, H. & Low, M. (eds), Language and Cultural Contact with Japan. Melbourne: Monash Asia Institute, 156-171.

Neustupný, J. V. (1990). The follow-up interview. Japanese Studies Association of Australia Newsletter, 10 (2), 31–34. PDF (1 MB)

Neustupný, J. V. (1999). Následné (follow-up) interview. Slovo a slovesnost, 60 (1), 13–18.

Neustupný, J. V. (2003). Japanese students in Prague: Problems of communication and interaction. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 162, 125–143. PDF

To, C. & Jernudd, B. H. (2001). Terminological problems and language management for internet language professionals in Hong Kong. Journal of Translation Studies, 6, 95–110.

Sherman, T. (2006). Uncovering institutionally imposed norms through the interaction interview: Mormon missionaries in the Czech Republic. In Language Management in Contact Situations, 4, Report on the Research Projects, 129. Chiba: Chiba University, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1–12. PDF