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Pragmatic and Academic Socialization

Li, Duanduan

As Leslie’s advisee for seven years in the 1990s, I had the privilege of studying with a master teacher, caring mentor, and brilliant researcher who, over time, also became a cherished friend. Leslie’s compassion, sense of humor, passion for her subject matter as well as for life, and her academic vitality—or charisma—have impressed me more than she will ever know. I am indeed grateful for the foundation she gave me in sociolinguistics and second language (L2) pragmatics. I have never known a professor who could engage her students in such a powerful, enlightening, and entertaining way, as I experienced in the many captivating three-hour doctoral seminars I took with Leslie over the years.

My doctoral research was on the pragmatic socialization of Chinese immigrant women in a U.S. Chinatown clerical training program, and especially their socialization into appropriate and effective requesting behaviors in English in order to access social services as well as education and job opportunities in high-stakes situations. My research was crucially influenced by Leslie Beebe’s seminal research on interlanguage pragmatics and sociolinguistic aspects of second language learning. Her seminars, articles, and feedback informed and transformed my research. She supported me wholeheartedly in my use of a language socialization framework and qualitative methods (a combination of ethnography, multiple case-study, and narrative), which at the time were quite new in second language pragmatics research.

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Working Papers in Applied Linguistics & TESOL

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