4.2.3.2 Back channel support

The ratio of back channel items to the number of words in the discussion is relatively low, lower than for either Groups I or II, which is in keeping with other non-co- operative features of this discussion. B5 receives more back channel support than any other speaker: half the total back channel support items in the entire discussion are given to him. He is the speaker who gives the fewest back channel support items to other speakers, which is additional evidence of his lack of co-operativeness as a speaker. In this respect, the discussion corresponds to the discussion of Group I, in that the speaker who talks most receives the most items of back channel support. The table of back channel items below shows the extent to which the other three group members produced back channel support for B5.

Giver recipient no.of items Giver recipient no. of items

B5 B6 0 B6 B5 2

B7 1 B7 0

G4 1 G4 1

B5 gives 2 items B6 gives 3 items

B5 receives 10 items B6 receives 1 item

Giver recipient no.of items Giver recipient no. of items

B7 B5 3 G4 B5 5

B6 0 B6 1

G4 2 B7 0

B7 gives 5 items G4 gives 6 items

B7 receives 1 item G4 receives 4 items

Total number of back channel items in discussion: 16

Ratio of back channel items to number of words: 1:68

G4 gives six back channel support items, followed by B7 who gives five, and B6 who gives three. G4, as the only girl in the group, and in the role of chair, might be expected to give the greatest number of back channel support items. However, as she only gives one more than B7, the difference is negligible.

Only B5 in the group is strikingly non-co-operative regarding the use of back channel support.


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