Week 2 Assignment


Using your best interpretive listening skills, write a detailed description of what’s going on in the clip you’ve chosen (and make sure you tell us which one you’ve chosen). I’m not giving you any extra context. All you’ll have is the language that you’re hearing in the clip to provide you with all the context you’ll need to make a strong educated guess about what’s going on.

Here are some things to consider, and to include in your description. You aren’t required to address all of this, but if you can answer these questions with some degree of confidence, you’re doing well.

Who is participating in this scene? You probably won’t know their names, but you can make reasonable guesses about the kinds of people they might be.
What sorts of relationships do these people have to each other? Do they know each other, or not? Are they equals?
What are they actually talking about?
What “kind” of activity is going on? All four examples are of specific (and different) cultural practices.
Can you tell if the researcher is present during these recordings?
Most importantly: what evidence are you using to answer these questions? In other words, include the specific things that people are saying that are pointing to indexing the specific context you’re describing. Don’t worry about getting it right for most of this stuff (well, there are right answers for the “what kind of activity is going on” question). Focus on making strong, reasonable guesses using the language you hear as evidence.

You don’t need to write a lot of stuff: a paragraph could be good enough, or more if you’re feeling inspired. The key thing is that we want your description to be strong, and detailed, and have clear links between what you’re hearing and what you’re concluding.

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