Séminaire Pratiques langagières


Séminaire doctoral – Pratiques langagières – terrains, méthodes, théories

Animé par Isabelle Léglise et Valelia Muni Toke (INALCO, 2 rue de Lille, salle L0.01)

vendredi 17 mars 2023 de 14h à 17h

Stef Slembrouck (Univ Ghent) & Mieke Vandenbroucke (Univ Antwerpen) 
Interactional and Pragmatic Perspectives on Covid-19 Telephone Contact Tracing in Belgium

Telephone contact tracing was introduced overnight in May 2020 in Flanders/Belgium as a major strategy for combatting the Covid-19 pandemic. It was organized via government-contracted commercial call centres. Contact tracers did not receive a (para)medical training. On the basis of a large corpus of recorded telephone calls, our FWO-funded interdisciplinary project sought to improve practice on the basis of pragmatic and interactional analysis. In our seminar, we will present a number of interactional and pragmatic perspectives on the practice of Covid-19 contact tracing in late 2020 through mid-2021. First, we provide a functional overview of the contact tracing call as a “new” genre, linking it to societal conditions of risk management and responsible citizenship governance. In a further analysis, we will cast light on the transformative awareness-raising orientations of the instructions and guidance which the contact tracers are expected to communicate to the “index patients” (the infected individual who is being called). Finally, we will also provide an overview of the results of a coaching intervention which we executed in the Spring of 2021 on the basis of our first analyses. It turns out that some aspects of the pragmatics of professional interactional behaviour are easier to teach than others.