The speech act of request in the ESL classroom

Phanithira Thuruvan, Melor Md Yunus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The Malaysian education system is at a time where effective classroom communication is seen as a vital step in enhancing the teaching and learning of English as a Second Language (ESL). Rural secondary school students in Malaysia seem to be unaware of their level of politeness when communicating in English. This study of the speech act of request which is related to the field of pragmatics and classroom culture, can be beneficial in understanding how students perceive polite interaction when speaking English. This ongoing study aims to identify the types of requeststrategies employed by the participants in making requests and explore the factors influencing their choice of strategies. The participants of the study are students and two language teachers of a rural secondary school in Kedah. Data collection was done by first recording naturally occurring data in the classroom. The data is then analysed based on Blum-Kulka and Olshstain's (1984) CCSARP framework and Brown and Levinson's (1987) Politeness Theory. Subsequently, participants identified are administered the Discourse Completion Tests (DCT). Preliminary findings show that students seem to be less polite when speaking to peers and more polite when speaking to teachers. Teachers, on the other hand, speak less politely to students as they have more power. This study provides valuable insights to the study of classroom pragmatics in Malaysia and future research should be conducted in urban school settings to gain more comprehensive data in this area of study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
Journal3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

speech act
classroom
speaking
rural school
politeness
student
Malaysia
secondary school
pragmatics
teacher of languages
teacher
education system
recording
Speech Acts
discourse
communication
Teaching
interaction
language
Secondary School

Keywords

  • Face threatening act (FTA)
  • Politeness
  • Pragmatics
  • Requests
  • Speech acts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

The speech act of request in the ESL classroom. / Thuruvan, Phanithira; Md Yunus, Melor.

In: 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature, Vol. 23, No. 4, 01.01.2017, p. 212-221.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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