Speech act theory for language teaching

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Speech act theory for language teaching

  1. 1. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008 Speech Act Theory: Benefits and Insights in English Language TeachingTable of ContentsIntroduction 2 A Brief Description of Speech Act Theory 3 The Cross-Cultural Question 4 Putting Theory into Practice 6 Appropriateness 8Possible Realisations and Applications within English Language Teaching 9 Teaching Materials & Strategies 9Conclusion 11 Bibliography 12Richard Pinner Page 1Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  2. 2. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008IntroductionWe have learned a great deal about the way we use and acquire language, particularlyover the past fifty years or so. Much of this knowledge of language and the implicationsfor L2 learning has been advanced through research based on pragmatic theories. Onesuch example is speech act theory, which is of great importance and has developed astrong bank of research and literature. The implications for English Language Teachinghave been debated over and looked into by experts from a variety of fields, from culturalanthropologists to applied linguists and SLA researchers (Blum-Kulka, House andKasper 1989: 2). This essay will examine the classroom applications of the theory by firstexploring the key concepts and how they might facilitate English learning. I will lookclosely at the benefits and limitations of speech act theory in relation to ELT pedagogyand attempt to clarify speech acts as they are discussed in empirical research and how thisis connected with speech act theory.First I will give a brief explanation and description of speech act theory, and in doing soattempt to clarify what is by now rather a dispersed set of ideas. Speech acts have beenapproached from many angles within the study of language and the terminology adaptedfor various author’s purposes. Kasper and Blum-Kulka refer to “thanking, apologizing,complaining, requesting and correcting” (1993: 59) as speech acts, but there are “Thereare literally hundreds of speech acts” (Bardovi-Harlig et al 1989). For this reason it isimportant to clearly explain what we mean by speech acts in reference to ELT. Mydescription will necessarily be brief as defining speech acts has been the topic of manyentire books (for example Searle’s Speech Acts 1969). During this description we willsee that speech acts are closely linked with sociolinguistics. We will examine this ideafurther and the implications for ELT in the second part of the essay.Following the brief description we will look at the empirical research into cross-culturalspeech acts and how instruction could aid learners to become more successful speakers ofEnglish. At the same time we will briefly examine one of the major problems with thisRichard Pinner Page 2Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  3. 3. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008idea; the use of the term “appropriateness” when looking at student responses anddeciding how we define the term and against what existing models.In the second part I will examine some recent EFL materials and strategies in relation tothe presentation of speech acts. Here we will examine again the connection withsociolinguistics. We will also review the research mentioned in the first section and see ifthe current trend in materials is in line with the research findings.A Brief Description of Speech Act TheorySpeech act theory was developed from a notion first put forward by J.L Austin in hisposthumous paper How to Do Things with Words (1962). Austin was a languagephilosopher and there were obvious connections between his work and the field oflinguistics. Later John Searle1 further expanded on the theory, most significantly withSpeech Acts: An Essay In The Philosophy Of Language (1969) and A Classification OfIllocutionary Acts (1976). Subsequently speech act theory was eagerly taken up byapplied linguists because of the insights it provided into the way we use language forevery-day purposes. The implications for ELT have been developed further byresearchers and teachers such as Bardovi-Harlig & Hartford, Blum-Kulka & Kasper,Olshtain & Cohen, Schmidt & Richards and Wolfson.There are many areas to speech act theory, but a succinct explanation is provided byCohen. He approaches Speech act theory from the context of Second LanguageAcquisition (SLA) and states that “[according to Austin] utterances have three kinds ofmeaning” (Cohen 1996: 384) those being Locutionary, Illocutionary and Perlocutionary.1 Searle’s contribution was to further define speech acts and to categorise them. His five classificationswere Representatives, Directives, Commisives, Expressives and Declaratives. (Searle, 1976 cited inSchmidt, R. & Richards, C. (1980) Speech Acts and Second Language Learning in Journal of AppliedLinguistics 1980 I(2):129-157; doi:10.1093/applin/I.2.129). There have been additions to this list and manyother insights. The focus of this essay is on the way meaning is passed from speaker to hearer and howspeech acts are interpreted, so it is beyond the scope of this essay to further explain in detail such ideas as“performative” verbs (Austin 1962:65) and I will not go into the classification of different types of speechacts. For the purposes of this essay I will focus purely on the three types of meaning an utterance has.Richard Pinner Page 3Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  4. 4. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008Very simply, locutionary meaning is the actual or literal meaning of the words uttered.For example, in saying “It’s raining” I am commenting on the weather and stating thatwater is falling from (clouds in) the sky. Illocutionary meaning is the “social function”(Ibid) of the words or the way they are intended to be understood. For example “It’sraining” may actually be a round-about way of saying “I don’t feel like going to the zootoday.” or I may intend to invite you to consider changing your plans about going out. Ifthis is my intention I am performing an Indirect Speech Act (Austin 1962 & Searle 1975)because what I mean and what I say are reliant on the hearer interpreting what I wish tocommunicate. The Perlocutionary meaning or Perlocutionary Force (Austin 1962) is theeffect or the aim of the utterance. To continue the example above the Perlocutionaryforce of the utterance would possibly be that we decide to stay in and drink hot chocolaterather than going out in the rain. If doing so was my intended or desired outcome fromthe words the perlocutionary force (result or aim) matches the illocutionary meaning(intention). This may not always be the case, which has been termed as Perlocutionaryfailure (Leech, 1983: 204–5)The Cross-Cultural QuestionSpeech acts are a good example of a language theory with very practical applications forlanguage teaching, not to mention a large bank of empirical research examining this.However, speech act theory and language teaching becomes more challenging when welook at cross-cultural pragmatics. The Cross Cultural Speech Act Research Project(CCSARP) (Blum-Kulka, House and Kasper 1989) was one of the first and best knownstudies which focused on L1 and L2 speakers of seven languages and the disparity ofresponses when performing the speech acts of requests and apologies (1989: 11). Thestudy looked at variables such as social distance and dominance (Wolfson, Marmor andJones, 1989: 191). The findings were conclusive that even advanced speakers of alanguage can make sociolinguistic errors and that L2 speakers responses are often quitedifferent from those of L1 speakers. In addition to this there is general agreement that“sociolinguistic errors are typically treated as breaches of etiquette” (Boxer & PickeringRichard Pinner Page 4Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  5. 5. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/20081993: 56). This is made more acute if the speaker has an advanced level of grammar orvocabulary but not of, what Bachman (1990) terms, “sociolinguistic competence” as partof “communicative competence.” These errors are potentially more serious thangrammatical errors (Crandall & Basturkmen 2004: 38)From this it has been noted that the explicit teaching of pragmatics would be of greatbenefit to language learners because they often do not simply acquire sociolinguisticcompetence subliminally by being around the target language, or even being in the targetculture. (Schmidt, 1993: 25-6) This has particular implications for EFL where studentsmay be quite distant from the target culture. Schmidt (Ibid) notes that there is noconclusive evidence for subliminal language learning. Cohen also argues the need forexplicit teaching and notes from his own research that learners can apply the knowledgefrom speech act training very quickly. He makes the point that research should beconducted in order to address what contribution to learners’ competence we are making“by explicitly teaching [students] some of the finely tuned speech act behaviour that isnot simply acquired over time... [L]earners do not necessarily have an adequateawareness of what is involved in complex speech behaviour.”While the research findings of the CCSARP and other cross-cultural studies are veryinteresting, the focus of this essay is specific to ELT and thus such differences serve onlyto highlight the need for explicit sociolinguistic speech act instruction in English. Sincethere is a disparity between the responses of L1 and L2 speakers of English the explicitteaching of illocutionary meaning and the norms for conducting certain types of speechacts has value for students. This is, of course, if we assume the learners wish to fit in andto be accepted within the target culture. This does, however, bring us to a limitation withthe theory. Often cultural disparities exist between L1 speakers where the target culture isnot the same. An obvious example is British and American English. For example, a studyby Creese (1991) discovered disparities between American and British speakers ofEnglish in dealing with compliments. In addition the work of Gumperz (1982) looked atdisparities between British-English and Indian-English speakers when performing speechacts in institutional settings. This has huge implications not just for TESOL but alsoRichard Pinner Page 5Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  6. 6. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008English as a Global Language and brings us again to the limitations of “appropriateness”which we will discuss later in this essay.In the next section I will look at the way speech act theory has been interpreted intopedagogy and how materials writers and applied linguists view the usefulness of anunderstanding of what they call speech acts.Putting Theory into PracticeWolfson (1989: 56-8) writes about “the philosophic tradition” in her book Perspectivesand discusses the implications of speech act theory for teaching sociolinguistics withinTESOL. Wolfson seems to dismiss the usefulness of such pragmatic theory. She quotesCicourel (1980) and lists his “four2 major limitations of speech act theory, apart from itsinability to account for data from other cultures” (Wolfson, 1989: 58). She attacks theuniversality of the theory by listing two tightly contained languages with apparently verydifferent rules of speaking to English. She quotes Keenan, a linguistic anthropologist, onMalagasy and “the Indians of the Warm Springs reservation in Oregon” (attributed to theresearch of Hymes, 1975). These differences in cultural norms may reduce speech acttheory’s standing as a universally applicable theory to language, but in my view theycertainly strengthen the position for teaching them within EFL or ESOL. Wolfson fails topoint this out in this essay, however, her research into speech acts has certainly helped to2 The limitations are that analysis is conducted from small fragments or exchanges, they are frequently outof context, that more than one message might be present within any given speech act and that they “rely onidealized conditions” (Cicourel 1980:9-10 in Wolfson, N (1989) Perspectives: Sociolinguistics and TESOL.New York: Newbury House Publishers). I would argue that Even when a given speech act may fall into twocategories this is surely part of the illocutionary meaning of the act. For example if I say “It’s raining” andwish to stay indoors I have not performed two speech acts. I have made a declarative about the weatherwith the illocutionary meaning of expressing reluctance to go out or giving the hearer the chance to re-adjust our plans.Richard Pinner Page 6Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  7. 7. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008progress the field in ELT (see for example Rules of Speaking 19833). Wolfson clearlywishes to make a distinction between speech act theory and the teaching of speech acts.Bardovi-Harlig and Hartford point out that theories concerned with teaching and learningare “of necessity culturally formed and hence unlikely to be shared when teacher andstudents have different backgrounds” (1997: 129) Again, while this takes credibility awayfrom the universality of speech act theory it lends usefulness to the explicit teaching ofspeech acts and illocutionary meaning within ELT.If learners are to be successful in acquiring a language they must have a certain degree ofsociolinguistic competence (Bachman 1990) or they are unlikely to be able to use thelanguage (in this case English) to great effect as they will be unable to communicate theirreal intentions (perlocutionary force) without involving a loss of face.In support of overtly teaching illocutionary force and meaning Schmidt (1993: 25-26)discusses the importance of making learners overtly aware of the meaning or of thefunctions of certain speech acts. He talks of “consciousness perception” and later listsexamples from his own well documented acquisition of Portuguese in which he observedor was told how to end a phone. After instruction he was able to directly utilise thisknowledge to help him in situations where he had previously felt inadequately equippedto do so (Ibid: 29). Cohen (1996: 411) restates the conclusions of empirical research intospeech acts: [F]ormal classroom instruction concerning the social rules of a language can assist learners in communicating more appropriately with native speakers outside the classroom.For these reasons I agree wholeheartedly with Widdowson (2003: 04) that theory andpedagogic application in ELT should not be separated too much. Students may not needto know details of the theory, but that does not mean the theory is to be separated fromthe methodology. This is merely a very short overview of some of the well known3 Wolfson, N. (1983) Rules of Speaking In Richards, J. & Schmidt, R. (eds.) (1983) Language andCommunication New York: Longman PublishingRichard Pinner Page 7Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  8. 8. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008research and literature and there are many more detailed discussions on the topic. I agreewith Cohen and Schmidt that speech acts and especially the illocutionary meaning behindthem, can greatly assist language learners in becoming more adept as speakers and avoidthem losing face. Within ELT this will contribute to the students’ confidence which Ibelieve will enable them to further improve as speakers in English.AppropriatenessIn this essay I am looking at ELT pedagogy and thus a discussion around non-nativeinstitutionalized varies (NNIVE) of English is important. In this context I agree that“appropriate speech behaviour will rely heavily on those societies own rules.” (Boxer &Pickering 1993: 45) When we talk about fitting in or being accepted in a culture, towhom are we giving the ultimate right to choose “appropriateness 4” in English? Are weassuming that teachers (or native speakers) are correct in their use of speech acts whenperforming locutionary and illocutionary acts? Doing so is dangerous because“[s]ociolinguistic research has repeatedly demonstrated the inadequacy of native speakerintuitions.” (Wolfson, Marmor & Jones 1989: 181) While I am not denying thelimitations of speech act theory I would still point out that there needs to be a baselinefrom which to approach the subject in the EFL or ESOL classroom. However, problemsoccur in defining such a baseline and there is still a need for research into this area. Whileit is important to be aware of this limitation we can sidestep the issue by alerting learnersto these issues and encouraging them to make their own observations. The idea of“learner as researcher” (Ellis 1998) is very useful here. Students may be asked to focus on specific speech acts by gathering examples themselves. (Bardovi-Hartlig et al 1989: 13)Thus we ask students to learn to make their own choices based on observations of what is“appropriate.”4 Canale presents a framework for communicative objectives which draws on the work of Munby (1978)and Canale & Swain (1979) which was created for the Ontario Ministry of Education for French as aSecond Language at elementary and secondary schools. Twice under the heading of Sociolinguisticcompetence the word “appropriate” is used with no further expansion.Richard Pinner Page 8Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  9. 9. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008Possible Realisations and Applications within English LanguageTeachingAs teachers we merely wish to facilitate in our learners the ability to be understood inEnglish and to use it to achieve their desired aims. We want them to be aware that thereare levels of meaning and to encourage and facilitate them to get a deeper knowledge ofthe language. In teaching speech acts we are preparing our students for situations whichcommonly occur and providing them with the functional language and sociolinguisticskills to do so effectively and without a loss of face.Teaching Materials & StrategiesMcConachy (2007) has noted several major EFL course books and their limitations in thepresentation of dialogues which contain speech acts. For example, in New Interchange(Richards, Hull & Proctor 1998) there is a dialogue between two friends which has nocontextual information and sociolinguistic analysis. (see appendix one for sampledialogue) The dialogue presents the speech act of suggesting but without any contextualinformation. McConachy presents ways that the teachers themselves might add to suchdialogues by simply asking questions about the speakers’ relation to each other andasking students to guess at any illocutionary information. In doing so we invite thestudents to come to their own conclusions and ignite in them an awareness ofillocutionary meaning.Boxer and Pickering (1993) reviewed seven textbooks (four US English and three UK)and concluded that “with few exceptions” (Ibid: 46) the books deal with direct speechacts (in this case complaints) rather than indirect. From this we can deduce a lack offocus on illocutionary meaning and with it a failure to incorporate sociolinguisticcompetence within the texts.For my own research I looked at New English File (Oxenden, C & Latham-Koenig, C2008) because it has “real life” situations called Practical English and Social English.Richard Pinner Page 9Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  10. 10. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008The situational context between characters is explicit and the characters are the samethroughout the level. Their relationship builds on each previous exchange, thus there is anidea of development. Although these dialogues are not real or based on real data thesociocultural development is a step forward in terms of speech acts and the representationof sociolinguistic information. Furthermore, the exercises do make some attempt to takeadvantage of this (see appendix two). There is also an accompanying website, howeverhere there is no contextual information to language presentation. The focus is on syntacticrelations between words and structures and when we look under a section such asColloquial English there is no organizing principle related to speech act presentation.I did find some useful materials on onestopenglish.com which focus on speech acts andappropriate responses (appendix three). Here students are asked to choose the mostappropriate response following a lesson on “Language Functions.” This worksheet is oneof the few I have come across that could be said to explicitly attempt to teach speech acts.Following on from this, Boxer and Pickering (1993: 53-6) also prepared some of theirown materials (appendix four) which present speech acts within a sociolinguistic context.There is contextual information followed by a dialogue and finally an explanation of theillocutionary meaning or sometimes the intention or reason for the dialogue. However,this level of details would not be suitable across all levels, particularly lower levellearners. On this front I agree with McConachy (2007: 9) when he suggests that teacherswill need to develop their own sociocultural awareness in order to facilitate learners.From a review of the literature and classroom materials it seems that speech acts areslowly finding their way into classroom materials, but much is still left in the hands of theteachers to exploit the potential of presented speech acts and dialogues. Again the idea isto encourage the “learner as researcher” (Bardovi-Harlig et al, 1989) approach andfacilitate students to make their own observations.Richard Pinner Page 10Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  11. 11. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008ConclusionThe most practical implications of speech act theory are to be found in teaching the ideathat what we mean and what we say may not always be the same. A very commonexample is the idea that an utterance such as “Could you pass the salt?5” is a requestrather than an interrogative about ability. (Fraser 1983: 29) In the same way, when wesay “Must you be so insensitive?” this is more likely to be seen as a rebuke rather than aquestion regarding obligation as it would appear from a purely bottom-up, syntactic view.Additionally, “Do you like hospital food?” is actually a threat rather than a question.In Cohen’s (and my own) understanding of speech acts they boil down to communicativeintentions in a language that are proven to be of use to EFL or ESL learners because theyprovide an easy to follow insight into pragmatics and also because they can be utilisedwhen learners are required to negotiate meaning in a certain context. Learners oftenexpress difficulty when closing a conversation. (Schmidt 1993: 29) and it is often usefulfor them to know how to wind-down or close a discussion by using devices such as“well…” to indicate to the other participant that they wish to leave. Another useful devicewould be using a phrase like “I’d better let you get back” for saving face of both parties.In teaching an utterance like the aforementioned we are teaching speech acts. Speech acttheory needs to be broken down into simple terms again in order to be of use to languagelearners and that has been the current trend, but this does not mean it is to be separatedfrom the theory.Bardovi-Harlig & Hartford (1997: 114) note that the difference between speech acts andlanguage functions is “not always observed in language pedagogy” although the two havea “distinct difference.” They do not however explicitly explain the difference. I woulddisagree with that point because I cannot see a “distinct difference” between speech actsand language functions. The study of speech acts originates from the idea that “minimal5 This is also Searle’s famous example (1969)Richard Pinner Page 11Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  12. 12. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008units of human communication ...[are the] performance of certain kinds of acts, such asmaking statements, asking questions, giving directions, apologizing, thanking and so on.”(Blum-Kulka, House & Kasper 1989: 2) In my understanding those are functions within alanguage. So then, speech act theory has lead to the idea of teaching speech acts orfunctional units of language to students with the background idea of an understanding ofpossible indirect or illocutionary meaning ever present and requiring overt instruction.While current materials do not always reflect this there is a growing trend towardspresenting speech acts with contextual information about social status or the relationshipbetween the participants of a dialogue. It is then for the teacher to explain or preferablyfacilitate the noticing of speech acts and the sociolinguistic norms surrounding them. Thebest way to teach speech acts in my view is to make our students more aware of suchpragmatic variables and to provide them with the information they need to make theirown observations. In doing so we can escape the limitations of “appropriateness” andallow our learners to work out for themselves the best way to perform a speech act in anygiven situation. (3,456 Words)BibliographyAustin, J.L (1962) How To Do Things With Words in Jarworski, A. and Coupland, N.(eds.) 1999 The Discourse Reader. London: RoutledgeBachman, Lyle F. Fundamental Considerations in Language Testing Oxford AppliedLinguistics Series: Oxford University PressBardovi-Harlig, K. & Hartford, B. (eds.) (1997) Beyond Methods: Components of SecondLanguage Teacher Education McGraw HillRichard Pinner Page 12Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  13. 13. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008Bardovi-Harlig, K. Hartford, B.A.S, Mahan-Taylor, R. Morgan, M.J. & Reynolds, D.W.(1989) Developing Pragmatic Awareness: Closing the Conversation in ELT Journal 45/1January 1991. Oxford University PressBlum-Kulka, House & Kasper (eds.) (1989) Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: Requests andApologies. Norwood: Ablex Publishing CorpBoxer, D. & Pickering, L. (1993) Problems in the Presentation of Speech Acts in ELTMaterials: The Case for Complaints in ELT Journal 49/1 January 1995. OxfordUniversity PressCanale, M. (1983) From Communicative Competence to Communicative LanguagePedagogy in Richards, J. & Schmidt, R. (eds.) (1983) Language and CommunicationNew York: Longman PublishingCohen, A.D. (1996) Speech Acts in McKay S.L. and Hornberger (eds.) (1996)Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching Cambridge University PressCrandall, E. & Basturkmen, H. (2004) Evaluating Pragmatics-Focused Materials in ELTJournal 58/1 Oxford University PressCreese, A. (1991) Speech Act Variation in British and American English in WorkingPapers in Educational Linguistics Vol. 7 No. 2 http://www.wpel.net/v7/v7n2Creese1.pdfFraser, B. (1983) The Domain of Pragmatics in Richards, J. & Schmidt, R. (eds.) (1983)Language and Communication New York: Longman PublishingJupp, T., Roberts, C., & Cook-Gumperz, J. (1982) Language and Disadvantage: TheHidden Process in Gumperz, J. Language and Social Identity. Cambridge UniversityPressRichard Pinner Page 13Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  14. 14. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008Leech, G. (1983) Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman.McConachy, T. (2008) Raising Sociocultural Awareness Through Contextual Analysis:Some Tools for Teachers in ELT Journal doi:10.1093/elt/ccn018 Oxford University PressSchmidt, R. (1993) Consciousness, Learning and Interlanguage Pragmatics in Blum-Kulka, S. & Kasper, G. (eds.) (1993) Interlanguage Pragmatics New York: OxfordUniversity PressSchmidt, R. & Richards, C. (1980) Speech Acts and Second Language Learning inJournal of Applied Linguistics 1980 I(2):129-157; doi:10.1093/applin/I.2.129Searle, J. (1969) Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge:Cambridge University PressTaguchi, N. (2007) Task Difficulty in Oral Speech Act Production in Oxford Journal ofApplied Linguistics 28/1 113-135 Oxford University PublishingWiddowson, H.G. (2003) Defining Issues In English Language Teaching. Oxford:Oxford University PressWolfson, N (1989) Perspectives: Sociolinguistics and TESOL. New York: NewburyHouse PublishersWolfson, N. Marmour, T. & Jones, S. Problems in the Comparison of Speech Acts AcrossCultures in Blum-Kulka, House & Kasper (eds.) (1989) Cross-Cultural Pragmatics:Requests and Apologies. Norwood: Ablex Publishing CorpRichard Pinner Page 14Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  15. 15. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008AppendixOne)James This has got to stop! Another Friday night without a date! Whatcan I do?Mike What about looking through the personal ads in the newspaper?James Actually, I’ve tried that. But the people you meet are alwaysdifferent from what you expect.Mike Well,why don’t you join a dating service?Afriend ofminemet hiswife that way.James That’s not a bad idea.Mike Also, it might be a good idea to check out singles’ night at thebookstore.James Yeah. If I don’t find a date, at least I might find a good book!(Taken from New Interchange (1998b), Student’s Book 3: 57)Two)New English File Elementary (Oxenden, C & Latham-Koenig, C (2008)Richard Pinner Page 15Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  16. 16. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008Two)New English File Elementary (Oxenden, C & Latham-Koenig, C (2008)Three)http://www.onestopenglish.com/section.asp?docid=147351 (Staff Room Access required)Teaching FunctionsBy Alex N Miho© Macmillan Publisher 2005Richard Pinner Page 16Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT
  17. 17. Richard S Pinner RPinner Discourse Analysis.docx 20/11/2008Four)b) Advice sometimes occurs as an IC response, but occasionally it servesas encouragement to the speaker:Two female strangers, status equals, are talking to each other at aswimming-pool. The speaker is about to enter the water in which theaddressee has already been swimming:A Ow its cold! Youre brave.B Just take the plunge. It feels good once you get in.Explanation: The advice served to encourage the speaker to startswimming. This short exchange functioned as a conversational openerthat led to subsequent conversation between the two women. Theycontinued their talk in spurts while in the pool, discussing health-relatedissues. The simple conversational opener here functioned to initiate asequence of further talk which led naturally to a series of self-disclosures.Boxer, D. & Pickering, L. (1993) Problems in the Presentation of Speech Acts in ELT Materials: The Case for Complaints in ELTJournal 49/1 January 1995. Oxford University PressRichard Pinner Page 17Originally submitted to King’s College London as part of an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT

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