‘ I must borrow your notes ’ :  Teaching Politeness Strategies   Presented by:   Shira Packer, M.A. [email_address] York U...
Workshop Objectives <ul><li>To increase understanding of  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>relationship between politeness & pragmati...
Your Experience with ESL Learners & Politeness <ul><li>Introduce yourself and describe your experience teaching and/or adm...
What is the relationship between politeness and pragmatic competence? <ul><li>Pragmatics </li></ul><ul><li>= “ the study o...
A Brief History of Pragmatic Competence Communicative  competence  (Hymes, 1972) Organizational competence  (Bachman, 1990...
What are the consequences of pragmatic error? <ul><li>Pragmatic errors may: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cause miscommunication b...
Why should we teach pragmatics  in the classroom? <ul><li>Only some pragmatic knowledge is universal or can be positively ...
What sociological factors help us choose an appropriate politeness strategy when making requests, apologies, and complimen...
How do requests, apologies, and compliments vary across languages? <ul><li>Main functions are thought to be universal (Yu,...
<ul><li>Compliments vary according to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>frequency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gender (Herbert, 1990) <...
Planning Pragmatic Lessons <ul><li>What are the recommended methodologies to help learners develop pragmatic knowledge?  <...
And the research says…. <ul><li>Form focused instruction (Eslami-Rasekh, Eslami-Rasekh, & Fatahi, 2004; McLean, 2004) </li...
Pragmatic Lesson Planning & Analysis <ul><li>Awareness building discussion questions </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation of lan...
Works Cited   (1/3) <ul><li>Bachman, L. (1990).  Fundamental considerations in language testing . Oxford: Oxford Universit...
<ul><li>Eslami-Rasekh, Z., Eslami-Rasekh, A., & Fatahi, A. (2004). The effect of explicit metapragmatic instruction on the...
<ul><li>Martínez-Flor, A. & Usó-Juan, E. (2006).  A comprehensive pedagogical framework to develop pragmatics in the forei...
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Teaching Politeness Strategies, Shira Packer

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  • -interest for instructors, curriculum developers, and administrators looking to understand more about targeting learners ’ communicative needs beyond the tradition point of instruction such as grammar and vocab, etc. Title is something that I remember hearing a few years back and it stuck with me. I remember thinking how could a student get the impression that this statement was an appropriate way to make a request. Year later, this notion contributed to the impetus of my Masters ’ Thesis and much of the information that I ’ ll be presenting today was collected, created, or deduced from my study. In a nutshell, I provided I performed a teaching intervention on three pragmatic structures, or politeness contexts, at the EAP program where I teach to 13 intermediate english language learners from various language groups. Requests, apologies, and compliments 90-minutes each, then used classroom observations, a post-instruction survey, and post-instruction one-on-one s to determine students perceptions of how useful the lessons were to them.
  • Theoretical to practical Requests: High frequency of use in academic and non-academic settings Pragmatics, or socio-pragmatics is not synonymous with politeness. Politeness is an aspect of pragmatic competence.
  • 3. To explore I worked with the notion that English learners can benefit from the positive transfer of pragmatic knowledge from their L1 some aspects of pragmatic knowledge are believed to be universals (Kasper &amp; Rose, 2001)……..therefore one of the roles of instruction is to make learners ware of what the can and cannot transfer from their L1 in L2 contexts.
  • Politeness is a behaviour or action Pragmatic competence is knowledge and ability to use rules Can teach knowledge and rules of politeness but teaching behaviour is more complex. Therefore, we teach pragmatics and pragmatic competence and hope that students use this knowledge towards politeness.
  • Org= formal sstructure (grammatical and discourse) Prag= Socio= ability to use language appropriately according to the context, illoc-= not the literal meaning but what the speaker is actually trying to do eg. It is so hot in here …….intended meaning – open window. Do you have the time? Are you hungry? Hi dad, is mom home? I really wish I had a ride home from school. What ’ s your phone number? Often this competence that is lacking when make pragmatic errors Politeness theory= focuses on the importance of considering sociopragmatic variables such as social power, social distance, sex, age, and degree of imposition when making linguistic choices to realize speech acts. Even though multiple theories regarding classification, each recognizes the distinction between grammatical and sociolinguistic comp. and recognize the contribution of sociolinguistics to communicative ability
  • Even minor pragmatic errors cause Miscommunication between native and non-native speakers is often the result of pragmatic error (Clennell, 1999) Especially important for students planning on spending a lot of time in an English speaking environment or having consistent contact with native speakers in for example business negotiations….where speakers are expected to be strong without being rude Face-threatening: disturbs the presentation of self which the interlocutor wants to project to others Being polite consists of attempting to save face for another Positive: characterized by desire that self image be approved of or to be liked (eg. Ignoring someone threatens positive face) Negative: desire not to be imposed upon Strain social relationships- but understanding pragmatics can promote relationship development (after instruction, students can recognize this) Oral acad disc= tutorial discussions, 1 on 1 interactions with prof, TAs, group work with native English speakers….source of anxiety, may lead to lack of participation which is most certainly reflected in academic assessment Emph on oral difficulty not writing….program emph written academic discourse Clennell: eg. Native English speaker remarks to nonnative eng speaker “ YOU haven ’ t said much ” interprets as adverse comment on lack of participating when it was rather meant a a gentle invitation to join the discussion thus leading to sociopragmatic failure….
  • Misconceptions: Eg. Give me your stapler. Also the is the idea that canadians are forgiving to foreigners, so some students feel that the consequences of pragmatic error are minor, however, not true. Build confidence= after instruction students reported being better able to negotiate excuses and apologies with homestay mother, increases success with ordering at a restaurant, and apologizing for pushing a cumbersome stroller in public areas. Students find it useful and indicated that they would have liked additional lessons in various pragmatic areas such as suggesting, giving opinions, criticizing, refusing invitations. Make learns aware of the existence of pragmatic competence…… Start off lesson with greetings and exploring formality and contextual appropriateness How do you do? How are you? What ’ s new? What ’ s up? What ’ s happening?
  • Social distance: eg family or friend vs. stranger Power relationships: classmate vs teacher Vary within a language…..imagine how vary across languages!
  • Main function of compliment gives addressee positive face by including him in a social group Americans: according to brown and levinsons polite theory, direct request are intrinsically impolite and face-threatening because they infringe on the hearer ’ s territory Apologies: olshtain 1989 suggests that explicit apology and acknowl materialize to arying degrees in all situations and all languages, but the situations which call for apologetic remediation may differ from culture to culture.
  • Frequ- Also, democratic society place high value on social solidarity to establish equality, but other cultures that legitimize hierarchical social structures, Chinese, may offer fewer compliments as a demonstration of respect for authority. (yu, 2005). Gender- women more likely to say LOVE something, more likely to accept compliments given by men that other women. topic= American English speakers are more likely to compliment on changes in appearance and new possession, owning to the fact that newness is highly valued in American society. Other cultures, such as Chinese, more likely to comment on ability and performance. Chinese teachers from jiansu prov…compliment as request to be gifted… It has also been proposed that non americans may perceive american compliments are insincere since non american compliments serve a much more limited set of functions. Response strat American eng more likely to use rejection than speakers from other cultures. Herbert 1990 Americans avoid simple acceptance. ….we experience an internal struggle between the desire to agree with the speaker and the desire to avoid self praise. Acceptance is used in only 33% of american compliment responses and particularly infrequently among close friends.
  • Although contrastive analysis is no longer considered a foundation for instructional programs, Contrastive features may help to understand error production by some Arabic speakers, develop appropriate activities and exercises in response. Negative transfer from first language can be considered interference. Recognition of some mechanical features of the Arabic language can assist teachers in addressing problems with learning grammar, literacy, etc.
  • Teaching Politeness Strategies, Shira Packer

    1. 1. ‘ I must borrow your notes ’ : Teaching Politeness Strategies Presented by: Shira Packer, M.A. [email_address] York University English Language Institute (YUELI), Toronto, ON NOT FOR REPRODUCTION OR CIRCULATION WITHOUT THE EXPLICIT PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR 
    2. 2. Workshop Objectives <ul><li>To increase understanding of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>relationship between politeness & pragmatic competence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the consequences of pragmatic error </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>requests, apologies, and compliments across cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>planning pragmatic lessons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>English learners ’ perceptions of pragmatic instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To use this information to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase repertoire of effective teaching techniques which target politeness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop pragmatic lessons which target learners ’ communicative needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help students take charge of their own pragmatic development </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Your Experience with ESL Learners & Politeness <ul><li>Introduce yourself and describe your experience teaching and/or administering English language learners. </li></ul><ul><li>To what extent do you think students understand politeness in our culture? Explain. </li></ul><ul><li>In your opinion, to what extent can and should politeness be taught? </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is the relationship between politeness and pragmatic competence? <ul><li>Pragmatics </li></ul><ul><li>= “ the study of communicative action in its sociocultural context ” (Kasper & Rose, 2001, p.2) </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatic Competence </li></ul><ul><li>= “ the speaker ’ s knowledge and use of rules of appropriateness and politeness which dictate the way the speaker will understand and formulate speech acts [an act which the speaker performs when making an utterance (Searle, 1979)] ” (Koike, 1989 as cited in McLean, 2004. p.75) </li></ul><ul><li>Politeness </li></ul><ul><li>= “ behaving or speaking in a way that is correct for the social situation you are in, and showing that you are careful to consider other people ’ s needs and feelings ” (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 2005) </li></ul>
    5. 5. A Brief History of Pragmatic Competence Communicative competence (Hymes, 1972) Organizational competence (Bachman, 1990) Pragmatic competence (Bachman, 1990) Sociolinguistic competence (Bachman, 1990) Illocutionary competence (Bachman, 1990)
    6. 6. What are the consequences of pragmatic error? <ul><li>Pragmatic errors may: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cause miscommunication between native and non-native speakers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>threaten the speaker ’ s face (Goffman, 1959) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>create unintended offence or flattery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strain social relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>result from lack of cultural understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lead to lack of confidence in oral academic discourse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contribute to stereotypical labeling of language learners as insensitive or rude (Clennell, 1999) </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Why should we teach pragmatics in the classroom? <ul><li>Only some pragmatic knowledge is universal or can be positively transferred from L1 </li></ul><ul><li>Clear up some misconceptions about English (e.g. ‘ please ’ ) </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatic errors are not always recognizable by the speaker </li></ul><ul><li>Build student ’ s confidence in a sheltered environment </li></ul><ul><li>Make learners aware of the existence of pragmatic competence and the consequences of lacking it </li></ul><ul><li>To increase awareness of what they already know about universal or L2 pragmatic knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage positive transfer </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage them to notice aspects of pragmatics that are particular to English (Rose & Kasper, 2001) </li></ul>What are the goals of pragmatic instruction?
    8. 8. What sociological factors help us choose an appropriate politeness strategy when making requests, apologies, and compliments? <ul><ul><li>Social distance between of speaker and listener (including age, gender, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power relations between speaker and listener </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Degree of imposition (requests) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Severity of offence (apology) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value of complimented item </li></ul></ul>Requests, Apologies, & Compliments
    9. 9. How do requests, apologies, and compliments vary across languages? <ul><li>Main functions are thought to be universal (Yu, 2005) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requests: speaker would like… something of the listener </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apologies: speaker would like… to repair the relationship with the listener </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compliment: speaker would like… to establish solidarity with the listener </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Requests vary according to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>direct vs. indirect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use of supportive moves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>perceived value of requested item/task </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Apologies vary according to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>complete vs. incomplete set </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>explicit apology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Acknowledgment of responsibility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offer repair </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Explanation or excuse </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sincerity intensifiers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>downgrade responsibility </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>Compliments vary according to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>frequency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gender (Herbert, 1990) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>topic (e.g.: appearance & possession vs. ability & performance) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>secondary functions (e.g. conversation openers, setting example for good behaviour, requesting a gift) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>response strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are some response strategies to “ I really like your sweater? ” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Acceptance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Downgrading </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Questioning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Returning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shifting credit </li></ul></ul></ul>How do requests, apologies, and compliments vary across languages? (cont…)
    11. 11. Planning Pragmatic Lessons <ul><li>What are the recommended methodologies to help learners develop pragmatic knowledge? </li></ul><ul><li>What types of activities can instructors use to give learners opportunity to practice? </li></ul>
    12. 12. And the research says…. <ul><li>Form focused instruction (Eslami-Rasekh, Eslami-Rasekh, & Fatahi, 2004; McLean, 2004) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking about language, how to vary forms, softening and intensifying devices, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussing appropriate uses in different contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contrastive L1-L2 discussions (Eslami-Rasekh, 2005; Rose, 1994, 1999 as cited in Martinez-Flor & Uso Juan, 2006) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlights what can and cannot be positively transferred </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validates learners ’ mother tongues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explicit consciousness-raising activities (House, 1996; Kasper, 1997 a cited in Karatepe, 2001; McLean, 2004) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>multiple choice questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>discourse completion tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>role-play error correction and/or creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>simulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>drama </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Pragmatic Lesson Planning & Analysis <ul><li>Awareness building discussion questions </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation of language strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled Practice: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialogue error correction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matching and/or identification of forms and functions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Music dictation: Jealous Guy by John Lennon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Film clip analysis: As Good As It Gets Clip </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creative Practice: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Role-play </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rewrite dialogue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speech writing </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Works Cited (1/3) <ul><li>Bachman, L. (1990). Fundamental considerations in language testing . Oxford: Oxford University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Blum-Kulka, S., House, J., & Kasper, G. (1989). Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and apologies . Norwood, NJ: Albex. </li></ul><ul><li>Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language usage . New York: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Canale, M., & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics , 1, 1-47. </li></ul><ul><li>Clennell, C. (1999). Promoting pragmatic awareness and spoken discourse skills with EAP classes. ELT Journal , 53(2), 83-91. </li></ul><ul><li>Eslami-Rasekh, Z. (2005). Raising the pragmatic awareness of language learners. ELT Journal , 59(3), 199-208. </li></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>Eslami-Rasekh, Z., Eslami-Rasekh, A., & Fatahi, A. (2004). The effect of explicit metapragmatic instruction on the speech act awareness of advanced EFL students. TESL-EJ , 8(2), Retrieved on August 27, 2008 from http://tesl-ej.org/ej30/a2.html. </li></ul><ul><li>Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life . New York: Doubleday. </li></ul><ul><li>Herbert, R. K. (1990). Sex-based differences in compliment behavior. Language in Society , 19(2), 201-224. </li></ul><ul><li>House, J. (1996). Developing pragmatic fluency in English as a foreign language: Routines and metapragmatic awareness. Studies in Second Language Acquisition , 18, 225-252. </li></ul><ul><li>Hymes, D. (1972). Reinventing anthropology . New York: Pantheon Books. </li></ul><ul><li>Kasper, G., & Rose, K. R. (2001). Pragmatics in language teaching . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Manes, J., and Wolfson, N. (1981). The compliment formula. In F. Coulmas (Ed.), Conversational routine (pp. 115-132). The Hague: Mouton. </li></ul>Works Cited (2/3)
    16. 16. <ul><li>Martínez-Flor, A. & Usó-Juan, E. (2006). A comprehensive pedagogical framework to develop pragmatics in the foreign language classroom: The 6th approach. Applied Language Learning , 16 (2), 39-64. </li></ul><ul><li>McLean, T. (2004). Giving students a fighting chance: Pragmatics in the language classroom. TESL Canada Journal, 21 (2), 72-92. </li></ul><ul><li>Olshtain, E., & Cohen, A. D. (1983). Apology: A speech-act set. In N. Wolfson & E. Judd (Ed.), Sociolinguistics and language acquisition (pp. 18-35). Rowley, Newbury House. </li></ul><ul><li>Searle, J. (1969). Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language . Cambridge, English: Cambridge University. </li></ul><ul><li>Yu, M. (2005). Sociolinguistic competence in the complimenting act of native Chinese and American English speakers: A mirror of cultural values. Language and Speech , 48(1), 91-119. </li></ul>Works Cited (3/3)

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