Speech act performance in workplace settings

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This chapter explores how research on speech act performance can inform language teaching for workplace communication. It argues for an approach to instruction that draws on empirical evidence from a range of perspectives so that non-native speakers can understand patterns of language use, how these relate to cultural values and how individuals actually draw on them in context. Using directives and disagreements as examples, it is argued that while quantitative interlanguage and cross-cultural speech act research studies give valuable insight into how acts are performed in routine situations, speech act studies broadly conceived are needed to provide learners with insight into the rich repertoire of devices and strategies native speakers have at their disposal and how these might be used to negotiate identities at work.


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