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The speech act of complaint actually consists of two very different types of speech behaviours. While direct complaints are usually face threatening acts, indirect complaints typically serve to establish solidarity in social interaction. Little attention has been paid in the literature to indirect complaints, despite the fact that they are ubiquitous in ordinary social conversation in many English-speaking communities. This chapter focuses on the teaching of indirect complaints and outlines methodological issues in amassing data on complaining that can be put into use for effective language teaching. To date, few teaching materials have been based on ethnographic, empirical data. Based on this data, new ways of teaching complaints and their responses are suggested in a sample lesson plan.


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