Compliments and responses to compliments

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This chapter focuses on the speech acts of giving and responding to compliments, including its multiple functions and discourses that expand beyond single-statement compliments. First, specific linguistic realisations of these speech acts are summarised, in addition to a discussion of cross-linguistic differences in pragmatic norms. Interlanguage pragmatics research is also reviewed in which compliments were taught in English as a second/foreign language and Japanese as a foreign language. The majority of the chapter is devoted to a pedagogical proposal that shows how these speech acts in English can be taught and how learners’ pragmatic development may be assessed in the classroom. Because learners’ subjectivities are closely intertwined with their pragmatic use, the instruction and assessment procedures facilitate learners’ negotiation of identities through giving and responding to compliments.


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