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Requests

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the speech act of requesting, which has been considered to be a face-threatening act, since its performance requires the hearer to carry out an act for the requester’s sake (Brown & Levinson, 1987). Research on the use of requests suggests that many learners have problems in performing this speech act in sociopragmatically appropriate ways. In order to avoid social misunderstandings therefore, learners’ exposure to the way requests are routinised in real contexts is of utmost importance in second language instructional contexts. Based on research on interlanguage pragmatics, this chapter presents a learner-based instructional method designed to develop learners’ sociopragmatic ability to make requests and soften their impositive tone in English as the target language. This framework provides learners with ample opportunities to be exposed to as well as practise requests in a variety of communicative situations.

References

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