Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2589-109X
  • E-ISSN: 2589-1103
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This paper presents a multimodal analysis of apologies performed by Chinese EFL learners at two proficiency levels by considering their use of both verbal and nonverbal (i.e., gestures and gaze) strategies. The results showed that both groups used IFID (illocutionary force indicating device, which, in this study, refers to explicit apology strategies such as or ), explanation, and acknowledgment of responsibility strategies frequently, but the high proficiency participants tended to use more diverse IFID sub-strategies. Analysis of gestures also revealed significant between-group differences in the duration and frequency of the use of gestures, with the high proficiency group using more ideographic gestures (gestures which indicate specific meaning or help to express certain meaning, such as emblems, illustrators, and regulators) than their lower proficiency counterparts. Finally, the two groups differed significantly in gaze duration, but not in gaze frequency. These findings suggest that although both groups used nonverbal cues to supplement linguistic strategies of apology, they differed in how they used them. Furthermore, the results highlight the importance of employing a multimodal approach when attempting to gain a more comprehensive understanding of EFL speakers’ use of speech acts.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): apology strategies; gaze; gestures; L2 pragmatics; multimodal perspective
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