1887
Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238

Abstract

This article reports an eight-month investigation into the long-term impact of explicit instruction on the learnability of different aspects of email requests by a group of Vietnamese university students. Two intact classes were randomly assigned to the treatment ( = 13) and control conditions ( = 19). Over a four-week period, the treatment group received six hours of instruction which comprised consciousness-raising, meta-pragmatic explanation, repeated output practice and teacher feedback. The control group, on the other hand, only followed the usual syllabus. Results of the study indicate that the treatment group obtained significantly greater pre-to-posttest gains than the control group, and that their improvement was retained by the time of the eight-month delayed post-test. Despite the learners’ overall progress, however, it was also found that different aspects of their performance appeared to respond differently to instruction. The article supports the need for instruction of email politeness and discusses implications for future pedagogy and research.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/prag.00007.ngu
2018-05-07
2019-09-20
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/prag.00007.ngu.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1075/prag.00007.ngu&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

References

  1. Akikawa, Kumiko , and Noriko Ishihara
    2010 “’Please Write a Recommendation Letter’: Teaching to Write Email Requests to Faculty.” InPragmatics: Teaching Speech Acts, ed. by Donna Tatsuki , and Noel Houck , 47–66. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Alcón-Soler, Eva
    2005 “Does Instruction Work for Learning Pragmatics in the EFL Context?” System33 (3): 417–435. doi: 10.1016/j.system.2005.06.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2005.06.005 [Google Scholar]
  3. 2013 “Mitigating Email Requests in Teenagers’ First and Second Language Academic Cyber-Consultation.” Multilingua32 (6): 779–799. doi: 10.1515/multi‑2013‑0037
    https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2013-0037 [Google Scholar]
  4. 2015 “Pragmatic Learning and Study Abroad: Effects of Instruction and Length of Stay.” System48: 62–74. doi: 10.1016/j.system.2014.09.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2014.09.005 [Google Scholar]
  5. Al-Ali, Mohammed Nahar , and Meera B. Sahawneh
    2008 “An Investigation into the Generic Features of English Requestive E-mail Messages.” LSP & Professional Communication8 (2): 40–64.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen
    2010 “Exploring the Pragmatics of Interlanguage Pragmatics: Definition by Design.” InPragmatics Across Languages and Cultures, ed. by Anna Trosborg , 219–260. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Barron, Naomi S.
    1998 “Letters by Phone or Speech by Other Means: The Linguistics of E-mail.” Language and Communication18 (2): 133–170. doi: 10.1016/S0271‑5309(98)00005‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0271-5309(98)00005-6 [Google Scholar]
  8. Beebe, Leslie M. , and Martha C. Cummings
    1985 “Speech Act Performance: A Function of the Data Collection Procedure?” Paper presented atthe TESOL convention, New York, 5–14.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Biesenbach-Lucas, Sigrun
    2006 “Making Requests in E-mail: Do Cyber-Consultations Entail Directness? Toward Conventions in a New Medium.” InPragmatics and Language Learning, vol.11, ed. by Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig , César J. Felix Brasdefer , and Alwiya S. Omar , 81–107. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. 2007 “Students Writing E-mails to Faculty: An Examination of E-Politeness among Native and Non-Native Speakers of English.” Language Learning and Technology11 (2): 59–81.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. 2009 “Little Words that Could Impact one’s Impression on Others: Greetings and Closings in Institutional Emails.” In Little Words: Their History, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, and Acquisition, ed. by Ronald P. Leow , Héctor Campos , and Donna Lardiere , 183–195. Washington: Georgetown University Press.
  12. Bjorge, Anne K.
    2007 “Power Distance in English Lingua Franca E-mail Communication.” International Journal of Applied Linguistics17 (1): 60–80. doi: 10.1111/j.1473‑4192.2007.00133.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1473-4192.2007.00133.x [Google Scholar]
  13. Blum-Kulka, Shoshana , and Elite Olshtain
    1984 “Requests and Apologies: A Cross-Cultural Study of Speech Act Realization Patterns.” Applied Linguistics5: 196–213. doi: 10.1093/applin/5.3.196
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/5.3.196 [Google Scholar]
  14. Blum-Kulka, Shoshana , Juliane House , and Gabriele Kasper
    (eds) 1989Cross-cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Pub.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Bou-Franch, Patricia
    2006 “Solidarity and Deference in Spanish Computer-Mediated Communication: A Discourse-Pragmatic Analysis of Students’ Emails to Lecturers.” InWays into Discourse, ed. by Patricia Bou-Franch , 61–79. Granada: Comares.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. 2011 “Openings and Closings in Spanish Email Conversations.” Journal of Pragmatics43: 1772–1785. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2010.11.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2010.11.002 [Google Scholar]
  17. Brown, Penelope , and Stephen Levinson
    1987Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Byram, Michael , Bella Gribkova , and Hugh Starkey
    2002Developing the Intercultural Dimension in Language Teaching: A Practical Introduction for Teachers. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, Language Policy Division.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Chang, Yu-Ying , and Yi-Ping Hsu
    1998 “Requests on Email: A Cross-Cultural Communication.” RELC Journal29 (2): 121–151. doi: 10.1177/003368829802900206
    https://doi.org/10.1177/003368829802900206 [Google Scholar]
  20. Chen, Chi-Fen Emily
    . “Making E-mail Requests to Professors: Taiwanese vs. American Students.” Paper presented atthe Annual Meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics , St. Louis, USA, February 2001.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. 2006 “The Development of E-mail Literacy: From Writing to Peers to Writing to Authority Figures.” Language Learning and Technology10 (2): 35–55.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Chen, Yuan-shan
    2015 “Developing Chinese EFL Learners’ Email Literacy through Requests to Faculty.” Journal of Pragmatics131–149. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2014.05.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.05.009 [Google Scholar]
  23. Chen, Yuan-shan , Der-Hwa V. Rau , and Gerald Rau
    (eds.) 2016Email Discourse Among Chinese Using English as a Lingua Franca. Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978‑981‑287‑888‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-888-5 [Google Scholar]
  24. Economidou-Kogetsidis, Maria
    2011 “‘Please Answer Me as Soon as Possible’: Pragmatic Failure in Non-Native Speakers’ E-mail Requests to Faculty. ” Journal of Pragmatics43 (13): 3193–3215. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2011.06.006
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2011.06.006 [Google Scholar]
  25. Eslami, Zohreh R.
    2013 “Online Communication and Students’ Pragmatic Choices in English.” Lodz Papers in Pragmatics9 (1): 71–92. doi: 10.1515/lpp‑2013‑0005
    https://doi.org/10.1515/lpp-2013-0005 [Google Scholar]
  26. Felix-Brasdefer, César
    2012 “Email Requests to Faculty: E-Politeness and Internal Modification.” InInterlanguage Request Modification, ed. by Maria Economidou-Kogetsidis , and Helen Woodfield , 87–118. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.217.04fel
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.217.04fel [Google Scholar]
  27. Ford, Shawn
    2006 “The Use of Pragmatics in E-mail Requests Made by Second Language Learners of English.” Studies in Language Sciences5: 143–162.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Formentelli, Maicol
    2009 “Address Strategies in a British Academic Setting.” Pragmatics19 (2): 179–196. doi: 10.1075/prag.19.2.02for
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.19.2.02for [Google Scholar]
  29. Halenko, Nicola , and Jones Christian
    2011 “Teaching Pragmatic Awareness of Spoken Requests to Chinese EAP Learners in the UK. Is Explicit Instruction Effective?” System39 (1): 240–250. doi: 10.1016/j.system.2011.05.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2011.05.003 [Google Scholar]
  30. Hardford, Beverly S. , and Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig
    1996 “At Your Earliest Convenience’’: A Study of Written Student Requests to Faculty.” InPragmatics and Language Learning, vol.7, ed. by Lawrence Bouton , 55–69. Urbana-Campaign: Division of English as an International Language. University of Illinois.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Hassall, Tim
    2001 “Modifying Requests in a Second Language.” International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching39: 259–283. doi: 10.1515/iral.2001.005
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iral.2001.005 [Google Scholar]
  32. Hofstede, Geert
    2001Culture’s Consequences. 2nd ed.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Jeon, Eun Hee , and Tadayoshi Kaya
    2006 “Effects of L2 Instruction on Interlanguage Pragmatic Development: A Meta-Analysis.” InSynthesizing Research on Language Learning and Teaching, ed. by John Norris , and Lourdes Ortega , 165–211. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/lllt.13.10jeo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.13.10jeo [Google Scholar]
  34. Kankaanranta, Anne
    2006 “‘Hej Seppo, Could You Pls Comment on this!’: Internal Email Communication in Lingua Franca English in a Multinational Company.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Jyvaskyla.
  35. Krulatz, Anna , and Koeun Park
    2015 “Fostering Pragmatic Competence: Strategies and Materials for Email Writing.” InTri-TESOL Transcending Boundaries and Interweaving Perspectives Conference Proceedings, ed. by Joe Dobson , and Martha Savage , 34–46. Washington: WATESOL.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Li, Wan-jing , and Yuan-shan Chen
    2016 “Politeness and Effectiveness of English Email Requests: Taiwanese Professors’ Perspectives.” InEmail Discourse Among Chinese Using English as a Lingua Franca, ed. by Yuan-shan Chen , Der-Hwa V. Rau , and Gerald Rau , 91–111. Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978‑981‑287‑888‑5_5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-888-5_5 [Google Scholar]
  37. Lorenzo-Dus, Nuria , and Patricia Bou-Franch
    2013 “A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Email Communication in Peninsular Spanish and British English: The Role of (in) Formality and (in) Directness.” Pragmatics and Society4: 1–25. doi: 10.1075/ps.4.1.01lor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ps.4.1.01lor [Google Scholar]
  38. McKay, Sandra
    2002Teaching English as an International Language: Rethinking Goals and Approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. 2003 “Toward an Appropriate EIL Pedagogy: Re-examining Common ELT Assumptions.” International Journal of Applied Linguistics13 (1): 1–22. doi: 10.1111/1473‑4192.00035
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1473-4192.00035 [Google Scholar]
  40. Martínez-Flor, Alicia
    2008 “The Effects of an Inductive-Deductive Teaching Approach to Develop Learners’ Use of Request Modifiers in the EFL Classroom.” InLearning How to Request in an Instructed Language Learning Context, ed. by Eva Álcon , 191–225. Bern: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Nguyen, Thi Thuy Minh
    2008a “Modifying L2 Criticisms: How Learners Do It?” Journal of Pragmatics40 (4): 768–791. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2007.05.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2007.05.008 [Google Scholar]
  42. 2008b “Criticizing in an L2: Pragmatic Strategies used by Vietnamese EFL Learners.” Intercultural Pragmatics5 (1): 41–66. doi: 10.1515/IP.2008.003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/IP.2008.003 [Google Scholar]
  43. Nguyen, Thi Thuy Minh , and Gia Anh Le Ho
    2013 “Requests and Politeness in Vietnamese as a Native Language.” Pragmatics23 (4): 685–714. doi: 10.1075/prag.23.4.05ngu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.23.4.05ngu [Google Scholar]
  44. Nguyen, Thi Thuy Minh , Thi Thanh Ha Do , Tuan Anh Nguyen , and Thi Thanh Thuy Pham
    2015 “Teaching Email Requests in the Academic Context: A Focus on the Role of Corrective Feedback.” Language Awareness24 (2): 169–195. doi: 10.1080/09658416.2015.1010543
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09658416.2015.1010543 [Google Scholar]
  45. Nguyen, Thi Thuy Minh , Thi Thanh Ha Do , Thi Thanh Thuy Pham , and Tuan Anh Nguyen
    2017 “The Effectiveness of Corrective Feedback for the Acquisition of L2 Pragmatics: An Eight Month Investigation”. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1515/iral‑2015‑0059
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2015-0059 [Google Scholar]
  46. Pham, Thi Hong Nhung
    2008 “Vietnamese Politeness in Vietnamese-Anglo Cultural Interactions.” Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Queensland.
  47. Rau, Der-Hwa , and Gerald Rau
    2016 “Negotiating Personal Relationship through Email Terms of Address.” In InEmail Discourse Among Chinese Using English as a Lingua Franca, ed. by Yuan-shan Chen , Der-Hwa V. Rau , and Gerald Rau , 11–36. Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978‑981‑287‑888‑5_2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-888-5_2 [Google Scholar]
  48. Safont, Maria P.
    2003 “Instructional Effects on the Use of Request Acts Modification Devices by EFL Learners.” InPragmatic Competence and Foreign Language Teaching, ed. by Alicia Martínez-Flor , Esther Usó-Juan , and Ana Fernández-Guerra , 211–232. Castello: Servei de Publicacions de la Universitat Jaume I.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Schauer, Gila
    2009Interlanguage Pragmatic Development: The Study Abroad Context. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Spencer-Oatey, Helen
    2000 “Rapport Management: A Framework for Analysis.” InCulturally Speaking, ed. by Helen Spencer-Oatey , 11–46. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Schmidt, Richard W.
    1990 “The Role of Consciousness in Second Language Learning.” Applied Linguistics11 (2): 129–158. doi: 10.1093/applin/11.2.129
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/11.2.129 [Google Scholar]
  52. Taguchi, Naoko
    2011 “Teaching Pragmatics: Trends and Issues.” Annual Review of Applied Linguistics31: 289–310. doi: 10.1017/S0267190511000018
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190511000018 [Google Scholar]
  53. 2015 “Instructed Pragmatics at a Glance: Where Instructional Studies Were, Are, and Should Be Going.” State-of-the-art article. Language Teaching48: 1–50. doi: 10.1017/S0261444814000263
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444814000263 [Google Scholar]
  54. Takahashi, Satomi
    2001 “The Role of Input Enhancement in Developing Interlanguage Pragmatic Competence.” InPragmatics in Language Teaching, ed. by Kenneth Rose , and Gabriele Kasper , 171–199. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139524797.014
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524797.014 [Google Scholar]
  55. 2005 “Noticing in Task Performance and Learning Outcomes: A Qualitative Analysis of Instructional Effects in Interlanguage Pragmatics. System3: 437–461. doi: 10.1016/j.system.2005.06.006
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2005.06.006 [Google Scholar]
  56. Takimoto, Masahiro
    2006 “The Effects of Explicit Feedback on the Development of Pragmatic Proficiency.” Language Teaching Research10: 393–417. doi: 10.1191/1362168806lr198oa
    https://doi.org/10.1191/1362168806lr198oa [Google Scholar]
  57. 2009 “Exploring the Effects of Input-based Treatment and Test on the Development of Learners’ Pragmatic Proficiency.” Journal of Pragmatics41: 1029–1046. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.12.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.12.001 [Google Scholar]
  58. Vu, Thi Thanh Huong
    1997 “Politeness in Modern Vietnamese. A Sociolinguistic Study of a Hanoi Speech Community.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Toronto.
  59. Yuan, Yi
    2001 “An Inquiry into Empirical Pragmatics Data-Gathering Methods: Written DCTs, Field Notes and Natural Conversations.” Journal of Pragmatics33 (2): 271–292. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(00)00031‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(00)00031-X [Google Scholar]
  60. Zhu, Wuhan
    2012 “Polite Requestive Strategies in Emails: An Investigation of Pragmatic Competence of Chinese EFL Learners.” RELC Journal43 (2): 217–238. doi: 10.1177/0033688212449936
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688212449936 [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/prag.00007.ngu
Loading
/content/journals/10.1075/prag.00007.ngu
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): e-politeness , email requests , learnability , pragmatic instruction and second language
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error