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Requests made by Australian learners of Chinese as a foreign language

Li, W and Jiang, W 2019 , 'Requests made by Australian learners of Chinese as a foreign language' , Journal of Language Teaching and Research, vol. 10, no. 1 , pp. 23-34 , doi: 10.17507/jltr.1001.03.

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This study examines how Australian learners of Chinese make requests as compared to those made by native speakers of Mandarin Chinese. Data were collected through a written production questionnaire comprising six situations. Results showed that learners and native speakers shared a preference for conventional indirectness. However, they favoured different strategy types in the realizations of requests. Moreover, native speakers tended to adjust their selection of request strategies according to social variables such as relative power, social distance, and rank of imposition, whereas learners displayed little sensitivity to social variables in the selection of request strategies. This study also provides some evidence of pragmatic development. Learners’ use of directness decreased but their use of conventional indirectness increased with increased proficiency. Moreover, learners’ acquisition of pragmalinguistic competence seemed to outperform their sociopragmatic competence. This study adds to the small body of research on requests by learners of Chinese as a foreign language. It highlights the importance of the inclusion of pragmatics in foreign language teaching.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Li, W and Jiang, W
Keywords: interlanguage pragmatics, pragmatic competence, requests, Chinese
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Language Teaching and Research
Publisher: Academy Publication Co., Ltd
ISSN: 1798-4769
DOI / ID Number: 10.17507/jltr.1001.03
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