Corpus Evaluation

Topics: Language education, Linguistics, Pragmatics Pages: 13 (3471 words) Published: May 27, 2013
Replication of a Study (Jiang, 2006) Using the MICASE

Option: Option 3 for replication of a study (Jiang, 2006) using the MICASE Student Numbers: 148047; 741025; 687490
Word count:2876

Replication of a study (Jiang, 2006) using MICASE

1. Introduction
Nowadays, a large amount of researchers are paying their attention on the demand of producing “communicatively appropriate performance” (Schmidt & Richards, 1980) as well as development of pragmatic competence. In fact, many of the learners of a target language probably do not realize that some socially and culturally inappropriate patterns may lead to misunderstandings or misinterpretations. Pragmatic failures between language learners and native speakers of a target language show up as a universal phenomenon in the process of learning another foreign language. Therefore, more efforts should be made to probe into the reasons that may cause these failures and therefore find appropriate approaches to reduce their effects on communication. Drawn on Jiang’s (2006) research, this analysis makes an attempt to encompass two aspects: the contrast between the interactions during Study Groups and Service Encounters, and the comparison of syntactic structures of suggestions between 3 old and 3 new ESL textbooks. Pertinent differences between the findings of this study and those in Jiang (2006) will be discussed.

2. The speech act of suggestions in L2 pragmatics
According to John Flowerdew (2013, p. 79), when the speech act is under discussion, what will be concerned is “the functional, or communicative, value of utterances, with language used to perform actions”. Searle (1976) divided speech acts into 5 categories which are representatives (to tell people how things are), directives (to get the addressee to do something), commissives (the speaker is committed to do something), expressives (feelings and attitudes are conveyed) and declarations (they cause a change to happen) respectively. Therefore, suggestions belong to directive acts (Pishghadam & Sharafadini, 2011, p.153)

Learners who want to be communicatively competent in a second or foreign language are required not only to enhance their grammatical knowledge but also to improve their pragmatic competence. In order to properly perform speech acts, two forms of knowledge are thus involved: sociopragmatics and sociolinguistics (Leech, 1983). The former one describes when to perform a speech act and what is appropriate in a given circumstance, while the latter one regards how to achieve the realization of the meaning meant to be delivered via strategies and linguistic forms.

Pragmatic competence, including the appropriate realization of the speech acts, is an essential part required for language learning. Fraser (1983, p. 29) defines pragmatic competence as “the knowledge how an addressee determines what a speaker is saying and recognizes intended illocutionary force conveyed through subtle attitudes in the speaker’s utterance.”

Though considerable attention has been laid on the L2 (second language) pragmatic competence with various speech acts, such as requests, apologies, refusals, invitations, and complaints, there is only a small number of studies in regard to the speech acts of suggestions.

Yingliang Liu & Jun Zhao(2007, p. 73) presented an insightful study delving into whether highly advanced L2 speakers realize the speech act of suggestion in just the same way as NNs. The final result indicates that both American instructors and Chinese instructors of English showed their tendencies of utilizing modals to deliver suggestions to their students. However, American instructors applied more imperatives while the Chinese instructors used more conditionals, which may demonstrate their power status in the conference. Nonetheless, both groups preferred to make suggestions in a straightforward manner.

Eden-sun-hung Li (2009) reported that Cantonese students in their second language...
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