Speech Act Theory and Application in the Efl Classroom.

Powerful Essays
Essay
Mahly J. Martinez
(2008)
SPEECH ACT THEORY AND APPLICATION IN THE EFL CLASSROOM. • Introduction ( Recent interest in teaching speech act theory (beyond the form) (Garcia, M, 2000) • Communicative competence Theory (Sassan, B 2007) • Speech Act Theory (Overview) (Austin 1962 – Searle, 1965, Yule 1991) • Indirect and Direct Acts (Sassan, B. 2007) • Practical Activities for Applying the speech act theory in the EFL Classroom (Fujimori, 2004) • Pedagogical implications (Garcia, M. 2000, Vez, J. 2001 and Sassan, B, 2007)

In the process of communication, we usually think that everything we say or write is exactly what we mean, but this is not completely true. In any language, people tend not to speak in a literal way all the time. This is a universal phenomenon that requires from our readers or listeners an extra effort to infer the real intention of our message and that happens in everyday conversations. Sometimes people are not aware of this, or simply, because these processes are unconsciously made by the speaker or writer most of the time we believe that what we understand is exactly what we listen or read.

This assumption has been affecting the linguistic and English teaching fields since linguists and teachers have been putting more attention to language form, neglecting in a way how those forms function in real life situations. The studies on language form and language function have became one of the main objectives in the past three decades when new theories and approaches have emerged to show us how crucial is the real use of forms while communicating in a foreign language (Garcia, M 2000).

It is obvious that knowing a language implies mastering the ability to recognize the correct forms of it; however, it’s important to know whether what we say or write is appropriate according to the context where the communication takes place, the receiver and the situation (Yule G, 1999). In the Language Teaching field, teachers as well as



References: Austin, J. (1962). How to do things with words. Cambridge university press Cohen, A and Olshtain, D Ellis,R. (1992). Learning to communicate: A study of two language learners. Studies in second language acquisition. Fromkin, V. y Rodman, R. (1994) An Introduction to Language. Rinehart and Winston. New York. U.S.A. García, M (2000). Material mimeografiado para la unidad curricular análisis del Discurso en la maestría en la Enseñanza de la Lectura y Escritura. UNEFM. Hymes, D. (1972). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Sassan. B. (2007). Speech Acts in English Language Teaching. Journal of Language studies. Vol.1. pp. 143-154. Searle (1965) in Escandell, M (1999). Introducción a la Pragmática. Editorial Arial. Barcelona,España. Tajvidi, G. (2000). Speech acts in second language learning processes. Dissertation. Doctoral thesis. Theran University. Vez, José (2001). Formación en Didáctica de las Lenguas Extranjeras. Editorial Homo Sapiens. Argentina. Yule, George (1996). Pragmatics. Oxford University press. London.

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