ERIC Number: ED171130
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Getting What You Want in a New Language: The Acquisition and Use of English Directives by Non-Native Speakers.
Schmidt, Richard W.
It is possible to communicate effectively in a second language in spite of highly deviant pronunciation and grammar as long as messages are semantically coherent and message forms are reasonably appropriate. Until now, research in second language acquisition has focused principally on the processes through which non-native speakers move towards native-like grammatical competence. However, there has been little study about how and why non-native speakers learn to say what is appropriate and socially correct in their new language and speech community. The present study is concerned with the insights that the theory of speech acts can contribute to our view of second language acquisition by examining the use of English directives by non-native speakers. Data sources include questionnaires given to speakers of English in service encounters, journals, and interviews. Because social blunders are considered embarrassing, excuses for them are often offered rather than explanations, although mother tongue interference is considered at times. The data gathered for this study indicate that transfer is not the only factor that accounts for differences between native and non-native use of directives. Learning and communication strategies similar to those identified for the acquisition of grammatical competence are at work in the development of communicative competence as well, and individual second language learners vary considerably in the strategies they use. (Author/AMH)
Descriptors: Child Language, Communication Skills, Communicative Competence (Languages), English (Second Language), Language Acquisition, Language Patterns, Language Processing, Language Proficiency, Language Research, Language Skills, Language Styles, Language Usage, Native Speakers, Non English Speaking, Second Language Learning, Speech Communication, Speech Skills, Transfer of Training
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Speech Acts
Note: Paper presented at the Los Angeles Second Language Research Forum (2nd, Los Angeles, California, October, 1978).