ERIC Number: ED332354
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Face-Threatening Acts and Politeness Theory: Contrasting Speeches from Supervisory Conferences.
Discourse analysis describes a level of spoken text that lies between grammar and nonlinguistic organization. Using such an approach to understand the practical problems of communication in supervisory conferences, this paper explores two dimensions of the conference: risk and politeness levels. Level of risk is determined by the degrees of interpersonal power, distance, and threat. Study of the interaction patterns of instructional supervisors as they conducted postobservation conferences with teachers involved analysis of supervisors' written reports and transcriptions of conference videotapes and audiotapes, supplemented by interviews. Rules of interpretation of direct and indirect speech acts were applied to isolate orders, suggestions, requests, and demands. The theory of face-threatening acts, or FTAs, was then applied to determine the basis of choice of FTAs, to describe strategies elected for performing FTAs, and to describe related positive and negative conference phenomena. Findings indicate that low-risk and high-risk interactions were associated with less politeness and more politeness, respectively, thus confirming politeness theory. Findings also demonstrate ways in which FTAs diminish the instructional improvement potential of the interaction, thus raising questions about supervisor preparation and the value of such conferences. Three tables are included. (24 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).