ERIC Number: ED259563
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Advanced EFL Apologies: What Remains To Be Learned?
Cohen, Andrew D.; And Others
A study of the structure of the speech act known as an apology looked at the differences in linguistic strategies used by advanced nonnative English language learners and native speakers in apology behavior, and whether the differences result from the severity of the offense or the familiarity of the interlocutors. An apology is seen as consisting of five major linguistic strategies: an expression of an apology, an explanation or account of the situation used as an indirect act of apology, an acknowledgment of responsibility, an offer of repair, and/or a promise of forbearance. The 180 subjects included 96 native English-speaking students at 6 United States universities and 84 advanced learners of English at Israeli universities. Two versions of a language use questionnaire designed to elicit apologies in varied situations were administered to the subjects. The responses were categorized by strategies used in the apologies elicited and combination or modification of strategies. The findings indicate that nonnatives lack sensitivity to certain distinctions that natives make between forms for expressing apology and between intensifiers, with the nonnative tendency being to overgeneralize or use a variety of forms. It was also found that nonnatives tend to avoid interjections and curses, and do not consistently produce comments providing the appropriate social lubricant in difficult situations. Whether or not it is worthwhile to teach learners these distinctions is still under consideration. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (19th, New York, NY, April 8-14, 1985). Parts of the document contain small print.