ERIC Number: ED322744
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan-27
"Persuasion" in Chinese and English: Transfer at the Pragmatic Level?
By comparing the language performance of native speakers of Mandarin Chinese and English to English second language performance across similar speech events, a study suggests a methodology for discovering potential areas of pragmatic transfer. Subjects were 6 native American English speakers and 12 native Chinese-speakers, 6 using Chinese and 6 using English. Each language group was asked to discuss and come to agreement on aspects of a desert survival task. Collaborative interactions were transcribed and analyzed. Native English-speakers used much greater variety and complexity of conversational strategizing, revealed by analyzing contextualized language across the whole discourse event. This finding illustrates why more comprehensive models of language use in the classroom and in textbooks are needed. Students need to see more examples of situationally appropriate uses of politeness and to be shown how they can argue a point persuasively through use of supporting explanation and justification, repetitious persistence, and other speaking strategies. Future research could explore whether the comparative simplicity of the Chinese groups' behavior is a general pattern and whether related problems arise when Chinese- and English-speakers interact. (MSE)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Contrastive Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, English (Second Language), Instructional Materials, Intercultural Communication, Interlanguage, Language Patterns, Mandarin Chinese, Native Speakers, Persuasive Discourse, Pragmatics, Second Language Instruction, Speech Acts, Transfer of Training, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Regional Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (7th, Phoenix, AZ, January 25-27, 1990).