A study of request strategies used by Chinese learners of English in business writing: Its pedagogical implications

Chi Cheung Ruby YANG, Yu Hang KWAN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Previous studies related to request strategies usually show that non-native speakers (NNSs) of English have inadequate pragmatic knowledge in making requests appropriately. For example, they use more direct strategies than native speakers (NSs). In this paper, the request strategies used by 47 associate degree students in a tertiary institution in Hong Kong, as Chinese learners of English (CLEs), in their 28 e-mails and 24 memoranda written for the ‘Communication and Presentation Skills’ course assignment were analysed by using an integrated analytic framework combining the move structure analysis (MSA) and the Cross-Cultural Speech-Act Realisation Project (CCSARP) coding manual. Overall, similar to the previous studies, this study shows that the involved CLEs seemed to make more direct than indirect requests. Although this tendency differs from the norm in the English-speaking world which generally favoured indirectness, at least to some extent the students, given their limited English proficiency, demonstrated some pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic knowledge by using some strategies to cater to the addressees’ face wants. It is hoped that through explicit instruction and some ‘learners’ exploration’ tasks, followed by teacher’s feedback, learners’ consciousness to native speakers’ norm can be raised and their pragmatic competence in requesting can be gradually enhanced. Copyright © 2016 by İsmail Hakkı Mirici, İsmail Hakkı Erten, Hüseyin Öz, Irena Vodopija-Krstanović, and Contributors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch papers on teaching English as an additional language
EditorsIsmail Hakki MIRICI, Ismail Hakki ERTEN, Hüseyin ÖZ, Irena VODOPIJA-KRSTANOVIĆ
Place of PublicationRijeka, Croatia
PublisherFaculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the University of Rijeka
Pages71-88
ISBN (Print)9789537975272
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

pragmatics
memorandum
speech act
e-mail
consciousness
speaking
coding
Hong Kong
student
instruction
communication
teacher

Citation

Yang, C. C. R., & Kwan, Y. H. (2016). A study of request strategies used by Chinese learners of English in business writing: Its pedagogical implications. In I. H. Mirici, I. H. Erten, H. Oz, & I. Vodopija-Krstanovic (Eds.), Research papers on teaching English as an additional language (pp. 71-88). Rijeka, Croatia: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the University of Rijeka.

Keywords

  • Request strategies
  • e-mails
  • Memoranda
  • Move structure analysis (MSA)
  • Cross-cultural speech-act realisation project (CCSARP)
  • Chinese learners of English (CLEs)