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PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Ms. Le Pham Hoai Huong, my supervisor whose guidance and support, correction and suggestions are of great important to the manuscript of this paper. She has been always my source of wisdom, knowledge and encouragement during my process of writing it. Second, I am greatly indebted to Mr. Tran Van Phuong, Head of the Department of Foreign Languages and all the teachers at Phu Xuan University for their constant encouragement and having devotedly taught me during my four-year student life. Third, I wish to sincerely thank all my friends and informants who had given me a very effective and practical cooperation, and above all, their faithful encouragement. At last, my warmest and profound thanks are due to my family for having wholly supported and taken good care of me during the research was being conducted. Hue, April 2008 Nguyen Thi Hang Nga

Nguyen Thi Hang Nga

Thesis Paper 2008

PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

ABSTRACT
The research is a study on pragmatic violation in requests by Vietnamese speakers of English. Its purpose is to help Vietnamese speakers, especially English majors to better their communicative competence when making requests by alerting their pragmatic violation in requests and to provide ways to help them overcome their violation. The subjects of the study consist of 100 participants from first to fourth year English major students at Phu Xuan University. In order to collect data, the researcher combined two main methods: recording dialogues and questionnaire. The results showed that the pragmatic violation in requests by English majors was commonly making pragma-linguistic and socio-pragmatic errors. There are four main causes of these problems: the influence of Vietnamese language, students personality, the influence of Vietnamese socio-culture and textbooks and study environment. Based on the study findings, the paper ends with some practical suggestions for the students and teachers of the English Section of Foreign Languages Department at Phu Xuan University on how to deal with the mistakes in requests by students so as to improve their communicative competence.

Nguyen Thi Hang Nga

Thesis Paper 2008

PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgements Abstract Table of contents Chapter I: Introduction I.1. Background I.2. Research objectives I.3. Research significance I.4. Research questions I.5. Scope of the thesis I.6. Structure of the thesis Chapter II: Literature review II.1. Introduction II.2. What is Pragmatics? II.2.1. Changing Definitions of Pragmatics II.2.2. Pragmatic Violation II.2.3. Speech Acts II.3. Requests II.3.1. Requests as a Speech Act II.3.2. Requests Strategies
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II.3.3. How to make a request? II.4. A comparison between Vietnamese and English requests II.5. Previous studies Chapter III: Research methodology III.1. Introduction III.2. Methodology III.3. Research subjects III.4. Data Collection Methods III.4.1. Recording Dialogues III.4.2. Questionnaire III. 5. Procedure of Data Collection III.5.1. Questionnaire III.5.2. Recording Dialogues III.6. Data analysis III.7. Summary Chapter IV: Findings and Discussion IV.1. Introduction IV.2. Pragmatic violation in requests IV.2.1. Pragma-linguistic error IV.2.2. Socio-pragmatic error IV.3. Causes IV.3.1. Influence of Vietnamese language
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IV.3.2. Students Personality IV.3.3. Influence of Vietnamese Socio-culture IV.3.4. Textbooks and Study Environment IV.4. Suggestions to overcome the errors IV.4.1. General Suggestions IV.4.2. Suggestions to help English majors remedy errors in requests IV.5. Summary Chapter V: Conclusion and Implications V.1. Summary of the study V.2. Implications V.2.1. Learning communicative competence in requests V.2.2. Teaching communicative competence in requests V.3. Final words References Appendices

Nguyen Thi Hang Nga

Thesis Paper 2008

PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

Chapter I:

INTRODUCTION
I.1. Background All languages have a set of conventions about language use. These conventions are social and cultural. So they differ from language to language, from country to country and from culture to culture. W.Humboldt, a great German culturist said that language is a soul of a nation. It is clear that language plays an important role in human communication because in all aspects of life, language is a vital key to lead to people success. Therefore, foreign languages, especially English are being learned by a large number of people with great motivation. However, to master one language in an efficient way is not easy. Learners of English tend to have difficulties in understanding the intended meanings communicated by a speech act, or producing a speech act using appropriate language and manner in language being learnt. Even though one may say words clearly and use long, complex sentences with correct grammar, still has a communication problem. He/she may say inappropriate unrelated things during conversation or have little variety in language use. As a student at the Department of Foreign Languages, I have found that a number of English majors have problems in language competence, especially in the speech act of requests in conversational cases; therefore, I decided to choose: Pragmatic violation in requests by Vietnamese speakers of English as a topic of my research. I.2. Research objectives The study is carried out with the aims as follows:
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Introducing English majors to requests strategies and how to make requests. Presenting English majors the comparison between Vietnamese and English requests. Helping English majors to better their conversational competence when making requests by alerting and correcting their pragmatic violation in requests commonly made by themselves

I.3. Research significance The research focuses on problems in language competence in using requests of English majors. Thus, it helps students to recognize their problems in a specific scope. The study also provides some suggestions with the hope that they could produce a small contribution to the improvement in learning and teaching English especially in learning and teaching pragmatics in English. I.4. Research questions This research concentrates on the three main questions: 1. How do English majors use requests? 2. Do they often make mistakes in using requests? If yes, what are the mistakes? 3. How to help them overcome mistakes and use requests in English in an effective way? I.5. Scope of the thesis There are many aspects of pragmatic violation by Vietnamese speakers of English. Nevertheless, this research cannot cover all problems related to but only the pragmatic violation in requests by Vietnamese speakers of English in some aspects such as: Vietnamese speakers errors in using request strategies,

Nguyen Thi Hang Nga

Thesis Paper 2008

PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

factors influence their requests and some suggestions providing to help them conquer the errors. I.6. Structure of the thesis The thesis is divided into five chapters as follows: Chapter one introduces the background of the study, defines research objectives, research significance, research questions, scope and the structure of the thesis. Chapter two presents definitions of pragmatics, the pragmatic violation, speech acts, requests and a brief comparison between Vietnamese and English requests. Research methodology chapter expresses methods and procedures to carry out the study. This chapter consists of four sections: methodology, research subjects, data collection methods and data analysis. The following chapter includes the results and the presentation of the findings. Finally, chapter five concludes the study by summarizing what have been dealt with and provides implications.

Nguyen Thi Hang Nga

Thesis Paper 2008

PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

Chapter II:

LITERATURE REVIEW
II.1. Introduction This chapter includes four main parts. Changing definition of pragmatics, pragmatic violation and speech acts in the study will be firstly presented. Part two of the chapter will focus on requests as a speech act, request strategies and how to make a request. The next part of the chapter will be a comparison between requests by native speakers of English and requests in Vietnamese. The chapter will also discuss previous studies related to this research. II.2. What is Pragmatics? II.2.1. Changing Definitions of Pragmatics Although pragmatics is a relatively new branch of linguistics, research on it can be dated back to ancient Greece and Rome where the term pragmaticus is found in Late Latin and pragmaticos in Greek, both meanings of being practical. Pragmatics is hard to define because it is studied by many disciplines. It involves use of language. It involves taking context into account. But it is at this point that it becomes very difficult to pin down a precise definition that captures what the field of pragmatics is all about. According to Charles Morris (1938) pragmatics studies the relations of sign to interpreters. By elaborating the sense of pragmatism in his concern of conversational meanings, Grice (1975) suggested that pragmatics should center on the more practical dimension of meaning namely the conversational meaning which was later formulated in a variety of ways (Levinson, 1983; Leech, 1983).
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Practical concerns also helped pragmaticians focus to explaining naturally occurring conversations which resulted in discoveries of the Cooperative Principle by Grice (1975) and the politeness Principle by Leech (1983). Subsequently, Yule (1985:127) said, when we read or hear pieces of language, we normally try to understand not only what the words mean, but what the writer or speaker of those words intended to convey. The study of intended speaker meaning is called pragmatics. That is, pragmatics is the study of invisible meaning, or meaning that derives not only from the words and structures used, but also from the situation of the utterance and how that affects of speaker means. In addition, in Sperber and Wilsons (1986) relevance theory convincingly explains how people comprehend and utter a communicative act. In 1987, a symbol of this development was the establishment of the IPrA (the International Pragmatic Association). In its Working Document, IPrA propose to consider pragmatics as a theory of linguistics adaptation and look into language use from all dimensions (Verschueren, 1987). Henceforward, pragmatics has been conceptualized as what speakers mean to convey when they use a particular structure in context (Hatch, 1992:260 ). The ability to comprehend and produce a communicative act is referred to as pragmatic competence (Kasper, 1997) which often includes ones knowledge about the social distance, social status between the speakers involved, the cultural knowledge such as politeness, and the linguistics knowledge explicit and implicit. An utterance describing pragmatic function is described as metapragmatic. According to Wikipedia from the Internet: (http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/Pragmatics.htm, accessed on

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January 10th 2008), pragmatics involves three major communication skills. They are as follows: Using language for different purposes, such as : - Greeting (e.g: hello, goodbye) - Informing (e.g: Im going to get a sandwich.) - Demanding (e.g: Give me a sandwich.) - Promising (e.g: Im going to get you a sandwich.) - Requesting (e.g: I would like a sandwich, please.) Adapting or changing language according to the need or expectation of other people, such as: - Talking differently to a baby than to an adult. - Giving enough background information to a new person not familiar with the topic of conversation, or the difference between talking quietly in a classroom compared to talking loudly on a play-ground.

Following rules for conversations and narrative. These examples include telling a story, giving oral reports, and recounting events of the day. There are rules for taking turns in conversation, telling a story, introducing a topic of conversation, staying on the topic, and rephrasing when misunderstood. There are also rules for appropriate use of nonverbal signals in conversation such as distance between a speaker and a listener, facial expressions and eye contact. Rules may also vary in different cultures. It is important to understand the rule of your communication partner.

II.2.2. Pragmatic Violation

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Pragmatic violation (also referred to as pragmatic failure) refers to the speaker's production of wrong communicative effects through the faulty use of speech acts or one of the rules of speaking. Thomas (1983) draws on the study of sociolinguistic miscommunication. She uses the term pragmatic failure to refer to the inability of the individual to understand what is meant by what is said. Particularly interesting about Thomas's description of pragmatic failure is the dichotomy between two types of pragmatic failure. She makes this distinction on the basis of the difficulty of analysis and possible remedies in terms of both the responsibility of language teachers and the responses of language learners. She calls the two categories of pragmatic failure: "pragmalinguistic" and sociopragmatic failure. 1. Pragmalinguistic failure The first category of pragmatic failure" proposed by Thomas (1983) is the so-called "pragmalinguistic failure". She refrains from using the term "pragmalinguistic error" because, to her, pragmatics is not strictly formalizable. The term error, therefore, does not seem applicable here. In other words, although grammar can be judged according to prescriptive rules, the nature of pragmatic or sociopragmatic patterns is such that it is not possible to say that "the pragmatic force of an utterance is wrong. All we can say is that it failed to achieve the speaker's goal" (cited in Wolfson, 1989: 16). In this case, the learners of a language translate an utterance from their first language into the target language. The learners, however, fail to get their
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meaning across because the communicative conventions behind the utterances used are different. This, as Thomas points out, is more a linguistic, hence pragmalinguistic, problem than a pragmatic one because: (1) it has little to do with speaker's perception of what constitutes appropriate behavior; and (2) it has a great deal to do with knowing how to phrase a request, for instance, so that it will be interpreted as a request rather than as an information question.

2. Sociopragmatic failure The second type of pragmatic failure that Thomas identifies is what she calls sociopragmatic failure. It has to do with knowing "what to say" and "whom to say it to." Many of the misunderstandings that occur stem from what Thomas identifies as differences in evaluation regarding what she terms "size of imposition," "tabus," "cross-culturally different assessments of relative power or social distance," and "value judgments." Thomas provides a useful way of looking at the type of diversity which exists across cultures and which often leads to cross-cultural problems. In doing so, she separates out what she sees as major areas in which there exist differences in cultural rules regarding speech behavior. We use language to make things happen. Pragmatic violation frequently occurs when people take part in conversation. In that case, an individual with pragmatic problems may say inappropriate or unrelated things during conversation tell stories in a disorganized way or have little variety in language use. Bardovi Harlig (2003) also points out how lack of pragmatic awareness could affect
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peoples relationship that the consequences of pragmatic differences are often interpreted on a social or personal level rather than as a result of the language learning process. That is, being outside the range of language use allowed in a language, or making a pragmatic violation may have various consequences. A pragmatic error can lower social acceptance. Non native speakers may be denied academic or professional opportunities (Matsuda, 1999), may hinder good communication between speakers, may make the speakers appear abrupt or brusque in social interaction, or may make the speakers appear rude or uncaring, e.g. I want you to and you had better.. as equivalent to it would be better in English. Consequently, peers may avoid having conversation with an individual with a pragmatic disorder. So how can we keep the ball rolling? How can we continue to find usefulness in communication through language? Imagine that people all told lies in a random fashion (as apposed to for particular and often transparent reasons.) how effective would language be as a communicative device? According to the website: http: www.unc.edu/~gerfen/Ling30sp2002/Pragmatics.htm, accessed on January 10th 2008), the Gricean maxims are a framework for understanding how human cooperate socially in their use of language. In a nutshell, here are Gricean maxims (Yule:1996): Maxim of Quantity Do not say what you believe is false Do not say something that you lack adequate evidence for Maxim of Relevance Be relevant For example: A: Do you like cottage cheese?

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B: Well, I travel to Cleveland every other Tuesday. (Not relevant unless Cleveland is well-known to be he cottage cheese capital of the world.) Maxim of Quality Make your contribution as informative as is required Do not make your contribution more informative than is required Your book gives you an interesting example: Tom : How far can you run without stopping? Mary: Twenty four miles. Tom : I guess you cant run a whole marathon without stopping. Mary: Nonsense, I have done it a number of times. Literally, Mary can be said not to have lied in her first answer, since the fact that she can run 26 miles entails the fact that she can run 24 miles. But she violated the first maxim of Quantity. Her answer was not informative enough that Tom assumes that Mary is respecting this maxim is what underlies his second question (which is actually an indirect question). Here is a violation of the maxim of Quantity at a store: Q: Do you have a selection of red shoes that arent on display? A: Yes. Maxim of Manner Avoid obscurity of expression Avoid ambiguity Be brief Be orderly

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There are other maxims that are not conversational maxims but which may also be observed during conversational exchanges (aesthetic, social, moral), such as Be polite. Tran (2004:143) also gives various examples of four ways to fail to fulfill a maxim:

A participant may quietly and unostentatiously violate a maxim. If he does so quietly, he may mislead. Example: Saying Bill has a wife when in fact he has two wives. This violates one of the maxims of quantity, and would certainly normally be misleading.

He may opt out from the operation of the maxim and of the Cooperative Principle. He may make it plain that he is not willing to cooperate. He may, for example, say I cannot say more. My lips are sealed.

He may be faced be a clash. It may be impossible to fulfill one maxim without violating another. E.g.: He may be unable to fulfill the first maxim of Quantity without violating the second maxim of Quality. Example: A asks: How many children does Mary have? B answers: More than one.

He may flout a maxim: that is he may blatantly fail to fulfill it. This is similar to violating a maxim, except that in this case the hearer is expected to recognize what is happening and if so, then the maxim is likely to be being exploited to generate a conversational implicature. Example: A asks : Where is Bill? B answers: There is a yellow VW outside Sallys house.

II.2.3. Speech Acts a) What is a speech act?

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The philosopher J.L.Austin (1911-1960) claims that many utterances thing people say are equivalent to actions. When someone says: I name this ship or I now pronounce you man and wife, the utterance creates a new social or psychological reality. According to Yule (1996:47) speech acts are defined as actions performed via utterance. A speech act is an utterance that serves a function in communication. A speech act might contain just one word, as in Sorry to perform an apology, or several words or a sentence: I am sorry I forgot your birthday. I just let it slip my mind. Speech acts include reallife interactions and require not only knowledge of the language but also appropriate use of that language within a given culture. Specific speech acts include: apologies, complaints, compliments, refusals, promises, and requests. Here are some examples of speech acts we use or hear every day: (http://www.carla.umn.edu/speechacts/definition.html, accessed on January 15th 2008): Greeting: Hi, John. How are things going? Request: Could you pass me the mashed potatoes, please? Complaint: I have already been waiting for the computer, and I was told it could be delivered within a week. Promise: I will try my best to be at home for dinner. Compliment: Hey I really like your dress! Invitation: We are having some people over Saturday evening and wanted to know if you would like to join us. Speech acts are difficult to perform in a second language because learners may not know the idiomatic expressions or cultural norms in a second
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language or they may transfer their first language rules and conventions into the second language assuming that such rules are universal. Because the natural tendency for language learners is to fall back on what they know to be appropriate in their first language, it is important these learners understand exactly what they do in that first language in order to be able to recognize what is transferable to other languages. Something that works in English might not transfer in meaning when translated into the second language. For example, the following remark as uttered by a native English speaker could easily misinterpreted by a native Vietnamese hearer: Mary: I could not agree with you more. Hung: Hmmm (Thinking: she could not agree with me? I thought she liked my idea.!) According to Austin (1996), there are three types of acts that can be performed by every utterance, given the right circumstances: Locutionary: is the act of actually uttering. Illocutionary: is the act performed in saying something. The illocutionary act is not in one-to-one correspondence with the locution from which it is derived. There are different locutions that express the same illocution and vice-versa. For example, there are indirect speech acts that are acts with a different force than the obviously deducible one. A typical example is the illocution of the utterance Could you pass the salt? uttered at a dinner table. For a speaker of English in particular situation this means: pass the salt, please! and no one would assume that the speaker is indeed interested in whether the addressee would be able to pass the salt.

Perlocutionary: is the act performed by saying something in a particular context. It presents the change achieved each time, in a particular
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context. Depending on the kind of perlocution, different conditions have to hold in order for it to be achieved. For example, the addressee in the salt example has to realize that the speakers intention is to ultimately get hold of the salt. Verbs that name the speech act that they intend to effect are called Performatives. A performative uttered by the right person under the right circumstances has as a result a change in the world. For example, I now pronounce you husband and wife uttered by a priest, in the church with all legal and traditional aspects being settled, will have actual effect of the couple referred to being husband and wife after the performative has taken place. b) Classification of speech acts Yule (1996:53) suggests five types of general function performs by speech acts: declarations, representatives, expressives, directives, and commissives. Declarations: are those kinds of speech acts that change the world via their utterance immediately. Example: - The boss: You are fired. - Jury Foreman: We find the defendant guilty. Representatives: are those kinds of speech acts that state what the speaker believes the case or not. The different kinds are: statements of fact, assertions, conclusions and descriptions. Example: - No one makes a better cake than me. - It was a warm sunny day.

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Expressives: are those kinds of speech acts express how the speaker feels about the situation. They describe psychological states and can be statements of pleasure, pain, likes, dislikes, joy, or sorrow. Example: - I am really sorry! - Congratulations!

Directives: are those kinds of speech acts are those kinds of speech acts get some one else to do something. They express what the speaker wants. They are commands, orders, requests, suggestions, and they can be positive or negative. Example: - Could you close the window?

Commissives: are those kinds of speech acts that speakers use to commit themselves to some future action. They express what the speaker intends. They are promises, threats, refusal, and pledges. Example: - I will go to Paris tomorrow. - We will not do that.

II.3. Requests II.3.1. Request as a Speech Act Searle (1969) affirms that when we speak we are performing speech acts, acts as making statements, giving commands, asking questions, making promises and so on. He suggests that these acts are performed in accordance with certain rules for the use of linguistic elements (1969:16). According to Searle, the goal of spoken interaction is to communicate things, to the hearer by getting him/her recognize the intention that one has to communicate those things. The speakers then must achieve the intended effects on the hearer by allowing him/her to recognize his/her attention to achieve that effect. Once, the hearer recognizes the intention of the speaker to achieve an effect this is generally achieved (Searle, 1969:43). Therefore the recognition of the
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intention or intended meaning of the utterance (speech act) seems crucial in achieving a level of success in understanding. Also, Searle (1969:72) gives the definition of a request: A request is a directive speech act whose illocutionary purpose is to get the hearer to do something in circumstances in which it is not obvious that he/she will perform the action in the normal course of events. By initiating a request, the speaker expresses a desire for the hearer to be able to perform an action. Some examples of requests: - Could I use your computer, please? - Do you mind if I open the door? - Clean up this mess, it is disgusting. There are two types of discourse structures for requests, including some optional elements for more varied requests: 1. Casual and short requests:
o o o o

Getting attention Supportive moves (optional) The head act + subjunctive Thanking Getting attention Small talk (optional) Supportive moves Head acts + subjunctive Thanking Closing the conversation (optional)
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2.

Careful and long requests:


o o o o o o

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PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

II.3.2 Request strategies According to Blum-Kulka & Olshtain (1989:201-202) request strategies are divided into three types in terms of the level of the inference (on the part of the hearer) needed to understand the utterance as a request. The three types of requests include: a) Direct strategies This most direct level was realized by requests syntactically marked (such as imperatives) or by other verbal means that name the act as a request: Clean up the kitchen. I am asking you to clean up the kitchen. I would like to ask you to clean up the kitchen. You will have to clean up the kitchen. I really wish you would clean up the kitchen. b) Conventionally indirect strategies This conventionally indirect level covers strategies that realize the act by reference to contextual preconditions necessary for it performance, as conventionalized in a given language (Blum-Kulka, 1989:47). For example: How about cleaning up? Could you clean up the kitchen, please? c) Non- Conventionally indirect strategies This category includes strategies which are not conventionalized in the language and hence require more inferencing activity for the hearer to derive the speakers requestive intent:
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For example: You have left the kitchen in a right mess. I am trying to find out about refunds for delayed request for a refund) There are nine sub-levels of strategy types. These are as follows: Direct strategies Mood derivable (the grammatical mood of the verb in the utterance marks its illocutionary force as a request). For example: Leave me alone. Clean up this mess, please. Explicit performatives (the illocutionary force of the utterance is explicitly named by the speakers.) For example: I am asking you not to park the car here. Hedge performatives (utterances embedding the meaning of the illocutionary force.) For example: I would like to ask you to clean up the kitchen. I would like you to give your lecture a week earlier. Obligation statements (the illocutionary point is directly derivable from the semantic meaning of the locution.) For example: You will have to clean up the kitchen. You will have to move your car. flights?(a

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Want statements (the utterance expresses the speakers intentions, desire or feeling vis a vis the fact that the hearer do X.) For example: I really wish you would clean up the kitchen. I really wish you would stop bothering me. Conventionally indirect strategies Suggestory formulae (the sentence contain a suggestion to X) For example: How about cleaning up? Why do not you get lost? So, why do not you come and clean the mess you made last night?

Query preparatory (the utterance contains reference to preparatory conditions, such as ability or willingness, the possibility of the act being performed, as conventionalized in any specific language.) For example: Could you clean up the kitchen, please? Would you mind moving your car, please? Non- Conventionally indirect strategies

Strong hints (the utterance contains partial reference to objects or to elements needed for the implementation of the act directly pragmatically implying the act.) For example: You have left the kitchen in a right mess.

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Mild hints (utterances that make no reference to the request proper or many of its elements but are interpretable through the text as request, indirectly pragmatically implying the act.) For example: I am a nun. (in request to a persistent hassler). II.3.3 How to make a request? Although there has been an argument on the effectiveness between direct and indirect strategies, many people still believe that in many cases, utilizing indirect speech acts help speakers more active and effective in transferring what has been said. By making a request, the speaker infringes on the recipients freedom of action or even a power play. As for the requester, he/she may hesitate to make request for fear of exposing a need or out of fear of possibly making the recipient lose face (Blum-Kulka et al.1989:11). In this sense, requests are face-threatening to both the requester and the recipient. Since requests have the potential to be intrustive and demanding, there is a need for the requester to minimize the imposition involved in the request. One way for the speaker to minimize the imposition is employing indirect strategies rather than direct one. Of course, between friends, more casual direct requests can be used. I may, for instance, request Peter to open the window by saying, Peter, will you be able to reach the window? Thereby asking Peter whether he will be able to reach the window, but at the time I am requesting him to do so if he can. Since the request is performed indirectly, by means of (directly) performing a question it count as an indirect speech act. However, when you ask someone to do something for you, or ask if you can do something, it is important to sound polite. Of course, you must
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take into account many factors when make requests (for example, the age, social distance, gender, and level of imposition.) Asking someone to do something for you: Could you open the door for me, please? Would you mind opening the door for me, please? Can you open the door for me, please? Speaking tip: Could and Can are followed by the verb without to. Would you mind is followed by the verb and ing. Asking if you can do something Can I use your computer, please? Could I borrow some money from you, please? Do you mind if I turn up the heating? Would you mind if I turn up the heating? Speaking tip: Could is more polite than Can Do you mind is followed by the verb in the present tense, but Would you mind if is followed by the verb in the past tense. - When you are using these two sentences, do not use please. It is already polite enough! II.4. Comparison between Vietnamese and English requests In reality, a person may have a large vocabulary, use long, complex sentences, use correct grammar, pronounce words clearly, and still have communication strategies problem if they do not say at a right time or not fit to the age, position, psychology of the hearer. This section points out the similarities and differences between Vietnamese and English requests in terms of communication culture. C. Mac (2000:42) said: Language is a direct reality of ideology. Kagan (1988) also admitted that human nature can be captured through
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communication and unity from person to person. In terms of communication style, in order to keep the neighborhood relation, Vietnamese people are found to prefer the subtle and careful way of communication. According to Tran (1998) Vietnamese speakers have the conversational habit as beating around the bush, have never gone straight to the point as Westerners. Therefore learners might be more verbose than native speakers of English in making a request, utilizing more supportive move strategies (Blum-Kulka et al.1989). Vietnamese speakers of English do so. For example, to request a lift somewhere, Vietnamese speakers of English may say: Do you think you can take me by your car to my home because you leave near me and have to drive that way if you take or you do not? On the contrary, English speakers use more direct and fewer unconventionally indirect strategies. For English, the most popular approach to requests is to make speaker-oriented requests. Speaker-oriented requests are often by appearance of a request for permission which implies that the recipient of the request has control over the speaker. Hence, speaker-oriented requests avoid the appearance of trying to control or impose on the hearer and are therefore perceived as being more polite (Blum-Kulka et al, 1989) For example: Do you think I could borrow your note from yesterdays class? or: Can I borrow your note from yesterday? The request sequence in English has been divided in the literature into the following three segments. For a request: Danny, can you remind me later to bring the book for you on Monday? Otherwise it may slip out of my mind. Attention Getter/ Alerter (address terms, etc): Danny

Head act (core of the request sequence, the request proper): Can you remind me later to bring the book for you on Monday?

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Supportive Move(s) (before or after Head Act): Otherwise it may slip out of my mind. As for Vietnamese, it is hearer-oriented they use when they make a request (the request emphasizes on the role of the hearer). For example: Could you clean up the kitchen, please? However, Blum-Kulka et al, 1989:40) considers: requests in any languages are made in consideration of number of social and situational factors. Although it may not so overt at times, culture has been found to differ as to which factors count more than other and languages vary in the extent to which they switch directness levels by situation. Therefore, both Vietnamese speakers and native speakers of English are aware of the different situations and use different degrees of directness according to context. For instance, they employ a high level of directness in asking a low-imposition request, but a high level of indirectness in a high-stake request. In addition, proper request expressions are often preceded by pre-request that are face-saving for both interculors. Pre-request check feasibility of compliance and overcome possible grounds for refusals. For example, by first asking Are you free tonight? both Vietnamese and English speakers might try to check physical availability of the interlocutor. Since no actual request has been issued, a negative answer at the preliminary stage is face-saving. The speaker can also back out of admitting request intent and the hearer can avoid a request interpretation of the pre-request. Nevertheless, the English have been found to place a higher value on privacy and individuality (Sifianou, 1992: 41). They express their thinking directly, frankly and only use two personal pronouns I and You for every subjects. While the Vietnamese have been found to emphasis involvement and in group relation; therefore according to Honey, the system of personal
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pronouns in Vietnamese is extremely complex. Moreover, Vietnamese society hold old age in high esteem, there are respectful pronouns used of older people such as: grandfather, aunt, uncle, elder sister, etcTherefore, those words: , d, tha, xin, nh, nh,are often used when Vietnamese people communicate. For example, a sentence spoken by a younger sister to her older sister: Ch ra bt cho em nh? might be translated into English like this: Would you please washing the dishes for me? But in friends relationship Vietnamese speakers use words in a friendly way: My ra bt gip tao nh? This can be also translated like the first one in Eghlish: Would you please washing the dishes for me? It is therefore that requests in Vietnamese are more active and flexible than that of English so they are more persuasive to the hearers. II.5. Previous studies Dealing with problems on requests, many studies have been carried out to find problems as well as solutions. Relating to the case of requests, Blum-Kulka (1991) presents a model for the study of inter-language that expands inter-language to embrace interculture. He focuses on pragmatics of requests and discusses constraints (level of proficiency, perception of target language norms, and length of stay in target community). Besides, he also presents data from bilingual EnglishHebrew immigrant speech acts, showing the behavior is different from Israeli and from American patterns: authentically intercultural. His claim is native Israeli norms are defied because learners do not wish to identify native speaker norms. In this study, Blum-Kulka gives helpful theoretical introduction. For example, he gives four categories for linguistic encoding ( a opposed to situational parameters and social meanings), strategy type (direct, conventionally indirect, hints), perspective (hearer dominant, speaker
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dominant, hearer and speaker dominant, impersonal), internal modifications (downgrades- please, hedges, upgraders- e.g., time-specifiers, expletives), external modifications (grounders- e.g.,explanations and justification, cost minimizers, disarmers). Cohen and Olshtain (1993) describe ways in which non-native speakers assessed, planned, and then delivered speech acts. They found that in delivering the speech acts, half of the time respondents conducted only a general assessment of the utterances called for in the situation without planning specific vocabulary and grammatical structures often though in two languages and sometimes in tree languages, utilized a series of different strategies in searching for language forms, and did not attend much to grammar nor to pronunciation. Looking at the extent to which communication in ESL classroom (in London) resulted in the acquisition of requests, Ellis (1992) found that both learners failed to develop the full range of request types or a broad linguistic repertoire for performing those types that they did acquire. They also failed to develop the sociolinguistic competence needed to vary their choice of requests to take account of different addressees. His interpretation was that the classroom lacks the conditions for sociolinguistic needs even though it fostered interpersonal and expressive needs. However, there was no data in the kinds of requests they were exposed to. With an attempt to focus on request strategies produced by adult ESL learners, Francis (1997) carried out a study on the development of request strategies in non-native speakers of English. The non-natives were found to rely on direct request strategies until their proficiency improved, whereupon they began to use more complex strategies, the percentage of conventionally indirect requests made by intermediate students was twice that of elementary
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students. To some extent contextual demands help to explain variations across settings. Students were more likely to explain their circumstances and desires in terms of their own perspective when in the position of justifying these to the advisor. Hayashis paper (2000) compares a request-refusal interaction in German and Japanese role-plays. He finds out some of the differences between the two languages are: 1) in Japanese, the refuser often used back-channeling and hedging expressions which prepared the requester for the upcoming refusal. This tendency did not exist in German, where there were twice as many refusal expressions found in the interactions than in Japanese. 2) Japanese speakers sometimes expressed empathy for the requester before actually refusing. 3) In German, the requester suggested an alternative repeatedly and if each alternative is reject and the requester explains the reasons. 4) In German, accepting the legitimacy of the reason implies compliance with the request, while in Japanese showing understanding for the reasons can be a stage before a refusal. The study of Izaki (2000) examines sociolinguistic differences in request behavior in French and Japanese focusing supportive move strategies (prerequest moves). Native speakers of Japanese and French role-played three request dialogues and their performance was compared to that of seven French speakers learning Japanese. Japanese speakers always used the pre-committal strategy (For example: I have a favor to ask of you.) before making a request. The request can be preceded by another optional pre-request move that provides or ask for relevant information. In French, no pre-committal strategy appeared in the data; instead a pre-request move and a response to the pre-request are presented in all request interactions. Sometimes since the prerequest move functions as a requestive hint, the speaker has no need to make
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an actual request. French speakers also often use conditional clauses suggesting that the hearer takes socio-cultural differences in determining distance, power, and the degree of imposition of the request, and these results in differential politeness levels between the two languages. Iwai and Rinnert (2001) gave out the study which reports the realization of requests and apologies among four groups: ESL/EFL respondents in Hong Kong, EFL respondents from Japan, ESL respondents from Singapore and native speakers from US. Thirteen percent of the Japanese respondents in EFL in the situation of breaking a friends vase asked, What should I do? in the situation of forgetting a meeting with their professor, Japanese infrequently used a mitigator with their repair (I will be there if you do not mind I am afraid I will be an hour late. in apologizing they were likely to repeat I am sorry. I am sorry, which US respondents did not do. The Japanese use significantly fewer words than the other groups. With regard to requests, only the Japanese EFL respondents used either direct strategy (Please lend me your notes.) or a conventionally indirect expression of desire (I would like you to lend me your notes.). This is consistent with behavior in Japanese according to the researchers. The Japanese used the conventional politeness marker please much more frequently than the other groups and used other softeners much less frequently than the other three groups. Luu and Tran (2007) did their study on refusal of assistance offers (English versus Vietnamese). They focus on the semantico-structural features of the refusals of an assistance offer in English and Vietnamese. Also, they investigate the politeness strategy of refusals, and draw some similarities and differences between the two languages. The study ends up with some comments and proposals on how we help language learners overcome difficulties caused by the interference when facing with sticky situations to
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enhance the communicative competence for the Vietnamese learners of English. In fact, some Vietnamese speakers of English have made pragmatic violation in requesting. It is difficult for Vietnamese speakers to master the pragmatic competence of English because of the lack of books concerning this problem. In addition, these authors did their researches on a lot of aspects of speech acts: request, apology, refusal, etc. but they have not analyzed the pragmatic violation in requests by Vietnamese speakers of English. That is why I chose this topic to do my research. II.6 Summary This chapter described pragmatics, speech acts and requests. Especially request strategies and a brief comparison between English and Vietnamese requests were presented. The gaps in the literature were pointed out; the next chapter will discuss the research methodology.

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Chapter III:

METHODOLOGY
III.1. Introduction This chapter presents information about the quantitative and qualitative approaches and research subjects. It also introduces methods to collect data and the way data were analyzed. III.2. Methodology Both qualitative method and quantitative method were used in the study. According to Gorman and Clayton (1997:23), qualitative method is a process of inquiry that draws data from the context in which events are
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embedded and the perspectives of those participating in the events, using introduction to derive possible explanations based on observed phenomena. Qualitative method was used to cite opinions of participants in the interview. Therefore, it is also widely used as a kind of research method that produces findings not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantification (Strauss and Corbin, 1900:17). Quantitative methods are research techniques that are used to gather quantitative data-information dealing with numbers and anything that is measurable. Statistics, tables and graphs are often used to present the results of these methods (http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_research, accessed on April 3rd 2008). Quantitative method relies less on interviews, observations, small number of questionnaires, focus groups, subjective reports and cases studies. Quantitative method was used to count respondents in the questionnaires and the frequency errors made by English major students in making requests. Qualitative method used to understand the meaning of the numbers produced by quantitative method. Using quantitative methods gave precise and testable expression to qualitative ideas. Therefore, the combination of qualitative and quantitative data gathering was utilized in the study. III.3. Research Subjects The subjects of the study were 100 English major students chosen at random at Phu Xuan University. All the respondents were first, second, third and fourth year English major students. They ranged from eighteen to twenty five years old. III.4. Data collection Methods Recording dialogues based on request situations and questionnaire methods were used in the study.
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III.4.1. Recording dialogues Five situations (requests ranging from low position to high position) (see Appendix 1) that may cause problems for English major students were given to 10 students in class II-Phu Xuan University to perform. Each situation was role-played by two students. They were asked to make the requests in that situation. The performance of English major students was recorded and was analyzed in the findings chapter. III.4.2. Questionnaire One hundred questionnaires were delivered to one hundred English major students at Phu Xuan University. They were formulated with 7 closed questions (see Appendix 2). The respondents were also able to give opinion in the opened questions. After the data were collected, the frequency analysis was used to count responses. Results were then interpreted and presented in tables and charts. III.5. Procedures of Data Collection III.5.1. Questionnaire Before copies of the questionnaire were distributed to English major students in the English Section of the Department of Foreign Languages at Phu Xuan University, a pilot study was conducted with the help of three English major students from fourth year and second year English classes. The main purpose of this pilot study was to test the clarity and effectiveness of the questionnaire. After the pilot survey, in order to make the answers by students in the questionnaire more effective and easier 100 copies of the questionnaire in Vietnamese were delivered to 100 first-year, second-year, third-year and fourth-year students. Before filling in the questionnaire, English majors were briefly introduced to the research topic as well as research purposes. These copies were distributed to them on the first period of the class and were
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collected on the last period so they could answer the questions in any break between two periods. Finally, because of some reasons, 97 copies of questionnaire were used to analyze and count responses. Results were then presented in tables, charts and figures. III.5.2. Recording Dialogues Prior to the recording the participants were asked for their consent. After they had agreed to participate in the study at an agreed time and place, a tape recording was conducted. Five situations were given to ten English majors at class II-Phu Xuan University. Each situation was role-played by two students. Therefore, 25 dialogues were performed. Each one took appropriately five minutes. The role-players were encouraged to perform freely in a pretty informal atmosphere. The researcher thus could get useful and valuable information from recording dialogues. The students performance did contribute significantly to the papers accomplishment. III.5. Data Analysis The data collected were categorized into themes to answer the research questions and were presented in the findings chapter. III.6. Summary This chapter has presented definitions of qualitative and quantitative methods. It included description of research subjects and the ways data were collected and analyzed. The next chapter will present the results of the findings.

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Chapter IV:

FINDINGS and DISCUSSION


IV.1. Introduction This chapter is divided into three main sections. Section one introduces the pragmatic violation in requests by English majors. Second section deals with the causes of the problems. Lastly, section three provides suggestions to help English major students better their conversational competence in making requests. IV.2. Pragmatic violation in making requests Most English majors agreed that using a speech act in an appropriate language and manner of English is very difficult. Therefore, they often make mistakes in using speech acts, especially in making requests. Their errors in

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requests are divided into two types: pragma-linguistic errors and sociopragmatic errors across five given situations. IV.2.1. Pragma-linguistic errors Pragmalinguistic shows the learners lack of knowledge about language itself (forms, structures, and vocabulary). This type of errors occurs when the language learner knows which speech act to use and when to use it but does not know the appropriate language to form a linguistically acceptable speech act. Data collected through questionnaire and recording dialogues show the problems. For requests have the potential to be intrustive and demanding, English major students found some request situations in English difficult to make requests. Table 1 introduces these request situations. Frequency (N=97) 56 59 68 61 7

Number Request situations 1 2 3 4 5 Request to the older Request to people at high position The degree of request imposition Psychology of the hearer None of the above

Percentage 57.7% 60.8% 70.1% 62.8% 7.2%

Table 1: Some request situations that English majors find difficult to make requests.

From the figures shown in table 1, requests that have a difficult degree of imposition are the situations that English majors found most difficult to make requests (made up 70.1%). Only 7.2% of English majors accepted that they had no difficulty with the above request situations. Across five situations recorded, situation 5 is seen to be the one which has the lowest degree of request imposition. As a result, English majors showed
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no mistakes with this kind of situation in terms of pragma-linguistic errors. With four situations left, data collected through recording dialogues illustrate the mistakes of English majors in requesting. The mistakes are presented according to the strategies used across the sequence: head acts and external modifications (supportive moves). IV.2.1.1. Head Acts Table 2 shows the distribution of the request head acts across the four situations.

Types of requests Direct requests Conventionally indirect requests Unconventionally indirect requests
S = situation

S1 2 2 1

S2 5

S3 5

S4 3 2

Total 5 14

Percentage 25% 70% 5%

Table 2: Distribution of request head acts produced by English majors (Frequency = 20)

As can be seen from table 2 from recording dialogues, 70% of English major students preferred using conventionally indirect requests. 25% of informants stated that they used direct strategy when making requests. Unconventionally indirect request accounted for only 5%. However, data collected through recording dialogues showed that it was easy for English majors to make requests where the relationship is equal (situation 1),
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therefore; students made no mistakes in this situation. But when attempting to perform the requests with a teacher-a person of distant relationship (situation 3 and 4) students made some mistakes in direct and conventionally indirect strategies. The following examples of conventionally indirect strategies by English majors from transcription shown the problems (head acts are underlined): (1). I forget to bring my pen. Can you lend me one of yours? (Situation 3) (2). I want to ask you some questions about the study. Would you explain it to me? (Situation 4) (3). I need you help me a thing. Can I see you to ask about my study? (Situation 4) Overall, conventionally indirect requests were often conveyed by query preparatory containing reference to preparatory conditions. However, indirect requests were preceded by the verb to want and need (Situation 4) making the requests impolite. Because these two verbs did not show high levels of deferential politeness with a person (teacher) of distant relationship, therefore; the speaker in this situation appeared as rude and brusque. In addition, example (2) also shows the lack of the word please to signal politeness of the question. If this request were uttered by a superior, the word please would not needed. However, it was the request of a student to her teacher (a subordinate to a superior) the word please is needed. Further, the request head acts in hearer-oriented form as shown above were introduced by the modal verb can making the requests too informal and at the same time impolite for the speakers could not minimize the imposition of the requests. In short, the use of the verb want, need, can and the lack of please to convey indirect requests by English majors could not produce a politeness effect. This kind of internal modifications may not serve as a distancing tactic
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to express respectful politeness, distancing the speaker from the content of the proposition and from the addressee. As for the direct requests, the same to conventionally indirect requests which were found to be less polite via two situations 3 and 4, English majors were seen to be unable to soften their demand when making requests. This problem was also observed in the situation 4. Examples of incorrect direct request head acts are shown below (head acts are underlined): (4). I want to meet you and ask you something about my study. Please explain it for me! (5). I would like to ask you about my study. Is it ok? (6). I have some problems on my study. I need you to make it clear. As shown in the examples above, direct requests were employed using in the hedge performative as in (5), a verb in the imperative (mood derivable) as in (4) and by means of utterance stating the speakers desire that the hearer perform the act (Want statement) as in (6). It should be noted that direct requests are often internally modified by the lexical mitigator please to soften the harshness of a direct request and are used as an indicator positive politeness. Nevertheless, English majors over-relied on the word please to disguise speaker-centered me imperative, the preference for direct requests in the situation 4 by English major students seems to be offended their teacher. Therefore, these results showed the lack of downgraders and acknowledgement of the degree of imposition in students requests. They indicated no variation in their linguistic forms regardless of whom they were talking to or what the circumstance might be. In other words, English majors were unable to vary their request to meet different situations. This is in line with the result of the question 2 in the questionnaire in which most of the English major students answered No (see chart 1).
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17.6

82.4

Yes No

Chart 1: Ability to vary requests by English majors

Data from the questionnaire show that most of participants (82.4%) admitted that they were not able to use various requests when they meet different situations. Only 17.6% of informants said they can manage to vary their requests with situations differently. It is therefore that when the imposition of requests is high, English majors would directly transfer their pragmatic knowledge from native language as Vietnamese into the target language, assuming that such rules are universal. For instance, in example (4) student translated Want statement I want to meet you and ask you about my study which is considered direct in English, actually negatively transferred from an indirect strategy in Vietnamese language where the sentence indicates that the requester was intentionally omitting the head act to mitigate the imposition as in Em mun gp v hi c mt s iu v bi nghin cu. Therefore this request was deviated significantly from native speakers norms. IV.2.1.2. External modifications External modification of the request precedes or follows the request head act to accompany it. However, less attention has been paid to these modification devices especially Preparators, Reasons and Positive politeness.

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Examples from recording dialogues show the lack of external modifications in students requests: Situation 2: (A student wants his friend to go and find a good used car) Student A: Can you go with me to find a used car on Sunday? I have no experience in buying a car. Student B: Oh, I am sorry. I am very busy at this time. Preparators refers to those elements employed by the requester to prepare the addressee for the ensuing request (House and Kasper 1981). However, when making request in situation 2 English major did not employ this type of external modification or Prerequests to check on the availability of the hearer, therefore; her requests was failed. Like the lack of Preparators, example of situation 3 shows the lack of Reasons and Positive politeness please: Situation 3: (A student borrows a pen from her teacher) Student A: Excuse me! Student B: Yes? Student A: Could I borrow your pen? Student B: Sure, here you go. Student A: Thank you Student B: No problem! Reasons and Positive politeness are two indirect strategies used to mitigate the illocutionary force of a request and to smooth conversational interaction. Nevertheless, the requester in this situation did not show the reason why she wanted to borrow a pen from her teacher. Moreover, please to signal politeness was not utilized in this distant relationship. Consequently, the speaker was found to be less polite and could not smooth the interaction between a student and a teacher.
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IV.2.2. Socio-pragmatic errors This type of error often occurs in cross-cultural communication. Data collected through tape recording show this problem as using the Vietnamese way of speaking and cross-culturally different assessments of relative power or social distance. IV.2.2.1. Using Vietnamese way of speaking Vietnamese people are believed to be formal in their speaking behavior. Learners when trying to alert the addressee to make requests directly transferred their way of speaking in Vietnamese language. Situation 3 indicates their mistake: Student to teacher to borrow a pen: Im sorry but can you help me? In fact, the intended using this utterance of the requester in this situation was to alert the addressee to prepare and smooth the imposition of the request head act following. However, it was not suitable with the target language norms. Native speakers in this case would think that why sorry but instead it should be: Excuse me, could you do me a favor? If students used this sentence, it would sound more natural. Another example of situation 4 on tape recording also shows the problem: (At the preceding of the request to teacher to make appointment): Student A: Excuse me, teacher! Student B (teacher): Yes? In this circumstance, when trying to make the Precursors or Alerters of the request, student A made sociopragmatic failure. The most commonly used form of addressing a teacher is teacher or teacher + given name, but actually, the word teacher cannot be used as form of addressing in English. It sounded impolite as for the student to call her teacher in that way. Therefore, at the first step of making the request student A appeared to be
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brusque and rude. Instead of saying teacher, student A can call her teacher Peter Smith, Mr/Professor (name) or even Sir or My lord to show the respect to her teacher. IV.2.2.2. Cross-culturally different assessments of relative power or social distance This illustration of sociopragmatic error provided by the not infrequent phenomenon of English majors judging relative power or social distance differently from native speakers. According to their different social status people choose the proper request. However, English major students did differently. Data collected through recording dialogues illustrate the mistakes. Situation 5 (between a customer and a waiter) Student A: Excuse me, would you mind giving me a coke, please? Student B: All right. It should be noted that five conversations of this situation 5 were violated in this kind of mistake. They were all over-polite. Here, student A was thought to be unnatural and funny. In fact, A coke, please! is enough. IV.3. Causes Data collected through questionnaire showed that there are many factors that pose difficulties for English majors in performing requests. However, the main factors are the influence of the Vietnamese language, students personality, the influence of Vietnamese socio-culture and textbooks and study environment. Chart 2 presents English majors opinions towards these factors.

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Vietnam ese Socio-culture Textbooks and Study Environment Student's Personality Vietnam ese language

0.00%

20.00%

40.00%

60.00%

80.00%

Chart 2: Influential factors

As can be seen from chart 2, English majors stated that the factors, such as Vietnamese language, students personality and Vietnamese socio-culture affected most their abilities in making requests (67%, 61.8% and 57.7% respectively). Only 32.9% of informants said that text books study environment made them have pragmatic violation in performing requests. IV.3.1. Influence of Vietnamese language Since Vietnamese language has a great influence on making requests, it brings about advantages as well as disadvantages. Table 3 indicates the positive influence of Vietnamese language on making requests of English major students. Number 1 2 3 4 Positive Influence Frequency (N=97) Speaking more flexibly and 33 naturally Feeling confident 40 Transferring easily 56 Others 5 Percentage 34.0% 41.2% 57.7% 5.2%

Table 3: Positive influence of Vietnamese language on making requests of English majors

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Table 3 introduces the positive influence of Vietnamese language on making requests of English majors. 57.7% of English majors stated that the influence of Vietnamese language helped them transfer the requests easily whereas 5.2% of participants had other positive influence. The English presented as in the modal verbs can has formal and functional equivalents in Vietnamese language as c th. And sure enough, English major students could transfer the requests from Vietnamese language (Bn c th i cng ti c khng?) to English (Can you go with me?) and they can do without the benefit of instruction. To sum up, the influence of Vietnamese language helped English majors transferring the requests easily and feeling confident when making requests. Furthermore, it also helped students speak more flexibly and naturally. On the contrary with positive influence, chart 3 presents the negative influence of Vietnamese language on making requests by English major students.
80.00% 60.00% 40.00% 20.00% 0.00%
Making mistakes Making requests verbose Causing m isunderstanding Others

Chart 3: Negative influence of Vietnamese language on making requests of English majors

Chart 3 shows that while 58.7% of students complained the influence of Vietnamese language caused the requests verbose, 6.2% of informants had other negative influence. In fact, the most disadvantage of the influence of Vietnamese language is making the students requests verbose. Example of
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situation 2 (a student wants his friend to go with him to buy an affordable used car) is a clue for this cause: My friend, now I want to buy a used car for my own because it is so far from my apartment to the campus, but I do not have any experience at it, could you make a lift going with me and find a good one?. Besides making the requests verbose, making mistakes and causing misunderstanding are negative influence of Vietnamese language. IV.3.2. Students Personality Learners have very different personalities such as being confident, shy, active, positive, etc. There are two main extremes of personality deeply affecting on English majors in making requests. Students who are confident, out-going and willing to take risks probably have more opportunities to practice their pragmatic competence in making requests because they are more often involved in interactions with native speakers of English. Conversely, students who are inhibited, introverted and unwilling to take risks lack opportunities for practice. Therefore, personality plays a key role in students requests perfectly. IV.3.3. Influence of Vietnamese Socio-culture Vietnamese socio-culture is one of the important factors results in students pragmatic violation in requests. From the pragmatic perspective, language is a form of social action because linguistic communication occurs in the context of structured interpersonal exchange and meaning is thus socially regulated (Dimitracopoulou, 1990 in Nunan, 1999, as cited in Nguyen, 2002). Thus, to speak a language, people must know how the language is used in a social context. It is well-known that each language has its rules of usage as to when, how or to what degree a speaker may impose a given verbal behavior on his/her conversational partner. Vietnamese cultural
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values are barriers to English major students in their communicative competence in English. Firstly, it is the collectivism culture that made English majors to perceive their class as a big family; thus, they always appreciate the sentimental relationship among people. To achieve harmony in communication they have to be cautious in their speech as well as their behavior so that they will not hurt any one. It is this characteristic that caused English majors become passive in class. It prevented them from their own opinions. The concept of respect is another cultural value regarded as a main factor affecting English majors in thier communicative competence in requests. Being influenced by Confucianism, Vietnamese students always hold their teachers in high esteem. They respect and believe in their teachers knowledge. They believe that are the most experienced and learned people. Thus, what their teacher said is right in any circumstances. Even when their teachers ideas are wrong, they still respect them. They dare not show their disagreement straightforwardly in class because of another reason: face-saving.(Tran, 2006:57) Therefore, Vietnamese socio-culture had a great influence on requests by English majors. IV.3.4. Textbooks and Study Environment Textbooks and study environment have importantly influenced requests by English majors. Giving requests has been presented in textbooks for teaching speaking English. Yet, there are few options for students to learn and put in use. Even if they have learnt them all, it does not mean that they are able to use them appropriately because these options are too generalized and no explanation as to when and whom each of them should be used. As BardoviNguyen Thi Hang Nga 50 Thesis Paper 2008

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Harlig straightforwardly states, It is important to recognize that, in general, textbooks cannot be counted on as a reliable source of pragmatic input for classroom language learners (2001:25). It is also because textbooks generally provide too little information about language use and often the dialogues include in the textbooks are misleading and do not sound naturally-occurring talk (Golato, 2002:568). Also, many text books used for teaching the functions of English mostly focus on the acquisition of linguistic competence, with insufficient attention to a fuller communicative competence. Consequently, English majors have difficulties and made mistakes in using requests indeed. Besides, the study environment does not force English majors to make requests sufficiently so they cannot better their communicative competence. Therefore, their requests are usually uttered with pragmatic mistakes. IV.4. Suggestions to conquer these errors Suggestions to help English majors conquer errors in requests are divided into two parts. General suggestions will be firstly introduced. The second part concentrates on how to help English majors remedy their pragmatic competence in requests. IV.4.1. General Suggestions Chart 4 provides the findings of English majors opinions towards suggestions to help them overcome their errors in making requests.

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Others Practice everyday Com municate w ith foreigners Read books

0.00%

20.00%

40.00%

60.00%

80.00%

Chart 4: Suggestions to overcome pragmatic violation in requests

As can be seen from chart 4, 64.9% of English majors practiced everyday to overcome their pragmatic violation in requests. 54.6% of students showed that communicating with foreigners helped them much more their pragmatic competence in requests. 21.6% of participants read books. Only 5.2% of English majors reported that they had their own ways. In reality, practicing to make requests by role-plays with different situations everyday is an effective way. As Offner (1997) stressed, The only way to become a good driver is to practice driving. The only way to be able to play an instrument well is to practice playing it. Likewise, the only way to become a good English speaker is to practice speaking English (as cited in Tran, 2006:64). Besides, communicating with foreigners is also a good way. By taking chance at anywhere and at anytime, especially in the tourist sites, English major could self-correct and made themselves more active and confident. Another way to better students conversational competence is reading books. Those books relating to communication helped English majors more flexible and natural in making requests.

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Some English majors had other learning strategies such as listen to communication cassettes or see films in order to be familiar with different requests in different situations. To sum up, English majors can overcome their pragmatic violation in requests by practicing everyday, communicating with foreigners or reading books. They can also see films or listen to communication cassettes. However, practicing everyday to make requests by role-plays is seen to be the most effective way. IV.4.2. Suggestions to help English majors remedy errors in requests Teachers should foresee the errors made by English majors in requests and may apply the following lesson to help English majors develop and raise their pragmatic awareness in using requests. According to Kasper (1997), there are two types of activity that are useful for developing pragmatic awareness: a) Awareness raising activities b) Opportunities for communicative practice. The lesson outlined below involves both types, although there should be no expectation that b) must immediately follow a): time for reflection and observation outside the classroom would undoubtedly benefit the student. In considering a), there is consensus that noticing is a requisite and fundamental step (Kasper 1997; Tomlinson 1994; Carter and McCarthy 1994; Hinkel 2001; Kramsch 1993; Schmidt 1993). Each prereading activity was designed to activate or instil the seeds of the prerequisite schematic knowledge which will in turn enable the student to notice the salient points of the text and/or

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performance. Tomlinson (1994), proposes the following as objectives of a pragmatic awareness approach: To help learners to notice the way that proficient users of the L2 typically use pragmatic strategies To help learners to achieve deep, learner-driven analyses of language in use which can help them to note the gaps and to achieve learning readiness. To help learners to develop cognitive skills To help learners to become independent. These goals elucidate what can be developed through awareness rising. For opportunities for communicative practice, activities such as role plays, drama or pair work seem ideal as they allow for students to experiment and receive feedback in a controllable environment. Cook (1998) posits the use of plays or parts of plays, and argues that through the type of post-reading activities proposed below in lesson four, which could equally be performed with the other lessons, the following are learnable: Rote learning and repetition of a model Attention to exact wording Practice in all four skills Motivating and authentic language and activity Instances of culturally and contextually appropriate pragmatic use Integration of linguistic with paralinguistic use.

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The lessons in this paper involve using parts of a film (i.e. spoken scripts). As has been discussed above, textbook dialogues do not tend to be a good source of pragmatic input, but representational texts can be. Film scripts, like plays, are designed as spoken texts, and therefore have the added advantage of, if not providing a model, then providing a text which can be engaged with as a text of speech (McCarthy 1996: 90). For students it often is the realm of spoken interaction that proves the most perplexing and fleeting. Lesson: Purpose: To raise awareness of Social Contextual factors in communication, and to discuss how language can change according to differences in these variables. In particular the lesson is concerned with participants and the communicative situation, and how these factors affect the way people talk and are spoken to. Text: Dialogue from the Mike Leigh film Secrets and Lies, involving a telephone conversation between two of the main characters, Cynthia and her brother Morris (see Appendix 4). a) Pre reading Activity purpose: Develop students schematic knowledge of participant and situational variables (see Appendix 3). Activity: Write the above variables (gender, time etc.) on the board, tell the class that they are going to read and then watch a telephone conversation, and
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that they should ask you questions before they read the text about the participants and the situation e.g. what sex are the characters? Alternatively, a more advanced group could be encouraged to first come up with the variables themselves. Activity purpose: Activate students schematic knowledge of how social distance and the social situation may affect communication. Activity: In small groups, predict how the participants social distance (in this case very little, especially as perceived by Cynthia) and the social situation affect the communication. Encourage students to come up with specific examples. It may be helpful for students to compare this type of dialogue to, say, an imagined conversation between Morris and a client arranging an appointment. b) While reading Activity purpose: Highlight relevant points in the text, and keep the reading focused on the lesson purpose. Activity: Read through and find evidence of 1. The closeness of their relationship 2. Morris not wanting to say no to his sister 3. A problem between Morris wife Monica and Cynthia 4. The unimportance of Morris status (a successful self-employed businessman) here 5. Cynthias neurotic disposition
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c) Post reading Activity purpose: show that the way we communicate affects how we appear to others. Activity: write a description of the two characters, including a description of their personalities and how you imagine them to look. Then watch the film clip. Discuss whether or not the descriptions should be changed, and why. Activity purpose: Highlight how stylistic appropriateness is dependent on the social context (amongst other things). Activity: Underline all the informal language in the text. Imagine that an acquaintance of Morris is asking to bring a friend to the barbecue; change the dialogue accordingly. Then role-play this situation in pairs. Then role-play another situation, for example one more similar to the original. Discuss how the language changes according to the context. Discuss the possible effects of using inappropriate language in these two contexts. Sum up by asking students what they have learned in this lesson and what they can take away from this (hopefully the original lesson purpose). IV.5. Summary This chapter has presented pragmatic violation in requests by English majors. Their errors were divided into two types: pragma-linguistic error and socio-linguistic error. The causes of these errors were also analyzed in order to provide suggestions to help English majors better their conversational skill in requests. Errors have been pointed out, the reasons explained, and
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suggestions provided, the next chapter Conclusion and Implications will conclude the study by summarizing what have been dealt with and then provide implications.

Chapter V:

CONCLUSION, IMPLICATIONS and SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH


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V.1. Summary of the study To master one language in an effective manner is extremely difficult because each language usage has social and cultural conventions. Therefore, English majors always have difficulties and make mistakes in using speech acts, especially requests. A lot of studies have been carried out to help English majors have good pragmatic competence in using speech acts perfectively. However, in terms of pragmatics, there have not been any studies paying attention to English majors mistakes in using requests or helping them make requests effectively. As a result, the study on Pragmatic violation in requests by Vietnamese speakers of English was carried out to find out what pragmatic violation in utilizing requests by English majors in particular and to provide suggestions to help them make requests sufficiently. Data collected through recording dialogues and questionnaire showed the pragmatic violation in requests by English majors. These errors included pragma-linguistic and socio-pragmatic error. This violation resulted from the influence of Vietnamese language, students personality, the influence of Vietnamese socio-culture and textbooks and study environment.

V.2. Implications Based on the pragmatic violation in requests by English majors, some implications for the English major students at Phu Xuan University as well as the teachers of the English section of the Foreign Languages Department are made. This part, therefore, are divided into separate ones: the former is implications for the students while the latter is those for the teachers. V.2.1. Students learning communicative competence in requests
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* English majors should feel be at home with classmates so as to do role-plays activities with different situations to enhance their pragmatic competence in making requests. * English majors should raise their awareness and motivation in learning and using speech acts, especially requests. * English majors roles in speaking classes are to take part in every activity enthusiastically. * English majors should read books, newspapers and magazines either in English or Vietnamese. This can help them broaden their background knowledge academically, culturally, socially, economically, technologically and so on. By doing this, the students can learn a large number of specific vocabulary and expressions in requests in a polite way. * English majors should listen to music, programs on television or on the radio or view English movies to identify different requests in different situations. * Each class should set up a rule that every student has to express herself/himself in English during the class. By this way, they may find it natural to speak English more. * English majors should establish some English clubs in which they can take part in and improve their pragmatic competence in making requests. * English majors should even do Internet-surfing in their spare time to learn more about native language culture. V.2.2. Teaching communicative competence in requests * Teacher should provide input to develop students socio-pragmatic and pragma-linguistic competence. * Teacher should create communicative opportunities for students to work in small groups or in pair to discuss the possible use of each option. While they
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are discussing, they can learn from their peers because peer-to-peer scaffolding may be just an important as expert-novice scaffolding (Ko, et al, 2003) and eventually develop their socio-pragmatic and pragma-linguistic knowledge (Kasper, 2001). * Teacher should use transcripts or videos containing requests for rehearsals and then ask students to role-play them again and then give feedback on these contexts. This activity is of great help for English majors when they encounter similar situations in real-life communication. Because through role-plays and simulations, teacher could have the opportunities to show their students the appropriateness of utterances, and how speakers negotiate certain situations as well as providing a framework for the performances of speech acts. * Teacher should avoid over correction or harsh criticism. * Teacher should give students a few words of encouragement. * Teacher should try their best to let student know the native language culture to correct their understanding and proper using of English. * Additionally, teacher should consider the following activities in order to teach requests easily. According to Bardovi-Harlig (2003), some activities for teaching communicative competence in requests are as follows: (from:http://exchanges.state.gov/education/engteaching/pragmatics/mach.htm, accessed on 15/4/2008) 1. Email requests (Thomas M. & Sholly R.2003) This activity begins with requests written by the students. Students make written requests via email to teacher to illustrate various points of pragmatic appropriateness. Students individually submit their requests and the teacher put useful one together on worksheets and distribute them. Students then work in groups to analyzed and revise the messages with advice from the teacher.
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Exactly which pragmatic points are taught is independent upon what can be mined from the messages students write, but the teacher wields some control by pre-selecting the messages that will be analyzed in class. 2. Spot the Problem! (Melinda E.2003) * In preparation for the class, teacher prepares role-cards in matching pairs and problem-cards (containing a pragmatic violation) * Teacher asks two students to perform the role-play dialogues then give them role-cards as well as the problem-cards. Other students are asked to observe and spot mistakes. * Students perform the role-play, other jot down their observations. * A whole class discussion follows in which the students share their observations with each other. The teacher elicits the forms or phrases that caused the problems and possible ways to overcome them. Any problems created by differences between the students mother tongue) and English can also be discussed. If time allowed, more pairs can be asked to perform roleplays. 3. Speaker and Task Type (Sirgun B.L.2003) * Language presentation a) Target speech act (request) is presented in four short dialogues b) Each dialogue shows a different speaker relationship (informal/non-distant and formal/distant) and different task types (for requests, for example, easy to do and hard to do). * A visual reference point for students that helps them understand that appropriate linguistic choices depend on crucial factors in the speech situation. * Carefully sequenced activities that move from controlled communicative situations so that students are given ample practice time to become aware of
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differences in the way the speech act is realized in American English as compared to their own language. V.3. Suggestions for further research The results of the present study cannot be generalized to all Vietnamese speakers of English but rather, should be taken as preliminary indicators of the behavior of English majors at Phu Xuan University when initiating a request. In the future, studies employing a large population of male and female subjects should examine speech act patterns of request behavior by including data which examine perceptions of Vietnamese speakers of English. In addition, a large population may shed light on the issue of gender differences in speech act behavior. Finally, other studies need examine contrastive analysis by recording native speakers requests in order to analyze and compare them with requests made by Vietnamese speakers of English. V.4. Final words Due to the limitations of the researchers ability, time and scope, the researcher welcomes any comments as well as criticisms from readers or from those who are interested in this issue to overcome all shortcomings the research processes.

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Rose (eds), Pragmatics in Language Teaching, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p.25. 3. Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen & Rebecca Mahan-Taylor (2003), Teaching Pragmatics, US Department of State. 4. Blum-Kulka, S., & Olshtain, E. (1984), Requests and Apologies: A cross-cultural Study of Speech Act Realization Patterns(CCSARP), Applied Linguistic,5(3), 196-213. 5. Blum-Kulka, S., House, J., & Kasper, G. (1989), Cross-cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies, Norwood, NJ: Alblex Publishing Corporation. 6. Blum-Kulka, S. (1991), Interlanguage Pragmatics: The Case of Requests in R. Phillipson, E. Kellerman, L. Selinker, M. Sharwood Smith, & M. Swain (eds), Foreign/Second Language Pedagogy Research, 255-272, Cleven, UK: Multilingual Matter.
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Strategies in Non-native Speakers of English Working papers in Educational Linguistics. 13(2), 23-40.

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12. Golato, A. (2002) German Compliment Responses Journal of Pragmatics. 34: 547-571.
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the Information Professional, Library Association Publishing, London, p.23. 14. Grice, H. P. (1975) Logic and Conversation, in Cole, P. & Morgan, J. (eds) Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts, New York: Academic Press.
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16. Hinkel, E. (2001) Building Awareness and Practical Skills to

Facilitate Cross-cultural Communication, in M. Celce-Murcia (ed.) Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language, Boston: Heinle and Heinle. 17. Hayashi, A. (2000) Conversational Structures and Strategies for Remedial Work: Interaction of Requests and Refusals from Contrastive Analysis of Japanese and German, Bulletin of Tokyo Gakugei University Section II Humanities, 51, 81-94. 18. House, J. and G. Kasper (1981) Politeness Markers in English and German. Conversational Routine. Ed. F. Coulmas. The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter, 157-185.
19. Iwai, C. & Rinnert, C. (2001) Cross-cultural Comparison of

Strategic Realization of Pragmatic Competence: Implications for Learning World Englishes, Hiroshima Journal of International Studies 7,157-181. 20. Izaki, Y. (2000) Cultural Differences of Preference and Deviation from Expectations in Requesting: A Study of Japanese
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and French Learners of Japanese in Contact Situations. Journal of Japanese Language Teaching 104, 79-88.
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Kagan, S. (1988) Cooperative Learning, Riverside, CA: University of California.

22. Kasper, G. (1997) Can Pragmatic Competence Be Taught?

(Network # 6: http://www.lll.hawaii.edu/sltcc/F97NewsLetter/Pubs.htm), a paper delivered at the 1997 TESOL Convention. 23. Kasper, G. (2001) Four Perspectives on L2 Pragmatic Development Applied Linguistics, 22:502-530.
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M., Premont, R. J., Weinberg, R. J and GIT is required for AMPA receptor targeting. J. Neurosu.23. 25. Kramsch, C. (1993) Context and Culture in Language Teaching, Oxford: OUP. 26. Leech, G. (1983) Principles of Pragmatics, London: Longman. 27. Levinson, S. (1983) Pragmatics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 28. Mac, C. & Enghen, P. (2000) Toan tap, Nxb Chinh Tri Quoc gia Ha Noi, p.42.
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Gestures of the Abstract by L2 Learners, in J. Lantolf (ed.) Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. Oxford: OUP. Pp.199-218. 30. Matsuda, A. (1999) Interlanguage Pragmatics: What Can It Offer to Language Teacher? CATESOL Journal, 11, 39-59.

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31. Morris, C. (1938) Foundations of the Theory of Signs, in Carnap, R. et al (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, 2:1, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 32. Nguyen Thi Xuan Huong (2002). Factors affecting Speaking Abilities of inservice EFL Students at Hue College of SciencesUnpublished undergraduate thesis, College of Sciences, Hue University, Hue City. 33. Schmitdt, R. (1993) Consciousness, Learning and Interlanguage Pragmatics:, in G. Kasper and S. Blum-Kulka (eds) Interlanguage Pragmatics. New York: OUP, pp.21-42. 34. Searle, J. (1969) An Essay in the Philosophy of Language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
35. Sifianou, M. (1992) Politeness Phenomena in England and

Greece, A Cross-cultural Perspective, Clarendon Press, Oxford. 36. Sperber, D. & Wilson, D. (1986) Relevance: Communication and Cognition, Oxford: Blackwell. 37. Strauss, A, & Corbin, J. (1990) Basic Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques, Newbury Park Sage, p.17. 38. Tomlinson, B. (1994) Pragmatic Awareness Activities. Language Awareness 3 (3 and 4):109-27. 39. Tran Ngoc Them (1998), Co So Van Hoa Viet Nam, Nxb. Giao Duc, Hanoi.
40. Tran Thi Phuong Thao (2004), Essentials of Semantics: A

Short Practical Course Book: Speech acts, Institute of English

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Language and Its Didactic, Cologne University Cologne, Germany, 143. 41. Tran Thi Thao Phuong (2006), Vietnamese Cultural Values as Barriers to EFL Students in Learning Speaking English. Unpublished undergraduate thesis, College of Foreign Laguage, Hue University, Hue City. 42. Verschueren, J. (1987) Pragmatics as a Theory of Linguitic Adaptation Working Document # 1, Antwerp: International Pragmatic Association.
43. Yule, G. (1985) The Study of Language, Great Britain:

Cambridge University Press. 44. Yule, G. (1996) Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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http://www.carla.umn.edu/speechacts/definition.html, accessed on January 15th, 2008. accessed

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on January 10th 2008.


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accessed on April 15th, 2008.

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APPENDIX 1:

RECORDING DIALOGUES
1. Your best friend borrowed your favorite CD a month ago and still has not returned it. You are in her car and notice that it is in her glove box. You ask for it back.
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2. You have recently moved to a new apartment. Because it is very far from the campus. You need to buy a used car as soon as possible. However, since you have never bought a car by yourself, you want your closed friend to go and find a good, affordable used car with you. What would you do? 3. You forget to bring your pen. You would like to borrow a pen from your close teacher. What would you say? 4. You want to make an appointment to see your teacher in order to ask about your study. What would you say? 5. You are in a restaurant. You want the waiter to give you a coke. What would you say?

APPENDIX 2:

QUESTIONNAIRE
This questionnaire is designed to collect data for my research on

Pragmatic violation in requests by Vietnamese learners of English. Therefore, I would be very grateful if you could spare your time to
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think carefully and provide appropriate answers to the questions below. Your responses are very important to the success of my survey. The data will be used only for the purpose of research, not any other purposes. Please read the questions carefully and circle the possibility of your choice in answering. Note: More than one answer is acceptable. 1. Do you think using a speech act in a appropriate language and manner of English is very difficult? a) Yes b) No 2. Are you able to vary your requests to meet different situations? a) Yes b) No 3. What kind(s) of requests situations are difficult? a) Requests to the older b) Requests to people at high position c) The degree of difficulty of requests d) Psychology of the hearer
e) None of the above

4. Reason(s) why you have problems in making request? a) The influence of Vietnamese b) Your personality (shy/hesitate) c) The influence of Vietnamese socio-culture
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d) The study environment Your ideas: . 5. Positive influence of the Vietnamese language results in your requests in English? a) Speaking more flexible and naturally b) Feeling confident c) Transferring easily Your ideas: .. 6. Negative influence of the Vietnamese language results in your requests in English ? a) Making mistakes b) Making your requests verbose c) Causing misunderstanding Your ideas: .. 7. What are your suggestions to help you make requests in effective way? a) Reading books b) Communicating with foreigners c) Practicing everyday Your ideas:

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR COOPERATION!

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PHIU IU TRA
cung cp thm nhng thng tin xc thc v ng tin cy cho ti nghin cu: Pragmatic violation in requests by Vietnamese speakers of English (S vi phm ng dng hc trong cu yu cu ca ngi Vit ni ting Anh), cc bn vui lng tr li cc cu hi di y bng cch khoanh trn vo nhng cu tr li m bn la chn. S ng gp ca cc bn l rt
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quan trng trong s thnh cng ca ti nghin cu. Nhng thng tin ch phc v cho mc ch nghin cu ca ti, khng nhm mc ch no khc. Rt cm n s hp tc v gip ca cc bn. Ch : Cc bn c th tr li nhiu hn mt.
1. Bn c ngh vic s dng mt hnh vi ngn ng vi cch thc v ngn ng

ph hp trong ting Anh l rt kh?


a) ng b) Khng ng

2. Bn c th s dng phong ph cu yu cu ca mnh khi gp cc tnh hung khc nhau khng? a) C b) Khng 3. Bn thy kh khn vi tnh hung no khi a ra cu yu cu? a) Cu yu cu i vi ngi ln tui b) Cu yu cu i vi ngi c a v cao c) Mc kh ca vic c yu cu d) Tm l ca ngi c yu cu e) Khng no trn y 4. V sao bn gp kh khn khi a ra cu yu cu? a) nh hng ca ting Vit b) Tnh cch ca bn (nht nht/hay do d) c) nh hng ca vn ho x hi Vit Nam d) Sch gio khoa v Mi trng hc tp
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kin ca bn: 5. nh hng tch cc ca ting Vit n cu yu cu trong ting Anh ca bn l g? a) Ni mt cch uyn chuyn v t nhin b) Cm thy t tin c) Chuyn i mt cch d dng 6. nh hng tiu cc ca ting Vit n cu yu cu trong ting Anh ca bn l g? a) Mc li b) Lm cho cu yu cu rm r c) Gy ra hiu nhm kin ca bn: 7. Theo bn, lm th no cu yu cu trong ting Anh ca bn t hiu qu tt? a) c sch b) Giao tip vi ngi nc ngoi c) Luyn tp hng ngy kin ca bn:

CM N S HP TC CA BN!

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Appendix 3:

Suggested components of sociocultural competence


(Celce-Murcia, Dornyei and Thurrell 1995: 24) SOCIAL CONTEXTUAL FACTORS
Nguyen Thi Hang Nga 76 Thesis Paper 2008

PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

- Participant variables - Age, gender, office and status, social distance, relations (power and affective) - Situational variables - Time, place, social situation STYLISTIC APPROPRIATENESS FACTORS - Politeness conventions and strategies - Stylistic variation - Degrees of formality - Field-specific registers CULTURAL FACTORS - Sociocultural background knowledge of the target language community - living conditions (way of living, living standards); social and institutional structure;social conventions and rituals; major values, beliefs, and norms; taboo topics; historical background; cultural aspects including literature and arts - Awareness of major dialect or regional differences - Cross-cultural awareness - Differences; similarities; strategies for cross-cultural communication NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATIVE FACTORS - Kinesic factors (body language) - Discourse controlling behaviours (non-verbal turn-taking signals)
Nguyen Thi Hang Nga 77 Thesis Paper 2008

PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

- Backchannel behaviours - Affective markers (facial expressions), gestures, eye conact - Proxemic factors (use of space) - Haptic factors (touching) - Paralinguistic factors - acoustal sounds, nonvocal noises - Silence

Nguyen Thi Hang Nga

78

Thesis Paper 2008

PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

Appendix 4:

SECRETS AND LIES

On the phone, Cynthia at home, standing up in the hallway. Morris in his office with his secretary, Jane, listening and eating a bag of crisps. C: Listen, Morris, Sweetheart. I wanted to ask you a favour. M: Oh yeah. Whats that then? C: You know the party Sunday M: The BBQ, yeah C: Yeah. Can I bring a mate, Sweetheart? Silence. C: Hello? M: Is it a bloke? C: Course it is not a bloke, silly bugger. Chance would be a fine thing! Both laugh. M: Who is it then?
Nguyen Thi Hang Nga 79 Thesis Paper 2008

PRAGMATIC VIOLATION IN REQUESTS BY VIETNAMESE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

C: Oh just somebody at work. Weve been out a couple of times and I was meant to have seen her Sunday only I forgot. That is alright then? M: I suppose so. C: What do you mean you suppose so? M: No, itll be fine. C: Smashing. M: Have to check it out though. C: Check it out? Who with? Short silence. M: Listen, Erm, if I dont ring you back then bring her. Right? C: I dont want to upset nobody. M: Dont worry. C: Are you sure then? M: Yeah, yeah. No problem. Yeah. C: O.K. then sweetheart. Looking forward to it. M: Alright, well, say hello to Roxanne for me. C: Then. M: Alright

Nguyen Thi Hang Nga

80

Thesis Paper 2008