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Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication

Ed. by Piller, Ingrid

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Volume 32, Issue 1


An exploratory study of criticism realization strategies used by NS and NNS of New Zealand English

Thi Thuy Minh Nguyen
Published Online: 2013-01-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2013-0005


This study explores how a group of learners of English as a second language (ESL) criticize in everyday situations compared to the native speaker (NS) with a view to expanding the range of speech acts under inquiry in the interlanguage pragmatics (ILP) literature. Data were collected from five NSs of New Zealand English and five intermediate learners, with mixed first languages, via eight role-play situations. Findings show that the learners criticized in significantly different ways from the NSs. Unlike the NSs, who made regular use of all strategies, the learners relied predominantly on direct criticism and requests for change. The learners also opted out for different reasons than the NSs in those situations where both groups found criticizing inappropriate, and varied their pragmatic choices less considerably according to context. Furthermore, where learners used the same strategy as the NSs, they differed greatly in their choice of semantic formulas and mitigating devices.

Keywords: interlanguage pragmatics; speech acts; criticizing; second language learning; ESL learners; pragmatic competence

About the article

Published Online: 2013-01-25

Published in Print: 2013-01-24

Citation Information: Multilingua, Volume 32, Issue 1, Pages 103–130, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2013-0005.

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