Effect of Imposition on Refusals of Requests by Vietnamese ESL Learners in Speaking and Emails


This study investigated effect of imposition on how Vietnamese learners of English at different levels of language proficiency refuse requests in speaking and emails. The comparison between two modes (speaking and writing) was also performed. The data was obtained with the support of 24 Vietnamese students in Melbourne, which comprise three groups of eight. Using the semantic formulas modified from the formulas proposed by Beebe et al. (1990), refusals in three role-play situations and three emails were coded to find out frequency for each strategy. Statistical analysis was done with Chi-square. Then, semi-structured interviews in Vietnamese were conducted to gain insight understanding of chosen strategies. It was found that imposition had statistically significant influences on the refusal strategies. In high imposition scenarios, greater number of direct strategies and adjuncts were employed. However, direct strategies were mainly used by the beginner group. On the other hand, adjuncts were preferred by advanced participants. As for in direct strategies, language proficiency also affected the chosen performed strategies. In terms of differences between role-plays and emails, statistically significant results were found in all three groups. While lower proficiency groups felt freer to refuse directly in writing, advanced groups applied adjuncts to make moves for their refusal in speaking.

Author Information
Thi Lan Anh Nguyen, University of Foreign Language Studies ' The University of Danang, Vietnam
Carsten Roever, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2016
Stream: Pragmatics

This paper is part of the ACLL2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon