Politeness Principle in Business Correspondence and Language Teaching


One of the indispensable contributors for effective communication is politeness. It works as the lubricant to reduce frictions especially in business conversations. Politeness is also a compulsory lesson for language learners to take since it can bridge people from diverse backgrounds together. This essay firstly makes a brief review of the significant development of Politeness Theory. By sheding the light on Brown and Levinson’ s Politeness Theory, the essay discusses its applicability in western context and eastern context since the understanding of face needs can be different for people from diverse cultural backgrounds. The essay then relates politeness to business correspondence to emphasize its importance for language learners. Based on Brown and Levinson’s Politeness Theory, an analysis of Chinese and native speaker's writing style has been presented as an example. The importance of teaching politeness, one of the speech acts, to language learners is discussed in the end. It is suggested that language teachers should not only introduce politeness principles but also hold various kinds of awareness-raising activities for learners to be immersed in specific contexts.

Author Information
Yuyuan Zhang, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2022
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

This paper is part of the ACE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Zhang Y. (2023) Politeness Principle in Business Correspondence and Language Teaching ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2022: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2023.44
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2023.44

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon