A Sociocultural investigation of speech acts (requests and apologies) in Turkish and Englih
Stalker, James C.
Item Usage Stats
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigates a number of differences between Turkish and English in the area of speech acts of requests and apologies and links them with different cultural norms and cultural assumptions, By comparing these two speech acts in two languages, the goal was to find out whether native knowledge and use of these speech act patterns influence Turkish students’ performance in English. The theoretical and methodological framework for this investigation has been developed based on a number of studies conducted in the same area in languages other than Turkish and English. Two sets of questionnaires (Turkish and English) consisting of sixteen situations, eight eliciting requests and eight eliciting apologies were used as the instruments for this study. The data collection method is based on a set of questionnaires, and data analysis is based on a set of coding schemes for the responses elicited from the questionnaires. The data analysis procedure is illustrated by giving examples from the data. The data consist of three sets; (1) Turkish Baseline, (2) English Baseline and (3) L2 Experimental Data. The coding schemes consists of two main categories for requests; (1) units of analysis and (2) directness in requests; and of two categories for apologies; (1) semantic formulas and (2) acknowledgement of responsibility strategies. This kind of contrastive analysis provided accountable results for cross-cultural variability in the realization patterns of the same speech acts. The speech act patterns were also described both from social superiors’ and inferiors’ point of view. Results showed that a number of differences occur between Turkish and English speech act patterns. Different patterns and usages led to students’ negative transfer while similarities led to positive transfer. It was also found that because of the lack of proficiency in English, students sometimes avoid using the patterns and sometimes use them in linguistically incorrect forms in the target language. This result suggests that in EEL situations, the goals of syllabus design should be based on theoretical descriptions and research evidence. It might also be suggested that differences between learners' native culture and target language cultures should be emphasized in foreign language teaching.