WHAT MAKES AND BREAKS FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNER COMMUNICATION: AN INTERLANGUAGE STUDY OF COMPLAINTS

Marija Kusevska

Abstract


The research presented in this paper is an interlanguage study of how Macedonian learners of English formulate complaints in the target language and compares their performance with the performance of American native speakers with respect to strategy selection, utterance length and degree of internal and external modification. Additionally, it looks at how native speakers view non-native complaints and what makes non-native complaints sound inappropriate. The analysis of the complaints was performed on the responses of 52 Macedonian learners of English and 48 American native speakers, gathered through a Discourse Completion Task. The results show that although there is some correlation in the way complaints are formulated by the two groups, Macedonian learners show some deviations: some linguistic means are never or barely used; others are used inappropriately or with different force. Besides, Macedonian learners of English don’t have enough pragmatic knowledge to make their utterances efficient. The findings of this research will be used for designing e-learning modules for developing language learners’ pragmatic competence.

 

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pragmatic competence; strategies; frames; mitigation

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