Ruth Abaya, David Ongarora, Lilian Magonya


The aim of this article was to explain the effects of politeness as entailed in nonverbal language use in the instructional process. Non-verbal communication skills also known as silent language, include all behaviours performed in the presence of others or perceived either consciously or unconsciously. Nonverbal communication entails; facial expressions, body movements, posture, gestures, eye contact, touch, dressing, space, voice and paying attention to inconsistencies. All these are synchronized to reinforce verbal messages, clarify meaning and create a sense of the speaker’s presence and purpose. Thus, instructors in a classroom setting determine whether a message sent has been received majorly through immediate nonverbal feedback. This paper tries to substantiate the pivotal role enhanced by body language and the impression both the teacher and the student draw from using nonverbal language and the politeness issues that are accrued to such usage. The study adopted the qualitative method and used observation and the data collection procedures were observation and focus group discussions. The findings indicated that instructors/ lecturers use politeness through diverse nonverbal cues during their linguistics lessons in order to convey the relevant message to students. This enables the students to grasp the major concepts being learned and at times the use of nonverbal consciously or unconsciously posed a threat to both the negative and positive faces of lecturers and students.


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politeness, Face Threatening Acts (FTA), face, maxims, negative politeness, positive politeness

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejals.v6i2.452


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