‘Non-native EFL teachers’ email production and perceptions of e-(im)politeness. Journal of Politeness Research.

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Abstract

The present study investigates the nature of non-native speaker EFL teachers’ email requests to faculty, the importance attached by these teachers to linguistic forms designed to achieve email politeness and status-congruence and, the extent to which perceptions and evaluations by the NNS teachers and NS lecturers might differ with regard to these emails. The study found that the NNS teachers evidenced a developed sense of sociopragmatic knowledge in high imposition L2 requests for action and employed politeness strategies that were indicative of a concern to maintain social and face relationships in virtual consultations. It is argued that despite their advanced English language proficiency, the teachers’ reliance on directness, excessive formality, and lengthy grounders that could still put them out-of-status and render their emails as pragmatically inappropriate. The study further confirmed significant differences in how the two groups perceive appropriateness and politeness in direct and unmodified student email requests to faculty. Overall, while the NSs judged the emails primarily according to their content and, to a lesser extent, according to their form, the NNSTs focused almost exclusively on form and framing devices (in/formality, in/directness, nature and extent of mitigation, opening/closing moves, forms of address).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Politeness Research
Publication statusUnpublished - 2021

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