Communicating Solidarity with the Reader: Linguistic Politeness Strategies in EFL Methodology Textbooks
My attempt in this paper is to demonstrate how the mechanism of establishing common ground with readers is reflected in textbooks aimed at foreign language teachers and trainees. The study draws on the framework of linguistic politeness (Brown and Levinson 1987), informed by the metadiscourse framework (Myers 1989, 1992; Hyland 1998, 2000, 2005c, 2009). While written academic discourse has been extensively researched, there seems to be a gap concerning its detailed analysis devoted to politeness strategies, especially with reference to foreign language teacher education. Viewing academic writing as interpersonal social engagement naturally invites linguistic politeness framework for its analysis. The study uses the apparatus offered by the politeness theory to address writer-reader interaction patterns in written academic discourse with reference to EFL methodology textbook genre. The research questions I intend to answer are as follows: What are the facework patterns and regularities that govern the way writers express solidarity and seek common ground with readers in methodology textbooks in the field of EFL teacher education? Is there a preference towards the use of particular politeness strategies? Tentative results confirm writers’ preference towards certain politeness strategies, demonstrating their solidarity with the readers through intensifying interest to readers, claiming common opinion/attitude, showing concern for readers’ needs, including writer and readers in the activity, giving reasons, giving gifts, as well as promising/offering.
KeywordsCommon Ground Academic Discourse Discourse Participant Textbook Author Negative Face
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