NATIVE AND NON-NATIVE ENGLISH INSTRUCTORS? PRODUCTION OF REFUSALS AND COMPLAINTS: A PRELIMINARY CASE STUDY IN A STATE UNIVERSITY IN TURKEY

Abstract

Author(s): Emrah EKMEKÇ?

In order to achieve their communicative goals, speakers use a variety of speech acts; specifically apologies, requests, complaints, and refusals. A lot of research has been carried out on apologies and requests, but limited number of studies focused on complaints and refusals in the literature. The present study is a preliminary study which explores the differences between native and non-native instructors’ production of refusals and complaints. Six native and fifteen non-native instructors working at a state university in Turkey participated in the study. Data were collected through a Discourse Completion Test (DCT) previously employed in the study of complaints by Olshtain and Weinbach (1987), of refusals by Beebe, Takahashi and Uliss-Weltz (1990) and in the study by Tanck (2002). The results of the study indicated that non-native instructors’ utterances were vague and inappropriate in terms of the quality compared with native instructors. Their responses also revealed that they were more verbose than native instructors. They added an emotional plea to their complaints. Both native and non-native instructors used almost the same speech act components; namely direct complaint, request, explanation of purpose, and justification as components of complaint. As for the components of refusal, they employed statement of regret, excuse, statement of positive opinion, statement of alternative, and appreciation. Non-native instructors also used offensive language as a component of complaint, which indicated difference from native instructors’ utterances.

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