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Speech act theory and its application to EFL teaching in China


Throssell, P and Zhao, Y, Speech act theory and its application to EFL teaching in China, Language, Culture and Society, (32) pp. 88-95. ISSN 1327-774X (2011) [Refereed Article]

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In recent years, with the unremitting development of Speech Act Theory, it has gradually emerged as an important topic and has been considered as a basic theory in pragmatics. A speech act as an action performed by means of language is an important element of communicative competence and the Speech Act Theory not only conveys the linguistic rules people share to create the acts, but also leads language learners to use this language tactfully or appropriately. It is believed that to learn a language is indeed to learn how to communicate in that language. However, evidence shows that many Chinese learners of English fail to achieve the tactful or appropriate use of English in their daily communication with native speakers. Thereby, researchers suggest that applying Speech Act Theory in language teaching has become increasingly imperative (Bardovi-Harlig, 1996; Canale & Swain, 1980; Flor & Juan, 2010; Yalden, 1987). This paper briefly views the Speech Act Theory involving Austin’s concept of Speech Act and Searle’ concept of Speech Act and analyzes other important theories based on Speech Act Theory. It is suggested applying Speech Act Theory to foreign language teaching and teachers of a foreign language should cultivate a learners’ linguistic competence as well as pragmatic competence

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:speech act, pragmatic competence, intercultural communication
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Early childhood education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Throssell, P (Dr Paul Throssell)
UTAS Author:Zhao, Y (Mr Yingjie Zhao)
ID Code:77149
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2012-03-19
Last Modified:2018-03-13
Downloads:37 View Download Statistics

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