Interlanguage Development in Speech Act Strategy Choices: Apologies by Norwegian Pre- and In-service Teachers of English

Anna Krulatz

Abstract


Previous research on interlanguage pragmatics suggests that performance of apologies in a second language can pose challenges for adult language learners. The goal of this paper is to contribute to the growing body of research on L2 pragmatic development. The cross-sectional study presented here focuses on the variation in the use of apology strategies in response to discourse completion tasks produced by 110 Norwegian pre- and in- service English teachers at three different proficiency levels. The apologies were classified using coding procedures adopted from Blum-Kulka and Olshtain (1984), Blum-Kulka et al. (1989) and Rose (2000). The findings are reported using descriptive statistics and selected examples from the data. One-way ANOVAs and Chi-square tests were run to determine if the differences between the groups were statistically significant. Developmental patterns were revealed in the use of apology modifications (adjunct strategies), particularly in the amount of and variation of modifications, with participants with higher proficiency level employing significantly more varied and extensive modifications. However, no significant differences in the production of the main apology and the employment of lexical intensifiers were found.


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