The Effectiveness of Teaching Formulaic Politeness Strategies in Making Request to Undergraduates in an ESL Classroom

  •  Kim Hua Tan    
  •  Atieh Farashaiyan    


It is widely acknowledged that the main thrust of second language (L2) teaching and learning is establishing and developing the communicative competence of learners. Especially, in recent years, the focus has shifted more towards intercultural communicative competence (ICC). As such, it is more practical that educational endeavors should be directed both towards the grammar or lexis of the target language as well as the appropriate use of these grammatical and lexical systems in a variety of situations by considering different social and contextual factors. Therefore, this study embarks on the effect of explicit instruction of formulaic politeness strategies among Malaysian undergraduates in making request. Sixty Malaysian undergraduates participated in the study. The students included two groups of intervention and control groups. The data were cumulated through three tests, namely open ended completion test, a listening test and an acceptability judgment test. Treatment or experimental group received explicit instruction with structured and problem-solving and input tasks. The comparison was made between the performance of treatment group and that of control in terms of the pre-test and post-test. The findings show that the treatment group outperformed significantly than the control group. This matter is suggestive that in this probe, explicit form-based instruction was successful for learners to comprehend and produce the English politeness strategies effectively in making request. The findings of this study will be beneficial for material developers and teachers to make use of form-focused strategies more effectively to teach second language pragmatic features to Malaysian students.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.