On the Pragmatic Patterns of Chinese College English Learners’ Compliment Responses

  •  Ge Bai    


The purpose of this research is to investigate the pragmatic features of Chinese college EFL learners’ compliment responses (CR) in English. Since nowadays there is a large population learning English in China and there are limited researches on how the English language is used by Chinese EFL learners, to study the patterns of Chinese EFL learners' use of English is significant.

The data of this study were collected by role play. Twelve short films which contain compliments from native English speakers were designed and recorded. These scenes were controlled by four variables: gender, social status, types of compliments and the formality of the situation. Then these short films were played to 360 Chinese undergraduate students which were divided into 12 groups. The compliment responses of these participants were recorded immediately. Then, these records were transcribed and the data was analyzed statistically with the reference of the four variables.

The results of the analysis indicate that a majority of Chinese EFL learners tend to accept the compliment while seldom Chinese EFL learners still apply non agreement as their CR strategy. Also, Chinese EFL learners prefer to apply a mixed CR strategy when they are complimented and they prefer to accommodate a combined pragmatics which is based on Chinese and English pragmatics. Chinese EFL learners could respond to compliments in English in several CR strategies that did not discussed in previous studies. The four variables of gender, social status, types of compliments and the formality of the situation have a huge influence on Chinese English learners’ responses to compliments in English.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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