Complaints in Thai and English: an interlanguage pragmatic study.
Carrying out the speech act of complaining in one‘s mother tongue might not require a great amount of effort. Nevertheless, it tends to be problematic when it comes to the case of second language learners. This study, therefore, explores the characteristics of the interlanguage complaints of Thai learners of English who are in different contexts of studying. The data, based on the DCT (Discourse Completion Task) questionnaires, is taken from four groups of informants: (1) native Thai speakers (2) native English speakers (3) Thai learners of English in Thailand and (4) Thai learners of English in the UK. The findings are analysed within three main aspects namely, the complaint strategies, the complaint lengths and patterns, and the complaint internal modifications. The elicited data reveals that in general the learners of English in Thailand tend to have similar complaint patterns to those of native Thai speakers. On the other hand, the complaint patterns uttered by the learners of English in the UK tend to be close to those of native English speakers. Nevertheless, it seems that neither the learners of English in Thailand, nor in the UK use downgraders properly. The insufficient use of internal modifications, such as downgraders results in the learners‘ weighty complaints compared to those of native English speakers. In other words, the learners‘ complaints might be less appropriate from the native speaker‘s point of view. The findings might be interpreted to conclude that the studying abroad context is one of the influential factors in language learners‘ improvement, although the divergence of learners‘ complaints still exists in some aspects. The findings give implications to language educators, particularly in Thailand, in that textbooks and pedagogical models provided for learners should be supplied with real-language in use and also other supplements regarding the sociopragmatic rules of the target language in order to enhance the learner‘s pragmatic ability.
- Theses