Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of English, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Shahrekord University

Abstract


Textbooks play an important role in English Language Teaching (ELT), particularly in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context where it provides the primary linguistic input. The present research was an attempt to comparatively evaluate the Touchstone series in terms of compliment and complaint speech acts. Four Touchstone textbooks (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, and Book 4) were selected and content analysis was done using Olshtain and Weinbach’s (1993) complaint strategies and Wolfson and Manes’ (1980) classification of compliment. The frequencies and percentages of compliments and complaint speech acts were obtained. Data analysis showed that, first, the total frequency of the complaint speech act was higher in Touchstone, Book 4 than the other three textbooks; second, the frequency of complaint and compliment speech acts in the Writing section was quite low, but the Conversation section had a high frequency of compliment speech act in the Touchstone series; third, the expression of annoyance or disapproval complaint strategy was frequently used in the Touchstone series; fourth, the compliment strategy of ‘noun phrase + looks/is (intensifier) adjective’ was very frequent in the Touchstone series; finally, there was a significant difference between the frequencies of the two speech acts, in general, in the four Touchstone textbooks. Considering the weaknesses and strengthens of Touchstone series, implications for teachers, material developers, and textbook writers are provided.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Keywords

Alemi, M., & Rezanejad, A. (2014). Native and Non-native  English  Teachers’  Rating Criteria and Variation in the Assessment of L2 Pragmatic Production: The Speech Act of Compliment. Issues in Language Teaching, 3(1), 88-65.  
Berry, R. (2000). Youser-friendly’ metalanguage: What effect does it have on learners of English? IRAL-International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 38(3-4), 195-212.  
Bouton, L.F., & Kachru, Y. (1993). Pragmatics and Language Learning. Urbana-Champaign, IL: Division of English as an International Language.
Chadran, J. (2001). Content-based instruction: An Indonesian Example. In S. B. Stryker & B.L. Leaver (Eds.), Content-based instruction in foreign language education: Models and methods (pp. 219-235). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
Cohen, A. D. (1999). Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language. TESL, the Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language, 3(4), 1-5. 

Cutting, F. (2002). Compliment and compliment response research: A cross-cultural survey. In W. Bublitz, A.H. Jucker, & K.P. Schneider (Eds.), Handbooks of pragmatics: Pragmatics across languages and cultures (pp. 79-101). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Darali, G. (2007). Pragmatic dimension in spectrum textbooks. (MA), Shiraz University, Shiraz.
Delen, K., & Tavil, G. (2010). Pragmatics and language teaching: Bringing pragmatics and pedagogy together. In L. F. Bouton (Ed.), Pragmatics and language learning (pp. 21-
39). Urbana-Champaign: Division of English as an International Language, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Echols, N., & Al-Batal, A.D. (1996). Describing Speech acts: Linking research and pedagogy. In N. Ishihara & A.D. Cohen (Eds.), Teaching and learning pragmatics: Where language and culture meet (pp. 37-56). Edinburg: Pearson Education.
Eisenstein,  M.,  &  Bodman,  J.W.  (1986).  ‘I Very  Appreciate’:  Expressions of Gratitude by Native and Non-native Speakers of American English. Applied Linguistics, 7(2), 167-185.  
Ellis, R. (2008). Second language acquisition.
Oxford: University Press.
Eslami-Rasekh, Z. (2005). Raising the pragmatic awareness of language learners. ELT journal, 59(3), 199-208.  
Garcia, P. (2004). Pragmatic Comprehension of High and Low Level Language Learners. Tesl-Ej, 8(2), n2.  
Ghobadi, A., & Fahim, M. (2009). The effect of explicit  teaching  of  English  “thanking formulas” on Iranian EFL intermediate level students at English language institutes. System, 37(3), 526-537.  
Halliday, M. (1978). Coming to terms with pragmatics. In N. Ishihara & A. D. Cohen (Eds.), Teaching and learning pragmatics (pp. 3-21). Edinburg: Pearson Education.
Heidari, M.A., Rezazadeh, M., & Eslami Rasekh, A. (2009). A contrastive study of compliment responses among male and female Iranian teenage EFL learners. The International Journal of Language Society and Culture, 29(18-31). 

House, J. (1996). Developing pragmatic fluency in English as a foreign language: Routines and metapragmatic awareness. Studies in second language acquisition, 18(02), 225-252.  
Hymes, D. (1972). On Communicative Competence. In J.B. Pride & J. Holmes (Eds.), sociolinguistics (pp. 269-293). Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books.
Ishihara, N. (2003). Giving and responding to compliments. Teaching pragmatics. Washington DC: Office of English Programs, US Department of State. Retrieved on November 28th, State. gov/education/ engteaching/pragmatics. htm.  
Ishihara, N. (2011). Formal instruction on the speech act of giving and responding to compliments. Paper presented at the proceedings of the 7th conference of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics.
Jianda, L. (2006). Assessing EFL learners’ interlanguage pragmatic knowledge: Implications for testers and teachers. Reflections on English language teaching, 5(1), 1-22.  
Levinson, S. C. (1989). Pragmatics. Oxford:
Cambridge University Press.
Niezgoda, K., & Röver, C. (2001). Pragmatic and grammatical awareness: A function of the learning environment. In K. R. Rose &
G. Kasper (Eds.), Pragmatics in language teaching (pp. 63-79). England: Cambridge University Press.
Olshtain, E., & Cohen, A. D. (1991). Teaching speech act behavior to nonnative speakers. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (pp. 154-165). New York: Newbury House.
Olshtain, E., & Weinbach, L. (1993). Interlanguage features of the speech act of complaining. In G. Kasper & S. Blum-Kulka (Eds.), Interlanguage pragmatics (pp. 108-122). England: Oxford University Press.
Otlowski, M. (2003). Ethnic diversity and gender bias in EFL textbooks. Asian EFL Journal, 5(2), 1-15.  
Rastegar, Z. (1992). The analysis of dialogue in Iranian guidance and high school texts in terms of their pragmatic functions. (M.A Thesis), Shiraz University, Shiraz .