English for airline purposes in Taiwan: directive speech acts for the check-in counters
MetadataShow full item record
The study aims to investigate the effect of airline one-year placement experience on Taiwanese students’ development and acquisition of L2 pragmatic competence focusing on their English speech act behaviours. 50 subjects participated in this study, including 10 airline staff and 40 hospitality university students. Two instruments - the Discourse Completion Test and the Focus Group Interview were used to elicit the request strategies from three research groups for analysis. The results of the study demonstrated that exposure to the target speech community specifically a year-long airport placement is relatively influential for the pragmatic development of Taiwanese hospitality university students. The findings in this study also showed that there is a positive relationship between linguistic proficiency and pragmatic ability. It is observed that the participants with better performance in the linguistic and grammatical knowledge tend to show equivalent pragmatic development more than the participants with lower proficiency. The study is believed to significantly contribute in three directions. Firstly, the findings of this study provide valuable data for the development of pragmatic competence in airline English learning. An overall review of the relevant literature shows that there are no studies until now that have explored the effects of airline placement on the pragmatic development of Taiwanese hospitality university students in terms of their English request realisation. Secondly, the results of the study can serve as important practical evidence and can provide guidelines for airline English instructors to start considering how to integrate effective instruction with intercultural pragmatic learning in their teaching materials and curriculum design in order to assist Taiwanese hospitality university students to acquire the pragmatic and social cultural abilities to meet the airline workplace language requirement in the future. Thirdly, the results of the study also revealed information about the pragmatic performance of Taiwanese ground staff; senior employees and supervisors. Therefore, it is hoped that the results of the study can raise the awareness of both English course planners and administrators in Taiwanese airlines to develop appropriate airline English courses for ground staff in order to improve ground staff’s English communication competence when dealing with passengers and also reach the standard of good service quality.