Student-Teacher Email Requests: Comparative Analysis of Politeness Strategies Used by Malaysian and Filipino University Students

Mohammad Awad AlAfnan, Lourdes dela Cruz-Rudio


This comparative study investigates politeness strategies used in Malaysian and Filipino student-teacher requesting emails. After analyzing a corpus of 40 student-teacher email requests that are written by Malaysian and Filipino university students, it is found that Malaysian university students use more direct (i.e., imperative, interrogative) requesting politeness strategies than their Filipino counterparts while Filipino university students use more indirect (i.e., positive, negative) requesting politeness strategies than their Malaysian counterparts. It is also revealed that Filipino students realize their requests longer with more strategies than Malaysian students as they produced more politeness moves than their Malaysian counterparts. This implies that while Filipino students tend to give more reasons and employ other strategies to justify their requests and appeal to their teachers, Malaysian students tend to directly, but politely using politeness mitigation markers, express the request. This study also shows that the use of negative politeness strategies is prominent among Malaysian and Filipino students; however, students also used positive politeness to establish solidarity with teachers with their offering of explanation and expression of goodwill. Although the findings of this study support the universality of request and politeness strategies, differences between the two groups of students are also proof of the culture-specificity of certain strategies. It is recommended to incorporate cross-cultural pragmatic awareness in language classrooms to encourage students to be more culturally adaptable as they engage in communication with people from different nationalities.

Full Text:



World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: