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Laparoscopic Endoscopic Surgical Science Lip service or real offer? Investigating responses to compliments by Egyptian EFL learners [ALRJournal]
ALRJournal. 2021; 5(1): 19-35 | DOI: 10.14744/alrj.2020.65902

Lip service or real offer? Investigating responses to compliments by Egyptian EFL learners

Hasnaa Abdelreheem
English Applied Linguistics Programme, Faculty of Humanities and Social sciences, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

This paper is an attempt to investigate Compliment Responses (CRs) produced by Egyptian EFL learners through the use of Discourse Completion Task (DCT) as a data collection method. The aim is to gain an insight into the politeness strategies employed by Egyptian Arabic native speakers by shedding light on how young Egyptian EFL learners react when receiving compliments in English and in Egyptian Arabic. Comprehension is a skill that requires higher EFL proficiency levels so that the students can understand the questions properly, demonstrate a certain level of pragmatic familiarity in the target language, and thus eliminate language barriers that can strongly influence the research results. Hence, to guarantee a certain level of familiarity with English, the sample selected for this small-scale study comprises 30 responses by 15 English-majored university students (11 females and 4 males). The DCT consisted of 6 different compliment situations related to appearance, possession and performance/ability, and participants were asked to respond to the compliments as they would in real life. Responses were categorised according to the following strategies: thanking, wishing, rejecting, doubting, topic shifting, explaining, encouraging, offering the complimented object or help, returning the compliment, joking, expressing gladness, agreeing, combining two or more strategies as well as combining strategies with non-verbal responses. The data reflected some social-cultural norms of the Egyptian society. Gender-based differences in CRs have also been highlighted, and classroom implications that could apply to EFL teaching in the Egyptian context are proposed.

Keywords: compliment responses, Egyptian EFL learners, pragmatic transfer, politeness strategies, pragmatic awareness in the EFL/ESL classroom

Hasnaa Abdelreheem. Lip service or real offer? Investigating responses to compliments by Egyptian EFL learners. ALRJournal. 2021; 5(1): 19-35

Corresponding Author: Hasnaa Abdelreheem, Hungary
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