Applied Linguistics Faculty Members’ Perceptions of (Im)politeness and (In)appropriateness of L2 Learners’ E-Mail Requests

Document Type: Research Paper


Shahrekord University


A significant amount of contribution to pragmatics research comes from cross-cultural and developmental pragmatic studies with L2 learners in focus; however, despite broad interest in such analyses, the role of lecturers has been relatively ignored. As the lectures’ perceptions/opinions of L2 learners’ e-mail requests are important, L2 learners must become familiar with their lecturers’ perceptions of (in)appropriateness and (im)politeness of e-mail requests. Therefore, through examining Iranian applied linguistics lecturers’ perceptions of (in)appropriateness and (im)politeness of L2 learners’ e-mail requests, this study was an attempt to provide insights into lecturers’ ideal norms of (in)appropriateness and (im)politeness of L2 learners’ e-mail requests. To this aim, a purposive sample of 38 university lectures participated in this study. A questionnaire was utilized to collect the data. The lecturers’ comments in the questionnaire served as the basis to identify the major themes (e.g., directness, language use accuracy, etc.). An in-depth qualitative analysis of the lecturers’ comments revealed that the perceptions of the lecturers were greatly influenced by the use of appropriate openings and closings of the e-mails. Also, language use accuracy and appropriateness were among the most recurring reasons mentioned by the lecturers to regard the e-mails as (in)appropriate and (im)polite. Overall, the results stress the importance of pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic aspects of language for applied linguistics lecturers. Findings have implications for L2 learners, teachers, and researchers.


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