Teaching Small Talk and Speech Acts to Improve Pragmatic Skills of Hmong Americans
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This paper will review briefly the history of the Hmong American immigration and current community in the United States. This paper identifies characteristics and specific sociocultural and pragmatic difficulties Hmong learners may have as well as Hmong learner needs. One researcher suggests one of the challenges Hmong may have when practicing speech acts is understanding the intended language function behind them due to lack of vocabulary acquisition and/or understanding of ways to soften or make certain speech acts politer. Then this paper addresses some literature on pragmatics for ESL learners such as Face Threatening Acts (FTAs) which occur in daily conversations. This paper gives suggestions for how teachers might work with their Hmong learners. Hmong learners may benefit from being taught the function of the polite words we use in English in order to make complaints, apologize, or use the language for greetings and requests. A unit plan of speech acts and small talk culminates this paper.
Speech acts (Linguistics)
Master of Arts in TESOL