Face-threatening and Face-saving Speech Acts of Teachers: A Discourse Analysis of Classroom Interactions

Russel J. Aporbo, Judy Marie C. Barabag, Bernadette U. Catig, Christine Maybelle P. Claveria


Politeness is fundamental to social order production and social interaction precondition. However, it is inevitable to encounter impoliteness in communication that could threaten a person's self-image. Hence, this study aims to explore the face-threatening acts of teachers in terms of positive and negative faces, as well as how they exhibit face-saving acts in classroom talks. This study employed a discourse analysis approach to investigate how teachers use language to threaten or save students' face needs during classroom interactions. The researchers collected the data from the video recordings taken by researchers from the twelve (12) research subjects' classroom discussions with their students at La Filipina National High School in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. The data was analyzed using the politeness theory of Brown and Levinson (1987) and revealed that the teachers' face-threatening acts in terms of positive face are an insult, disapproval, criticism, bringing bad news, threat, non-cooperation, and unleashed negative emotions. While in terms of the negative face, they employed reminders, accepting compliments, giving offers and suggestions. The analysis also showed that teachers exhibited face-saving acts (Bald- on record, positive politeness, negative politeness, and off record) directly and indirectly by telling jokes or giving hints. These study findings contribute to our understanding of the complex nature of face-to-face communication in the classroom and provide insights into how teachers threaten or manage face needs in their interactions with students.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v14n3p413

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

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