Strategic Criticism in Second Language Class

Wanchuan YU, Xian ZHANG


Criticism is one of the important speech acts in class. Some teachers' criticism may threaten students’ face and lower their self-confidence and motivation in L2 learning. “Green Criticism”, which is indirect and friendly, is suggested to establish a harmonious relationship between teachers and students as well as improving teaching efficiency. It can be presented in two forms: verbal criticism and non-verbal criticism: As to verbal criticism, appropriate words like appropriate person deixis, hedges and positive words should be carefully selected to protect students’ self-esteem. Besides, empathetic mood such as passive voice, subjunctive, rising tone and stroking can be utilized to lessen face-threatening acts. Other pragmatic skills including application of request and humor as well as violation of CP are also effective in solving problems occurring in class. As for non-verbal criticism, keeping silent, using eye contact, walking around, changing facial expression and employing gestures are techniques to solve problems in class effectively. Different problems occurring in an English class of 7th grade in a training school in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province of China are used as examples to illustrate the strategies of criticism.

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International Journal of English Language Education    E-mail:    Copyright © Macrothink Institute    ISSN 2325-0887

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