Written requests in emails sent by adult Chinese learners of english

Cynthia F K LEE*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The paper reports the results of a naturalistic enquiry into written request strategies in emails sent by Chinese learners of English to their teachers. A corpus of 600 emails was collected in the course of an academic year. CCARP (Cross-Cultural Speech-Act Realisation Project) segmentation and coding was used to analyse the requests contained in the messages. Results confirm some findings of research on request strategies in the Chinese language. First, the learners used direct requests when communicating with their teachers. Second, they used linguistic politeness devices that conform to the traditional teacher–student hierarchical relationship in Chinese culture. However, they tended to use requestive hints frequently. The implications of the findings for research on cross-cultural written communication are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-72
Number of pages15
JournalLanguage, Culture and Curriculum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese learners of english
  • Email requests


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