Tu/Vous absence in English: teaching compensatory politeness strategies for EFL-ESL learners with various backgrounds
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The current MA thesis discusses the importance of teaching intercultural communicative competence in language classrooms with a special emphasis on address pronouns and the lack of tu/vous distinction in the English language. One of its main focuses is the compensatory politeness strategies for EFL and ESL learners with various backgrounds. The topic is important because English is used widely between people from different language backgrounds; thus, miscommunication can easily occur. There are four main target groups who would benefit from the current paper: Estonian students of French and vice versa; the French studying English and vice versa; and Estonians studying English whose first or dominant foreign language is something other than English, as well as Estonians and French communicating in English as a lingua franca. This thesis takes into consideration a number of theoretical and empirical studies on address pronouns, politeness theories, ICC and English as lingua franca. Additionally, fieldwork was carried out in France for the current study during two different time periods. The research done in the current thesis on address pronouns in French contributes to previous research done by other authors on the same topic regarding address pronouns in Estonian and Russian. The paper is divided into five main topics: Intercultural Communicative Competence vs. Intercultural Competence; Teaching Language and ICC; Politeness; The Usage of ‘tu/vous’ Among People from Different Cultural Backgrounds; and Dealing with the ‘Rigidity’ of Address Pronouns in English. All of these topics also include sub-topics.