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Behavioral Cultures in CFL Beginner Textbooks: Using Adjecency Pairs of Greetings and Compliments as References
CFL beginner textbooks
Hammerly (1982) described culture in three categories or divisions: achievement culture, informational culture, and behavioral culture. Yu (2010) noted that behavioral culture weighs the heaviest at an average of 83.3% among the CFL Beginner textbooks. This shows that behavioral culture is an important component in teaching Chinese as a foreign language at the beginner level. However, there has been relatively little research conducted on behavioral culture in CFL beginner textbooks. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate Chinese behavioral culture in CFL textbooks and to address the similarities and differences among various materials. Six leading beginning-level Chinese language textbooks were used in this study, and adjacency pairs of greetings and compliments were taken as references. The present study identifies three types of greetings: declarative forms, address forms, and situational form. In addition, the greetings will be discussed in two categories according to their simplex or complex form. The results of this study show that simplex and complex forms accounted for 37.8% and 62.2% respectively of greeting forms in CFL beginner textbooks. On the other hand, we discover that some complex greetings didn’t reflect Chinese social interaction norms in the research, since they use both of the declarative greetings “Nihao”, which suggests alienation, and the use of nicknames and kin names, which suggest a sense of familiarity, at the same time. The usage in the textbooks would probably pose a negative effect on the CFL learning. As for the compliment research, the present study sorts the compliments in the materials into four types: appearance, performance, character, and possessions. The research shows that 85% of the compliments are on the topic of performance in the 6 CFL textbooks, whereas most of the textbooks include no compliment on the topic of appearance. Yet, that is the most frequent topic tended to use by the Chinese native speakers. The study also discusses the function of compliments and the compliment responses. The findings demonstrate that both the materials published in Mainland China and in France tend to make use of “rejection” strategies, while only the materials published in Taiwan and in the U.S introduced the “acceptance” strategies, which Chinese native speakers tend to adopt nowadays. Additionally, based upon the results of this research, some suggestions are given for language teaching and material compiling, as well for the reference of material design and research in the future.
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