Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 3 September 2023 Pp.231-254
Unveiling the Subtle Art of Politeness: An Analysis of Jordanian Educators’ Deployment of
Linguistic Strategies in the Official WhatsApp Group
Suzan Farouq F. Hussein
English Language Department, Faculty of Languages and Communication, Universiti Sultan Zainal
Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
Radzuwan Ab Rashid
English Language Department, Faculty of Languages and Communication, Universiti Sultan Zainal
Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
Applied Science Research Centre, Applied Science Private University, Amman, Jordan
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Received: 06/06/2023 Accepted:08/17/2023 Published: 09/24/2023
The advent of the digital landscape has significantly transformed the communication practices of educators. Within this evolving context, an intriguing aspect that warrants scholarly investigation is their politeness strategies within official institutional WhatsApp groups. It aims to shed light on the complexities of educators’ interactions in the digital environment by closely examining their linguistic choices. The application of politeness expressions among teachers themselves and in their interactions with superiors proves to be a beneficial strategy for achieving effective communication. Using an ethnographic method, the careful observation of 163 messages shared by 20 teachers in the official WhatsApp groups was conducted over six months. The comprehensive politeness framework proposed by Brown and Levinson (1987) provided the foundation for the discursive analysis, complemented by the insightful perspective of Holmes and Stubbe (2015). This study unravels Jordanian English language teachers’ strategic deployment of all four politeness strategies in the official WhatsApp group. Positive politeness emerges as teachers’ predominant strategy to cultivate a sense of closeness and maintain harmonious relationships among colleagues and superiors. Interestingly, teachers display heightened awareness of their linguistic choices when addressing leaders, employing positive politeness to convey deference. In contrast, when communicating with colleagues of equal status, they often opt for a more direct and explicit “bald-on-record” approach. It is noteworthy that superiors also exhibit a discerning awareness of their linguistic choices, employing an “off-record” strategy when addressing faculty members. This study has implications for enhancing a supportive work environment for educators by providing insights into effective communication, professional relationships, and positive teaching settings.
Keywords: Discourse, linguistic strategies, English language teachers, Jordanian Educators, WhatsApp, politeness
Cite as: Hussein, S.F.F., & Rashid,R.A. (2023). Unveiling the Subtle Art of Politeness: An Analysis of Jordanian Educators’ Deployment of Linguistic Strategies in the Official WhatsApp Group. Arab World English Journal, 14 (3) 231-254.
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