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It is said that ―Sorry seem to be the hardest word‖. Some people do not
know how to say and what they have to do to give an apology effectively.
Especially it is the way of giving apology in English communication.
People often do not apologize because of fear. The fear completely
irrationalizes our minds blurring our thoughts as to what we actually fear.
By consciously challenging your fears and knowing exactly what you are
afraid of, you will be far more self-aware and prepare for interpersonal
communication success.
―Apology‖ is not a neutral word: it has strong personal and emotional
connotations. An apology is a speech act between two individuals, during
which there is a direct and even intimate contact between the partners,
within a distinct hierarchical relationship. The speaker who apologizes asks
to be forgiven; the other person has the authority to forgive or not. The
purpose of the act is to restore a former relational equilibrium that may var y
from strong bonds, as when apologies are exchanged between lovers, to
mere indifference, as when they are uttered when bumping into a passerby
on the street.

de_tai_a_study_on_how_to_give_an_effective_apology_in_eengli

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1
BỘ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO
TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC DÂN LẬP HẢI PHÒNG
——————————-
ISO 9001 : 2008
KHÓA LUẬN TỐT NGHIỆP
NGÀNH: NGOẠI NGỮ
HẢI PHÒNG – 2010
2
HAIPHONG PRIVATE UNIVESITY
FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT
———————————–
GRADUATION PAPER
A STUDY ON HOW TO GIVE AN EFFECTIVE
APOLOGY IN ENGLISH COMMUNICATION
By:
Nguyễn Thị Thảo
Class:
NA1001
Supervisor:
Nguyễn Thị Thúy Thu, M.A.
HAI PHONG – 2010
3
BỘ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO
TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC DÂN LẬP HẢI PHÒNG
————————————–
Nhiệm vụ đề tài tốt nghiệp
Sinh viên: ……………………………………………………Mã số:……………………….
Lớp: ………………………..Ngành:…………………………………………………………..
Tên đề tài: …………………………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………..
…………………………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………..
4
Nhiệm vụ đề tài
1. Nội dung và các yêu cầu cần giải quyết trong nhiệm vụ đề tài tốt nghiệp
( về lý luận, thực tiễn, các số liệu cần tính toán và các bản vẽ).
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
2. Các số liệu cần thiết để thiết kế, tính toán.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
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3. Địa điểm thực tập tốt nghiệp.
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..
..
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CÁN BỘ HƯỚNG DẪN ĐỀ TÀI
Người hướng dẫn thứ nhất:
Họ và tên:…………………………………………………………………………………
Học hàm, học vị:………………………………………………………………………..
Cơ quan công tác:………………………………………………………………………
Nội dung hướng dẫn:………………………………………………………………….
Người hướng dẫn thứ hai:
Họ và tên:…………………………………………………………………………………
Học hàm, học vị:………………………………………………………………………..
Cơ quan công tác:………………………………………………………………………
Nội dung hướng dẫn:………………………………………………………………….
Đề tài tốt nghiệp được giao ngày 12 tháng 04 năm 2010
Yêu cầu phải hoàn thành xong trước ngày 10 tháng 07 năm 2010
Đã nhận nhiệm vụ ĐTTN Đã giao nhiệm vụ ĐTTN
Sinh viên Người hướng dẫn
Hải Phòng, ngày tháng năm 2010
HIỆU TRƯỞNG
GS.TS.NGƯT Trần Hữu Nghị
6
PHẦN NHẬN XÉT TÓM TẮT CỦA CÁN BỘ HƯỚNG DẪN
1. Tinh thần thái độ của sinh viên trong quá trình làm đề tài tốt nghiệp:
..
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..
..
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2. Đánh giá chất lượng của khóa luận (so với nội dung yêu cầu đã đề ra trong
nhiệm vụ Đ.T. T.N trên các mặt lý luận, thực tiễn, tính toán số liệu):
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
3. Cho điểm của cán bộ hướng dẫn (ghi bằng cả số và chữ):
..
..
..
Hải Phòng, ngày .. tháng .. năm 2010
Cán bộ hướng dẫn
(họ tên và chữ ký)
7
NHẬN XÉT ĐÁNH GIÁ
CỦA NGƯỜI CHẤM PHẢN BIỆN ĐỀ TÀI TỐT NGHIỆP
1. Đánh giá chất lượng đề tài tốt nghiệp về các mặt thu thập và phân tích tài liệu,
số liệu ban đầu, giá trị lí luận và thực tiễn của đề tài.
2. Cho điểm của người chấm phản biện :
(Điểm ghi bằng số và chữ)
Ngày………. tháng……… năm 2010
Người chấm phản biện
8
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
In the process of completing this graduation paper, I have faced up with many
problems with apology strategy in English, as well as the way to express my
ideas. However, with the great help, assistance and encouragement from
teachers, family and friends; I have overcome these difficulties and completed
this graduation paper successfully.
First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Mrs. Tran Ngoc
Lien, M.A – Dean of Foreign Language Department of Hai Phong Private
University whose criticism and advices have improved my study.
Secondly, I am deeply grateful to Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thuy Thu M.A, my
supervisor who has not only given me many invaluable suggestions and
comments but also provided me with valuable materials.
In addition, I would like to thank all teachers of Foreign Language Department
of Hai Phong Private University for their precious and useful lessons during
my four-year study which have been then the foundation of this study.
Finally, my sincere thanks are delivered to my parents and friends for their
encouragement and assistance in this time.
Hai Phong, June 2010
Nguyen Thi Thao
9
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Part I. INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………… 1
1. Rationale. ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
2. Aims of the study. ………………………………………………………………………………… 1
3. Scope of the study. ………………………………………………………………………………. 2
4. Method of the study ………………………………………………………………………………. 2
5. Design of the study ……………………………………………………………………………….. 2
Part II. DEVELOPMENT ……………………………………………………………………….. 3
Chapter 1. Theoretical Background ………………………………………………………… 3
1. Communication… …………………………………………………………………………………. 3
2. Speech acts. …………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
2.1. Definition. ………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
2.2. Levels of speech acts ………………………………………………………………………….. 7
2.2.1. Locutionary act ……………………………………………………………………………….. 7
2.2.2. Illocutionary act ………………………………………………………………………………. 7
2.2.3. Perlocutionary act ……………………………………………………………………………. 8
2.3. Direct, indirect and nonliteral speech acts …………………………………………….. 8
2.4. Apology as speech acts …………………………………………………………………….. 11
3. What is an apology ……………………………………………………………………………… 12
4. Puposes of apology……………………………………………………………………………… 13
Chapter 2. Factors influence the way of giving apology………………………….. 14
1. Repetition… ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
2. Adverbs. ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 14
3. Word stress. ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 15
4. Intonation…………………………………………………………………………………………… 15
10
5. Eye contact. ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 15
6. Past apologies …………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
7. The voice …………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
Chapter 3. Ways of giving effective apology…………………………………………… 17
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
1. How to give an effective apology. ………………………………………………………… 17
1.1. Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices (IFIDs) ……………………………………. 17
1.2. Explanation or account ……………………………………………………………………… 18
1.3. Taking on responsibility ……………………………………………………………………. 18
1.4. Concern for the hearer ………………………………………………………………………. 19
1.5. Offer of repair ………………………………………………………………………………….. 19
1.6. Promise of for bearance…………………………………………………………………….. 20
1.7. Admit the impingement …………………………………………………………………….. 20
1.8. Indicate reluctance……………………………………………………………………………. 20
1.9. Beg forgiveness ……………………………………………………………………………….. 20
2. Some tips to have an effective apology …………………………………………………. 21
2.1. Seven dos ………………………………………………………………………………………… 21
2.2. Seven don’t ……………………………………………………………………………………… 22
3. Seven words you can never say in an Apology ………………………………………. 23
3.1. If ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 24
3.2. But …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 24
3.3. May ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 24
3.4. Were or Was ……………………………………………………………………………………. 24
3.5. Know ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 25
3.6. Intention………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
3.7. Want ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 25
Part III. Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………. 26
1. Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………… 26
11
2. Some effective apology strategies …………………………………………………………. 26
2.1. Strategy 1 ………………………………………………………………………………………… 26
2.2. Strategy 2 ………………………………………………………………………………………… 27
2.3. Strategy 3 ………………………………………………………………………………………… 28
References …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 29
Appendix ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 30
1
PART I. INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
It is said that ―Sorry seem to be the hardest word‖. Some people do not
know how to say and what they have to do to give an apology effectively.
Especially it is the way of giving apology in English communication.
People often do not apologize because of fear. The fear completely
irrationalizes our minds blurring our thoughts as to what we actually fear.
By consciously challenging your fears and knowing exactly what you are
afraid of, you will be far more self-aware and prepare for interpersonal
communication success.
―Apology‖ is not a neutral word: it has strong personal and emotional
connotations. An apology is a speech act between two individuals, during
which there is a direct and even intimate contact between the partners,
within a distinct hierarchical relationship. The speaker who apologizes asks
to be forgiven; the other person has the authority to forgive or not. The
purpose of the act is to restore a former relational equilibrium that may vary
from strong bonds, as when apologies are exchanged between lovers, to
mere indifference, as when they are uttered when bumping into a passerby
on the street. The hierarchical relationship may be complex. A strong
person may apologize to a weaker one to restore his or her ―integrity‖ and
preserve a higher position. The weaker person confirms the other‘s
supremacy by accepting apology.
2. Aims of the study
This study aims at:
giving speech act, communication and apology theory in general.
outlining factors influence on the way of giving apology.
suggesting some ways of giving the effective apologies.
2
3. Scope of study
Due to the time limitation and the knowledge of an un-experienced student,
this research only concentrates on outlining factors influence on the way of
giving an effective apology and some ways of giving effective apology.
4. Method of the study
To study successfully and effectively, methods used in this study are:
– Material collection from good books and reliable sources
– Consulting with supervisor.
– Contrastive analysis: analyzing factors which influence the ways of giving
an apology and apology strategies.
5. Design of the study
This study is divided into three parts:
Part I: ―Introduction‖ includes rationale, aim, scope, and design of the
study.
Part II: ―Development‖, includes three chapters:
Chapter 1: ―Theoretical background‖ provides general knowledge about
speech act, communication and apology.
Chapter 2: ―Factors influence the way of giving an effective apology‖
Chapter 3: ―Ways of giving effective apology‖ presents some apology
strategies, some tips for apology strategy.
Part III: ―Conclusion‖ summaries the main points mentioned in the
previous parts.
3
PART II. DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 1. Theoretical background
1. Communication
Communication is the process of transferring information from one
source to another. Communication is commonly defined as ―the imparting
or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing,
or signs‖ ( Communication
can be perceived as a two-way process in which there is an exchange and
progression of thoughts, feelings, or ideas towards a mutually accepted goal
or direction.
Communication is a process whereby information is incoded and
imparted by a sender to a receiver viva a channel/medium. The receiver
then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. Communication
requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. They
are auditory means, such as speaking, singing and sometimes tone of voice,
and nonverbal, physical means, such as body language, sign language,
paralanguage, touch, eye contact, by using writing.
Communication is thus a process by which we assign and convey
meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires
a vest repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing,
listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. If
you use these processes it is developmental and transfers to all areas of life:
home, school, community, work, and beyond. It is through communication
that collaboration and cooperation occur.
In general, any act by which one person gives to or receives from
another person information about that person’s needs, desires, perceptions,
knowledge, or affective states. Communication may be intentional or
unintentional, may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may
take linguistic or nonlinguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or
other modes.
4
2. Speech acts
2.1. Definition
Speech acts are a staple of every day communicative life, but only
became a topic of sustained investigation, at least in the English speaking
world, in the middle of the twentieth Century. Since that time, ―speech act
theory‖ has been influential not only within philosophy, but also in
linguistics, psychology, legal theory, artificial intelligence literary theory
and many other scholarly disciplines. Recognition of the importance of
speech acts has illuminated the ability of language to do other things than
describe reality. In the process the boundaries among the philosophy of
language, the philosophy of action, the philosophy of mind and even ethics
have become less sharp.
Making a statement may be the paradigmatic use of language, but there
are all sorts of other things we can do with words. We can make request,
ask questions, give orders, makes promises, give thanks, offer apologies,
and so on. Moreover, almost any speech act is really the performance of
several acts at once, distinguished by different aspects of the speaker‘s
intention: there is the act of saying something, what one does in saying it,
such as requesting or promising, and how one is trying to affect one‘s
audience.
In many ways of expressing themselves, “people do not only produce
utterances containing grammartical structures and words, they perform
actions via those utterances” (Yule, 1996: 47). If you work in a situation
where a boss has a great deal of power, then his utterance of expression,
“You are fired”, is more than just a statement. This utterance can be used to
perform the act of ending your employment. However, the actions
performed by utterances do not have to be as unpleasant as in the one
above. Actions can be quite pleasant, as in the acknowledgement of
thanks:“You’re welcome”, or the expression of surprise:“Who’d have
thought it?”, or in Vietnamese“ Ai mà ngờ được”.
5
Actions performed by utterances are generally called speech acts and, in
English, are commonly given more specific labels, such as apology,
complaint, compliment, invitation, promise, or request.“The number of
speech acts performed by the average individual in the course of any
ordinary day when our work and leisure bring us into contact with others
probably runs into the thousands” (Austin, 1962).
These descriptive terms for different kinds of speech acts apply to
the speaker‘s communicative intention in producing an utterance. The
speaker normally expects that his or her communicative intention will be
recognized by the hearer. Both the speaker and the hearer are helped in this
process by the circumstances surrounding the utterance. These
circumstances are called the speech event. In many ways, it is nature of the
speech event that determines the interpretation of an utterance as
performing a particular speech act. For example, in the wintry day the
speaker take a cup of coffee but it is too iced, and produce the utterance
which is likely to be interpreted as a complaint: “This coffee is really cold
!”. Changing the circumstance to a really hot summer day and the speaker,
being given a glass of iced coffee and producing the utterance, it is likely to
be interpreted as a praise. “It means that there is more to the interpretation
of speech act than can be found in the utterance alone”( Yule, 1996:48)
Here are some examples of speech acts we use everyday.
Greeting: “Hi, Eric. How are things going?”
Request: “Could you pass me the mashed pota

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