Performance of Indonesian EFL Learners and Thai EFL Learners on Compliment Responses in English

Payung Cedar, Asep Setiadi


Cultures carry norms and expectations on how speech acts are performed. On the other hand, responding to compliments is challenging in nature for not only it involves an internal conflict, but also is subject to cultures and other factors. This study investigated how Indonesian and Thai English major students respond to English compliments and the effect of compliment topics in their CRs (Compliment Responses). The study made use of a set of DCT questionnaire distributed to 35 Indonesian and 35 Thai university students majoring in English in their first year. Employing Tran’s (2007) Continua of CRs, the findings demonstrated significant differences in the CRs between Indonesians and Thais triggered by cultural differences of the two groups of subjects and different preferences of compliment topics. In general, Indonesians were found to be more prone to deny compliments while Thais tended to accept compliments. In relation to compliment topics, Indonesians were observed to be most positive towards compliments on ability and most negative towards compliments on possession. On the other hand, Thais tended to be most positive towards possession and most negative towards appearance. In addition, the results of the study also offered methodological and pedagogical implications.



intercultural communication, compliments, compliment responses, EFL, compliment topics

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