Analysis of stance in the writing of non-native speaker university students in business communication

Neda Akbari

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study draws on the Appraisal framework and on the concept of text orientation to investigate the linguistic resources Russian/Ukrainian-speaking undergraduate students use to project their stance when writing business letters in their foreign language (English). It also investigates whether there is a difference between high-grade (HG) and low-grade (LG) students with respect to the type and frequency of linguistic resources they use to project stance. The findings reveal that, in general, to express their stance, these students make a more frequent use of impersonal subjects, you and we pronouns, Judgement+, Appreciation+, [T-Affect]+, [T-Affect]-, and [T-Judgement]+ than of any other resources. The resources they use assist them in building good will in their interpersonal communication with the audience. The study also reveals that in Letter 1 (a letter containing negative information), HG students use I and [T-Judgement]- less frequently but rely on Appreciation+ more frequently than the LG group. In Letter 2 (a persuasive letter), HG students use impersonal subjects, you pronouns, [TAffect]+, Judgement+, [T-Judgement]+, and Appreciation+ more frequently but [T-Affect]- less frequently than LG students. These findings suggest that in writing business letters, LG students take an unnecessarily direct and subjective stance that portrays a negative image of the writer and the situation, while HG students appraise the situation more objectively and more positively. The findings are further discussed in light of the students' level of English language proficiency and their understanding of writing in particular disciplines and genres.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMetadiscourse in Written Genres
Subtitle of host publicationUncovering Textual and Interactional Aspects of Texts
EditorsCiler Hatipogolu, Erdem Akbas, Yasemin Bayyurt
Place of PublicationFrankfurt, Germany
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783631720608
ISBN (Print)9783631720622
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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