An investigation of post-teaching conferences: politeness in receiving criticism
This study examined the discourse of student teachers in post-teaching conferences. More specifically, the study sought to analyze the politeness strategies Turkish student teachers of English language utilized while responding to criticisms addressed to one specific student teacher or the whole group by their supervisor. Given that receiving criticism is a face threatening act, it is of vital importance to examine how student teachers behave in such situations while addressing to a more-powerful person, their supervisor. The naturally occurring data for this study come from 145 minutes-long post-teaching conference sessions. The researcher analyzed the data through Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies (1987). The results revealed that student teachers accepted nearly all of the criticism the supervisor delivered. Student teachers mostly resorted to positive politeness strategies to create a sense of solidarity within their groups. They also employed negative politeness strategies to dissociate themselves from the criticized act. Consequently, the findings suggest that Turkish student teachers do not have specific preferences for positive or negative politeness strategies in the case of responding to criticism. They utilized similar strategies in both responding to criticisms addressed to one specific student teacher and to the whole group.
Keywords: Politeness strategies, post-teaching conferences, receiving criticism