Cherish How, Jariah Mohd. Jan


Previous studies indicate that foster caregivers often disregard foster children’s academic progress as they have difficulty in understanding the education system (Zetlin, Weinberg, and Shea, 2006; Watson & Kabler, 1997). This phenomenon may affect the academic performance of the foster children as studies have shown that they lack knowledgeable and reliable academic support in the foster home (Watson & Kabler, 1997). As such, the motivation for this study is to examine the caregivers’ realisation patterns of speech act of requests in addressing the academic needs of foster children so that they would be able to provide educational inspiration to these children. The narratives elicited from the semi-structured interview data are analysed based on Blum-Kulka et al.’s (1989) Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realisation Patterns (CCSARP) and Takahashi’s (1996) Preparatory Expression Model. The caregivers are found to employ indirect expression, direct and overlapping linguistic expressions when making requests. The frequent use of indirect expression serves to provide strong hints, suggestions, and mitigate the caregivers’ requests, which is clearly seen by the use of contrastive markers, conjunctions, and hedges. Further, direct expression entails wants statements, imperatives, and obligation statements to reinforce the caregivers’ request, which is evident when they employ intensifiers, idioms, and modal verbs. In voicing their concern about the academic needs of the foster children, caregivers make requests for the need of tutors, consistent and continuous financial support, and frequent motivational programmes.




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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/mjll.vol5iss2pp98-113


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