Language and culture are bound together. In Arabic, courtesy expressions play an important role. Consequently, a learner should be aware of them in order to fully master the Arabic language. The current research studies the compliment responses in Colloquial Arabic and their use when teaching Arabic as a foreign language. The speech act of complimenting was chosen because of the important role it plays in human communication. Compliments strengthen solidarity between the speakers and are an explicit reflection of cultural values. The first part of the study was a comparative ethnographic study on compliment responses in peninsular Spanish and in Lebanese Arabic. 72 selected members of a Lebanese and a Spanish social network participated in the research. The independent variables were: origin, age and gender. In both social networks, parallel communicative situations were created. The participants were linked by kinship or friendship and paid a compliment on the same topic. Secret recordings were used in order to register these communicative interactions and create a corpus formed with natural conversations. Compliment response sequences were analysed following a taxonomy created by the researcher for the specific study of the Spanish and Lebanese corpora. In the Lebanese corpus, formulaic expressions and invocations against the 'evil eye' were used. In Arabic and Islamic societies, it is believed that a compliment could attract the 'evil eye' if it is not accompanied by expressions invoking God's protection. In the Spanish corpus, both long and detailed explanations were frequently used. In the second part of the research, a corpus of courtesy expressions in colloquial Arabic is being built. The corpus of the current research could serve for future studies in the field of Arabic dialectology and sociolinguistics as it is the first one to include all the different Arabic dialects. The researcher will study the relationship between language and culture in Arabic societies. Participants of the second part of research are female Arab University students with an advance proficiency level of English and French. The independent variable is origin. Muted videos are the instrument to collect the data for this study. Three different videos for compliments about physical appearance, belongings and skills were recorded in Beirut and Bahrain. Students are requested to recreate the dialogue between the characters in Colloquial Arabic. The compliment response sequence is collected through this instrument because it enhances the students' creative freedom. The objectives of the study are: - Building a corpus of courtesy expressions in colloquial Arabic and conducting a comparative analysis of the formulaic responses to compliments in all Arabic dialects. - Studying if courtesy expressions are included in textbooks for teaching Arabic as a foreign language and if they are currently taught in Institutions and Universities. The results of the present research have some pedagogical implications. Courtesy expressions in spoken Arabic are essential and therefore should be introduced in the language classroom through real language examples. Developing the pragmatic competence plays an important role in teaching foreign languages and it helps Arabic learners to become intercultural speakers.


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