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Face: an example

When can everyday interaction become face-threatening? In this video, participants watch a scenario in which face is threatened in a classroom.

This short animation provides an example of a scenario where face is threatened.

Here, the way in which the teacher gives feedback to the student could be interpreted as a threat to face.

The teacher provides feedback very directly, without any softeners. The potential of face threat to the student arises from the fact that the feedback puts into question the student’s competence.

Subsequently, the teacher addresses the second student with the words ‘My friend’. This form of address blurs the role boundaries between teacher and student, which entails a potential of threat to face to the student as their role and identity in the encounter has not been acknowledged.

How do you feel about this teacher and their actions? In the comments, explain what prompts your thoughts and feelings.

How can the content of week 2 of this course (contextualisation cues, etc.) explain any differences between your interpretation and that of other learners?

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Communicating with Diverse Audiences

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