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By tctuvan
#966472 A study on how to give an effective apology in English communication

In the process of completing this graduation paper, I have faced up with many
problems with apology strategy in English, as well as the way to express my
ideas. However, with the great help, assistance and encouragement from
teachers, family and friends; I have overcome these difficulties and completed
this graduation paper successfully.
First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Mrs. Tran Ngoc
Lien, M.A – Dean of Foreign Language Department of Hai Phong Private
University whose criticism and advices have improved my study.
Secondly, I am deeply grateful to Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thuy Thu M.A, my
supervisor who has not only given me many invaluable suggestions and
comments but also provided me with valuable materials.
In addition, I would like to thank all teachers of Foreign Language Department
of Hai Phong Private University for their precious and useful lessons during
my four-year study which have been then the foundation of this study.
Finally, my sincere thanks are delivered to my parents and friends for their
encouragement and assistance in this time.
1. Rationale
It is said that ―Sorry seem to be the hardest word‖. Some people do not
know how to say and what they have to do to give an apology effectively.
Especially it is the way of giving apology in English communication.
People often do not apologize because of fear. The fear completely
irrationalizes our minds blurring our thoughts as to what we actually fear.
By consciously challenging your fears and knowing exactly what you are
afraid of, you will be far more self-aware and prepare for interpersonal
communication success.
―Apology‖ is not a neutral word: it has strong personal and emotional
connotations. An apology is a speech act between two individuals, during
which there is a direct and even intimate contact between the partners,
within a distinct hierarchical relationship. The speaker who apologizes asks
to be forgiven; the other person has the authority to forgive or not. The
purpose of the act is to restore a former relational equilibrium that may vary
from strong bonds, as when apologies are exchanged between lovers, to
mere indifference, as when they are uttered when bumping into a passerby
on the street. The hierarchical relationship may be complex. A strong
person may apologize to a weaker one to restore his or her ―integrity‖ and
preserve a higher position. The weaker person confirms the other‘s
supremacy by accepting apology.
2. Aims of the study
This study aims at:
giving speech act, communication and apology theory in general.
outlining factors influence on the way of giving apology.
suggesting some ways of giving the effective apologies.

3. Scope of study
Due to the time limitation and the knowledge of an un-experienced student,
this research only concentrates on outlining factors influence on the way of
giving an effective apology and some ways of giving effective apology.
4. Method of the study
To study successfully and effectively, methods used in this study are:
- Material collection from good books and reliable sources
- Consulting with supervisor.
- Contrastive analysis: analyzing factors which influence the ways of giving
an apology and apology strategies.
5. Design of the study
This study is divided into three parts:
Part I: ―Introduction‖ includes rationale, aim, scope, and design of the
Part II: ―Development‖, includes three chapters:
Chapter 1: ―Theoretical background‖ provides general knowledge about
speech act, communication and apology.
Chapter 2: ―Factors influence the way of giving an effective apology‖
Chapter 3: ―Ways of giving effective apology‖ presents some apology
strategies, some tips for apology strategy.
Part III: ―Conclusion‖ summaries the main points mentioned in the
previous parts.
Chapter 1. Theoretical background
1. Communication
Communication is the process of transferring information from one
source to another. Communication is commonly defined as ―the imparting
or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing,
or signs‖ (Bấm vào đây để đăng nhập và xem link!). Communication
can be perceived as a two-way process in which there is an exchange and
progression of thoughts, feelings, or ideas towards a mutually accepted goal
or direction.
Communication is a process whereby information is incoded and
imparted by a sender to a receiver viva a channel/medium. The receiver
then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. Communication
requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. They
are auditory means, such as speaking, singing and sometimes tone of voice,
and nonverbal, physical means, such as body language, sign language,
paralanguage, touch, eye contact, by using writing.
Communication is thus a process by which we assign and convey
meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires
a vest repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing,
listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. If
you use these processes it is developmental and transfers to all areas of life:
home, school, community, work, and beyond. It is through communication
that collaboration and cooperation occur.
In general, any act by which one person gives to or receives from
another person information about that person's needs, desires, perceptions,
knowledge, or affective states. Communication may be intentional or
unintentional, may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may
take linguistic or nonlinguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or
other modes. 2. Speech acts
2.1. Definition
Speech acts are a staple of every day communicative life, but only
became a topic of sustained investigation, at least in the English speaking
world, in the middle of the twentieth Century. Since that time, ―speech act
theory‖ has been influential not only within philosophy, but also in
linguistics, psychology, legal theory, artificial intelligence literary theory
and many other scholarly disciplines. Recognition of the importance of
speech acts has illuminated the ability of language to do other things than
describe reality. In the process the boundaries among the philosophy of
language, the philosophy of action, the philosophy of mind and even ethics
have become less sharp.
Making a statement may be the paradigmatic use of language, but there
are all sorts of other things we can do with words. We can make request,
ask questions, give orders, makes promises, give thanks, offer apologies,
and so on. Moreover, almost any speech act is really the performance of
several acts at once, distinguished by different aspects of the speaker‘s
intention: there is the act of saying something, what one does in saying it,
such as requesting or promising, and how one is trying to affect one‘s
In many ways of expressing themselves, “people do not only produce
utterances containing grammartical structures and words, they perform
actions via those utterances” (Yule, 1996: 47). If you work in a situation
where a boss has a great deal of power, then his utterance of expression,
“You are fired”, is more than just a statement. This utterance can be used to
perform the act of ending your employment. However, the actions
performed by utterances do not have to be as unpleasant as in the one
above. Actions can be quite pleasant, as in the acknowledgement of
thanks:“You’re welcome”, or the expression of surprise:“Who’d have
thought it?”, or in Vietnamese“ Ai mà ngờ được”.

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