• Marija Kusevska Goce Delcev Universaity-Stip


apologies, CEFR, IFIDs, modification, pragmatic competence, speech acts.


This paper reports on the results of a corpus study on the development of pragmatic competence in face-to-face communication of Macedonian learners of English at A1, A2, B1 and B2 level, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference Levels (CEFR). Central to developing pragmatic competence are the speech acts. In this study, we focus on the speech act of apologising. Data for analysis was drawn from the Macedonian English Learner Corpus (MELC) [1] which was compiled in 2011-2012 as a part of a joint project of three universities in the Republic of Macedonia: FON-First Private University, University Ss Cyril and Methodius-Skopje, and Coce Delcev University-Stip. In our analysis we rely on classification of the strategies for formulating apologies in [3] as well as the exponents for apologising that CEFR and the accompanying T-books (Breakthrough, Waystage, Threshold and Vantage) give for each of the levels. We discuss the Illocutionary Force Indication Devices (IFIDs) that are used for framing the speech act, the combination of strategies for apologising that learners apply as well as the linguistic and syntactic means that learners use to intensify their apologies. We also highlight some of the errors and point to their sources. Our study showed that even at B2 level students hesitate how to use the explicit IFIDs and the marker please. They are also not sure about the use the performative verb apologise and about the difference between sorry and excuse me. They use variety of lexical means to intensify their apologies. However, the use of syntactic structures is limited.


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How to Cite

Kusevska, M. (2015). Students. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR), 24(1), 67–82. Retrieved from