Speech Acts in Films

Xuehua Xiang
Publication Type: 
Online (Website)

Speech Acts in Films is a site where students of Mandarin Chinese learn to examine, understand, and practice social language through the medium of film. The primary audience of the materials are low-advanced and advanced learners who completed approximately two years of language instruction. The materials have been developed for blended-learning environments, but can also be used for self-study, or as supplemental materials in traditional instructional settings.

Speech acts are typically considered to be utterances with a performative function in a communicative situation. Which means a person utters something in order to do something or in order to have an effect on somebody. Common speech acts include asking, apologizing, explaining, discussing, greeting, ordering, persuading and many more. Proficiency in another language includes knowledge of speech acts.
In the materials on this site, we developed exercises, activities, explanations and worksheet for learners to practice speech acts through the content of four rich and entertaining Chinese films. Among other objectives, students will learn how to:
  • write a film synopsis
  • write a depiction in poetic style
  • compare and contrast
  • talk about differences and change-of-states
  • greet casually
  • request help and respond to requests for help
  • apologize and receive apology
  • persuade someone