One of the things I love about video is it allows us to present language in context. We’re not limited to a classroom setting and we can venture outside and show a variety of people and different situations. We can show the relationship of the speakers and who has the power and that matters because it affects the language choices we make. So in my view, video is a wonderful medium for teaching pragmatics.
Lots of pragmatic research has been done on requests, not surprisingly, because they pose all sorts of potential for loss of face. We manage the possible social pitfalls in some interesting ways with pre-moves and indirectness, and of course anglo-Englishes have all the peculiar whimperatives structures like ‘Could you possibly…?’, and ‘Would you mind…?’
So I’ve been wanting to make some videos about requests for ages. Here’s an introductory video on the subject of directives that takes a broad sweep view of three basic ways we get people to do what we want. Hope you like it!