spaceCenter for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

Summary: Requests

In this unit you have learned the ins and outs of how to request in Spanish. Just as a refresher, here is a summary of the basic points we have covered.

  • Requests typically require action on the part of the hearer that benefits the speaker. Often speakers use minimizing strategies (e.g., explanations, precursors) in order to minimize the imposition a request may have.
  • Numerous strategies are used in Spanish for requesting. These include the use of conventionally indirect strategies, hearer-oriented strategies, imperatives (commands) and present indicative verbs (i.e., more direct requests in cases where there is little social distance), negation, and the use of the diminutive, among others.
  • Social factors play a large role in strategy choice for requesting. Degree of social distance & rank of imposition are the social factors that most affect requests.
  • Language variety is an important component when learning how to request appropriately in Spanish. For example, we examined variation in Northern Andean Spanish, Peninsular Spanish & Uruguayan Spanish, and California Spanish. Learning to perceive these differences can be very important.
  • CLICK HERE to see the resources used to create this module.

Reflect on this module and complete the activities that follow.

List two things you have learned about requests in Spanish that you will apply to your use of the Spanish language.

List one question you would still like answered about requests in Spanish or something you are unclear about from this module.

Which of the learning and performance strategies do you think would be most helpful for you for making requests in Spanish? Why? (CLICK HERE to review the strategies)


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