Bilingual/Bicultural Jordanian-Australians’ Perception and Practice of Compliments

confirmation of candidature

Malek Abu-Rabie, PhD Candidate, Behavioural, Cognitive & Social Science, UNE

10am Wednesday 31 August 2016

Education Seminar Room 104, Building E07, UNE


This study will investigate the perception and practice of compliments amongst male bilingual/bicultural Jordanian-Australians. It will focus on how compliments are given and received in social, educational and professional settings. The study will also investigate how languages, cultures, and associated meta-discourse practices, which exist in intercultural individuals, influence their perception and practice of compliments. Furthermore, the study will explore Jordanian-Australians’ choice and use of compliment topics, syntactic structures, and positive semantic carriers in compliments, as well as their choice of compliment response strategies in order to understand their intercultural attitudes, knowledge, skills of interpreting and relating, skills of discovery and interaction, and critical cultural awareness.

The study attempts to reveal the promises that an intercultural approach holds for a better understanding of the pragmatics of complimenting among intercultural individuals. The study also hopes to shed some insights into how a focus on individual speakers (as opposed to groups or speech communities), and their experience and life stories helps us come to terms with the pragmatics of complimenting in immigrant contexts. Finally, it is hoped that the findings will help us gain knowledge from the complimenting practices of bicultural/bilingual individuals, and how this knowledge can contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of linguistic usages in immigrant contexts.


Mr Malek Abu-Rabie is a linguist, ESL Teacher, Translator, Vocational Trainer and Rehabilitation Counsellor. Most recently, he has been working as a Rehabilitation Counsellor where he is assisting bilingual/bicultural individuals who are experiencing injury, disability, a health condition or social disadvantage to participate in training, education, and employment or to live independently and access community services.