Expressive Speech Acts of Politeness in The Counselling Process

Tri Budiarta, Joko Nurkamto, Sumarlam Sumarlam, Dwi Purnanto


This study discusses the expressive speech acts of politeness in the counseling process. The study attempts to 1) identify the sub-types of expressive speech acts and their functions in the counseling process and (2) explain the realization of expressive speech act of politeness strategies in the counseling process. Data for the study were collected using passive participation observation and recording with closed-circuit television (CCTV). Data in this study were analyzed following the goal, heuristic method, and contextual methods. The findings of this study are associated with the stages of the counseling process. First, Building Relationships consists of sub-speech acts; Second, the Problem Identification Stage consists of sub-speech acts; Third, Facilitating Therapeutic Change consists of sub-actions speech act. Based on the findings of the study, praising is the most dominant utterance that always appears in every stage of the counseling process. It shows that the communication that happened in the counseling process is in a close, familial, warm, and comfortable atmosphere. This study demonstrates that language plays a critical role in the process of resolving human problems.


Counseling process; Expressive speech acts; Politeness strategies; Pragmatics

Full Text:



Aguert, M., Laval, V., Le Bigot, L., & Bernicot, J. (2010). Understanding expressive speech acts: The role of prosody and situational context in French-speaking 5- to 9-year-olds. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53(6), 1629–1641.

Arzuaga, B. H., Holland, E., Kulp, D., Williams, D., & Cummings, C. L. (2021). Maternal preferences for approach and language use during antenatal counseling at extreme prematurity: A pilot study. Journal of Neonatology, 35(3), 122–130.

Brammer, L. M., Abrego, P. J., & Shostrom, E. L. (1993). Therapeutic counseling and psychotherapy (6th ed.). Prentice Hall.

Carr, C. T., Schrock, D. B., & Dauterman, P. (2012). Speech acts within Facebook status messages. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 31(2), 176–196.

Carretero, M., Maíz-Arévalo, C., & Martínez, M. Á. (2014). “Hope This Helps!” An analysis of expressive speech acts in online task-oriented interaction by university students. In Yearbook of Corpus Linguistics and Pragmatics (pp. 261–289).

Carretero, M., Maíz-Arévalo, C., & Martínez, M. Á. (2015). An analysis of expressive speech acts in online task-oriented interaction by university students. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 173, 186–190.

Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. SAGE Publications, Inc.

Dănilă, A. (2018). Expressive speech acts of disapproval from the perspective of linguistic realization. In Cogito (Vol. 10, Issue 1, pp. 93–105).

de Leon, A., McCarthy Veach, P., Bro, D., & LeRoy, B. S. (2021). Spanish language concordance in genetic counseling sessions in the United States: Counselor experiences and perceptions of its effects on processes and outcomes. Journal of Genetic Counseling, jgc4.1472.

Dykstra, R. C. (2015). Finding language for what matters most: Hosting conversations about sexuality in pastoral counseling. Pastoral Psychology, 64(5), 663–680.

Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1969). Nonverbal leakage as a cue to lie detection. In Psychiatry: Journal for the Study of Interpersonal Processes (Vol. 32, Issue 1, pp. 88–106).

Erzsébet, H. N. (2012). Assessment of language use: Correct vs. incorrect in language counselling. Magyar Nyelvor, 136(4), 394–407.

Haley, M., Romero Marin, M., & Gelgand, J. C. (2015). Language anxiety and counseling self-efficacy. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 43(3), 162–172.

Kloser, K. (2013). Positive youth development through the use of poetry therapy: The contributing effects of language arts in mental health counseling with middle school-age children. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 26(4), 237–253.

Maíz-Arévalo, C. (2017). Expressive speech acts in educational e-chats. Pragmática Sociocultural / Sociocultural Pragmatics, 5(2), 151–178.

Meza, J. P., Provenzano, A., Fischetti, L. R., & LaRoche, E. (2017). Language complexity differs between doctors and patients during contraceptive counseling: A mixed-method study. Communication and Medicine, 14(1), 3–14.

Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. Sage Publications.

Rahardi, R. K. (2005). Pragmatik: kesantunan imperatif bahasa Indonesia [Pragmatics: Indonesian imperative politeness]. Jakarta: Erlangga.

Reyes, L., Aristegui, R., Krause, M., Strasser, K., Tomicic, A., Valdés, N., Altimir, C., Ramirez, I., De La Parra, G., Dagnino, P., Echávarri, O., Vilches, O., & Ben-Dov, P. (2008). Language and therapeutic change: A speech acts analysis. Psychotherapy Research, 18(3), 355–362.

Ross, A. D., Waehler, C. A., & Gray, T. N. (2013). Heterosexual persons’ perceptions regarding language use in counseling. The Counseling Psychologist, 41(6), 918–930.

Ruben, B. D., & Stewart, L. P. (2005). Communication and human behavior. Allyn & Bacon.

Sandberg, C. W., Nadermann, K., Parker, L., Kubat, A. M., & Conyers, L. M. (2021). Counseling in aphasia: Information and strategies for speech-language pathologists. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 30(6), 2337–2349.

Santosa, R. (2017). Metode penelitian kualitatif kebahasaan [Linguistic qualitative research methods]. Surakarta: UNS press.

Scheel, M. J., Davis, C. K., & Henderson, J. D. (2013). Therapist use of client strengths. The Counseling Psychologist, 41(3), 392–427.

Searle, J. R. (1969). Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge University Press.

Sekhon, J. K., Oates, J., Kneebone, I., & Rose, M. (2019). Counselling training for speech–language therapists working with people affected by post‐stroke aphasia: a systematic review. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 54(3), 321–346.

Spradley, J. P. (1979). The ethnographic researcher. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Strong, T., Ross, K. H., & Sesma-Vazquez, M. (2015). Counselling the (self?) diagnosed client: Generative and reflective conversations. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 43(5), 598–610.

Taavitsainen, I., & Jucker, A. H. (2010). Expressive speech acts and politeness in eighteenth-century English. In R. Hickey (Ed.), Eighteenth-Century English (pp. 159–181). Cambridge University Press.

Toscano-Cruz, M. de la O., González-Falcón, I., Gómez-Hurtado, I., & García Rodríguez, M. del P. (2020). Educational counseling and temporary language adaptation classrooms: A study through in-depth interviews. Sustainability, 12(24), 10433.

Yule, G. (1996). Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.


Copyright (c) 2021 Tri Budiarta, Joko Nurkamto, Sumarlam Sumarlam, Dwi Purnanto

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Langkawi: Journal of The Association for Arabic and English indexed by:

      PKP-Index   crossref sinta dimensions Sertifikat-Akreditasi-Jurnal-Langkawi-2020-1


Langkawi Journal Stats

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.