Politeness strategies in the greetings of Spanish learners in virtual language learning environments


  • Emilia Alonso-Marks Institute for the Empirical Study of Language, Ohio University
  • Mariche Bayonas University of North Carolina Greensboro




politeness strategies, greetings, online learning, Spanish learners


The present study reveals how 34 Spanish learners from two different cultures and first-language backgrounds follow politeness norms related to greetings in the context of a collaborative cross cultural online learning (CCOL) classroom project. Using WhatsApp, students are instructed to upload a 1-minute introduction video about themselves. Then, after watching their peers’ videos, students are asked to greet and welcome international members to their teams. Data from students’ initial greetings identify a significant difference in terms of number of greetings and the type of semantic formulas used. Results support previous research in identifying a sense of cordiality and warmth within Indian society toward guests that gets replicated in the second language context. Indian students tend toward involvement, whereas the American Students tend to orient towards independence in the involvement/independence dichotomy (Félix-Brasdéfer 2006). Understanding how these politeness norms transfer would be an essential tool in facilitating intercultural exchanges and collaborations as students meet the social, global, and cultural demands of the 21st century.


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How to Cite

Alonso-Marks, E., & Bayonas, M. (2023). Politeness strategies in the greetings of Spanish learners in virtual language learning environments. Borealis – An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 12(2), 387–403. https://doi.org/10.7557/