A study on English request emails by Korean and American office professionals.

Sanghee Park, Jihyeon Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the international exchange increases for business, people from different cultures write emails frequently using English as a common language. Even though they write emails using the same language, the way they write emails differ according to their language proficiency and cultural background. The purpose of this study is to see the difference between the request email, one of the most frequently used business email genre, written in English by native English speakers (American) and L2 English speakers (Korean). The majority research on request emails so far has been done in school contexts; and there are only very few studies done in business contexts. 30 American and 30 Korean office professionals participated in the study. The request emails collected through DCT (Discourse Completion Task) were coded using the Nvivo(Version 10). There were differences found in the use of head acts, internal modifications, external modifications, and request perspectives between American and Korean participants. The results and discussion will provide important information for our understanding of request emails and email writing education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-164
Number of pages23
JournalKorean Journal of English Language and Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Korean Society for the Study of English Language and Linguistics. All rights reserved.


  • business e-mail
  • e-mail communication
  • external modification
  • internal modification
  • request act
  • request perspectives


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