On the use of the address terms guys and mate in an educational context

2020-06-06T02:48:00Z (GMT) by Jean Parkinson
© 2020 Elsevier B.V. In an educational context, the use of address terms indicating familiarity is one factor that contributes to a friendly classroom environment. The current study investigates the use of the address terms mate and guys in a corpus of classroom discourse in a vocational institution in New Zealand. Findings reveal that in addition to mate employed to address one person, and guys employed to address many people, these two address terms had very different functions. Guys was used to attract students' attention, to indicate the start of, end of, or change in task, and to emphasize important content, while mate functioned largely in mitigating face threats and in affective functions, such as encouragement and praise. This study shows how the use of these address terms facilitated the tutors’ achievement of these functions, which are all central to teaching.