Variations in Business English letters written by Spanish learners

  • María Luisa Carrió Pastor Universidad Politécnica de Valencia
  • Rut Muñiz Calderón Universidad Politécnica de Valencia
  • Rut Muñiz Calderón Universidad Politécnica de Valencia
Palabras clave: business English, letters, variations, language


Writing in a second language does not follow a fixed pattern in the different parts of the sentence or text. We can find variations in discourse due to the conceptual implications of language production. Even if we are considering genres which follow stereotyped structures, a standard pattern is not always followed. Language is dynamic and changes depending on the socio-communicative, linguistic and cognitive characteristics of its users. The objectives of this paper are, first, to show that language variation exists in business English, specifically, in stereotyped business letters. Although the rules are established in books and the same structures are repeated, students do not follow this recommended structure. The second objective is to find out if there are variations between second language students in the organisation of the text, in the use of connectors and in the communicative objectives of application letters. The third objective is to know if these variations affect communication in business English. At the end, we discuss the didactic and pragmatic implications of these results in teaching how to write an English application letter. The results of this study could be useful to educators and teachers responsible for planning business writing courses as we question the effectiveness of giving clear guidelines to students instead of focusing on a pragmatic approach. Furthermore, we show in the results in which part of an 

application letter appears language change. Finally, we consider that it is due to cultural reasons and the influence of the mother tongue, as a consequence, it should not be considered negative, as we communicate in an international language. 


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Cómo citar
Carrió Pastor, M. L., Muñiz Calderón, R., & Muñiz Calderón, R. (2015). Variations in Business English letters written by Spanish learners. Revista De Lenguas Para Fines Específicos, 16, 39-56. Recuperado a partir de