S. Kogotkova, S. Burickova, A. Litvinov

Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Today, business communication is obviously one of the crucial spheres of social life. It facilitates international cooperation and can be viewed as a relevant research issue. New economic realities define the primary need for the development of future professionals’ communicative competence.

This study considers interview as a genre of modern English business discourse explicitly demonstrating the linguo-pragmatic characteristics of business communication. Communicative goals of business interaction define the communicative strategy determining both formal and informative arrangement of the message. These processes, in turn, can most distinctly be defined within the scope of functional pragmatics.

The study thus aims to investigate the methodology that can be deployed to develop communicative competence of business students within the framework of functional-pragmatic approach to discourse training.

The scope of the paper narrows down to the analysis of interrogative sentences and tag questions in particular as a productive means of information retrieval in business interviews. As a component of the category of interrogation, tag questions organise verbal interaction, stimulate communication, and thus present a relative research issue in terms of communicative competence training.

A recent trend registered in various languages has shown a convergence of the conversational and the official styles expressed in the simplification of grammar forms and the use of dialogical clichés as well as in the use of certain words and expressions typical of the oral conversational style. That is why such common and stereotyped conversational expressions as tag questions have become popular in modern business English.

People’s natural commitment to achieve communicative success defines their behaviour, as well as their choice of verbal means. As a big part of this process, interrogative sentences fulfill various essential functions, such as checking assumptions, requesting partner’s agreement, confirming ideas, expressing doubt or opinion. Some secondary functions include initiating and maintaining conversation, making a polite request, asking for information, as well as expressing different emotions. Considering such a wide range of possible communicative applications, adequate handling of interrogative sentences should be considered an integral component of business students’ communicative competence and an important methodological issue.