Thesis (PhD)--University of South Australia, 2007. This study investigated complimenting behaviour in Australian and Vietnamese educational settings. The study focused on how compliments are given and received in Australian English and Vietnamese with a view to practical application to the teaching of English as a foreign language in Vietnam. Three different cohorts participated in this study: native speakers of Australian English, native speakers of Vietnamese, and Vietnamese learners of English. Each cohort comprised 75 males and 75 females. Differences were found between native speakers of Australian English and Vietnamese in their choice and use of topics, syntactic structures, and positive semantic carriers in compliments. Differences were also found in their choice of response strategies, notably between accepting and rejecting compliments. Third, gender and social status were found to influence complimenting behaviour. Differences found in the Discourse Completion Task and role play data were corroborated by semi-structured interview data. The findings taken together show the cultural specificity of complimenting as a social act, influenced by values such as politeness and sincerity. Studies such as this can reveal cross-cultural gaps and confirm other research on complimenting and cross-cultural communication. Study of the third group of informants, Vietnamese learners of English, revealed the cultural dilemma they faced in approaching target language competence when complimenting in English, while trying to retain their Vietnamese cultural identity. From a pedagogic viewpoint, this study indicates that explicit instruction in, for example, complimenting behaviour could enhance cross-cultural awareness. This could be done by providing an appropriate variety of in- and- out -of class activities as a way to empower learners and develop their communicative competence.