The Effect of Status on Refusal Strategies Used by American Native Speakers of English and Iranian EFL University Students

Amir Nikmehr, Fateme Jahedi

Abstract


Nowadays, the notion of pragmatics is gaining more and more prominence among language learners. Communicating merely for the sake of communication is necessary but not sufficient. In order to truly communicate, issues such as the appropriateness of speech acts and face saving become crucial. Therefore, it stands to reason to achieve a high level of pragmatic competence in speech acts. Bearing this in mind, this study opted to find out the different refusal strategies Iranian EFL students and Native American speakers employ when faced with requests from lower, equal, and higher social status interlocutors. To this end, a questionnaire was given to twenty Iranian (i.e. ten males and ten females) advanced EFL university students and twenty Native Americans via email.  The results revealed that unlike American Native speakers, Iranian EFL learners have a tendency to use direct strategies of refusals more often which may be attributed to both their lack of pragmatic knowledge and interlingual transfer from their native language.

 


Keywords


Pragmatic competence, speech acts, refusal strategies, requests, social status, interlingual transfer

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.3n.5p.91

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