Exploring Subjectivity in Verbal Reports of Iranian EFL Learners in Institutional Discourse

Ashraf Haji Maibodi, Ali Mohammad Fazilatfar, Hamid Allami


The present study investigates Iranian EFL learners’ subjectivity in single-subject retrospective verbal reports that allow the examination of the changes in the cognitive, social and affective processes involved in L2 pragmatic production. To this end, eighteen EFL learners at three proficiency levels produced verbal reports after the administration of a written discourse completion task eliciting requests and apology in asymmetrical (status-unequal) relations in institutional discourse. Qualitative analyses of students’ responses indicate that sociocultural, socio-psychological and socio-affective aspects of the discourse situations influenced both their pragmalinguistic and sociolinguistic choices and negotiation of lexical and grammatical choices in planning the speech acts of requests and apologies. Apparently, the degree of sociocultural accommodation to the L2 pragmatic norms may be a matter of choice as of ability.



Learner subjectivity, pragmalinguistic, sociolinguistic, retrospective verbal reports, institutional discourse

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.5p.252


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