The Speech Act of Apology for Saudi EFL Students

Rehan Almegren


This research will find out the nonverbal communication tools used by the students with Arabic background which they use while talking in English to their counter parts. The research will use the techniques designed by Cohen, Olshtain & Rosenstein (1986) commonly known as Discourse Completion Test (DCT) and the Apology Introspection Questionnaire (AIQ), which was first introduced by Ismail (1998). The research was conducted on various techniques used by the students to apologize when they were alone or when they were in groups. The aim of this research was to investigate the effectiveness of English teaching techniques used by the student whose mother tongue was Arabic. This research was particularly focused to find out the apology technique learned by such students. There are issues in speech acts (Blum-Kulka & Olshtain, 1984; Cohen, et al., 1986) which are an integral part of the culture and these cultural aspects ultimately result in misleading differences in the way student convey their thoughts and apologies in English. The language skills were tested along with discourse completion test (DCT) and the apology introspection questionnaire (AIQ), this was accompanied by the type of misconduct, relationship of two parties and the way apology was offered. The findings in this respect revealed that the direct apology was effectively used in Arabic and English languages. However, there were some situations where indirect apologies were found effective in both languages as well as a mix of direct and indirect apologies was also used. The study proved that grammar, syntax, and spelling were not the only tools to articulate an apology.


English, Arabic, Pragmatics, Speech Acts, Apology, EFL, Saudi

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