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Language Proficiency and Appropriateness of Using the Refusal Speech Act by Iranian EFL Learners [ALRJournal]
ALRJournal. 2020; 4(1): 35-45 | DOI: 10.14744/alrj.2019.64936

Language Proficiency and Appropriateness of Using the Refusal Speech Act by Iranian EFL Learners

Soudabeh Tabatabaei
Department of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of English Language Teaching and Literature, Mysore University, Mysore, India

The present study was an attempt to investigate the effect of language proficiency on production of the refusal speech act among Iranian EFL learners. Using the Preliminary English Test, the participants were divided into high and low groups based on their proficiency scores. To examine their pragmatics competence, data were collected through an open-ended questionnaire in the form of Discourse Completion Task (DCT) consisting of 12 refusal situations. Their responses were scored by two English native teachers based on Hudson, Detmer, and Browns’ (1995) analytical rating criteria considering four aspects of appropriacy, i.e. the ability to use correct speech act, correct expressions, amount of information, and level of politeness. The findings of the statistical analysis showed language proficiency was not the influential factor in the degree of pragmatic knowledge which indicated that high EFL learners did not perform significantly better than their low counterparts in pragmatic production. These findings underscore that teaching pragmatics and cultural behaviors of the target language in language classrooms might build up pragmatic competence of language learners.

Keywords: Language proficiency, Pragmatic production, Refusal speech act, Rating criteria, Iranian EFL learners

Soudabeh Tabatabaei. Language Proficiency and Appropriateness of Using the Refusal Speech Act by Iranian EFL Learners. ALRJournal. 2020; 4(1): 35-45

Corresponding Author: Soudabeh Tabatabaei, India
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