Study of Iranian English language teachers’ familiarity with language functions in request, apology, refusal, and greeting

2015 IJRSLL – Volume 4 Issue 1


Valipour, Sanaz*
Azad University of Maragheh, Iran (

Jadidi, Saleh
Peyamnour University of Ajabshir, Iran (


One of the major aims in the modern teaching of foreign language is to enable the learners to communicate appropriately in target language. Pragmatic competence is a need for everyone to communicate appropriately. Speech acts are one of the most important elements of pragmatic competence. In this respect, the main aim of this study was to investigate Iranian English language teachers’ familiarity with language functions in four of basic and important face threatening speech acts: Request, Refusal, apology, Greeting. The participants involved 30 English language teachers that comprised of 15 males and 15 females. A Written Discourse Completion Test (DCT) and multiple choice discourse completion questionnaires (MDCT) were used to generate participant’s data. Selection of situations in WDCT was based on three social factors of relative power, social distance, and gender. The emerging data was analyzed mainly based on Blum-Kulka et al.’s Cross-cultural Speech Act Realization Project (CCSARP) and by using descriptive statistics. The data analysis revealed that the participants had enough knowledge about speech act and politeness strategies. In requesting, they mainly relied on indirect strategies; similarly, in refusing, they had a tendency towards using indirect strategies more than direct ones; in apologizing they acted more directly and in greeting they used verbal behaviors and hello expression more than hi expression and non-verbal behavior in formal situations. Based on Brown & Levinson’s politeness theory, Iranian EFL Teachers in this study mainly resorted to negative politeness strategies.

Keywords: politeness strategy; communicative competence; request; refusal; apology; greeting



*Corresponding Author