Gender-linked differences in graduate L2 learners’ speech acts in the university setting

2020 IJRSE – Volume 9 Issue 1

Available Online: 3 January 2020


Rahimi Domakani, Masoud
Shahrekord University, Iran (

Farhang-Ju, Maryam*
Shahrekord University, Iran (


Detailed analyses of second language (L2) learners’ requests may provide more insight into the nature of L2 in use in university setting. Such requests may include different discursive moves for different genders. This trend seems rewarding due to changes caused by the advent of feminism in discourse communities of developing countries like Iran in recent years. Despite the preponderance of cross-cultural and developmental studies that investigated L2 requests, few systematic attempts have been made to describe the distribution and nature of request discursive moves across genders in university setting. By the detailed analyses of their requests, the present study embarked on determining gender-linked differences in graduate male and female L2 learners’ requests. To this aim, 121 graduate L2 learners – 57 males and 64 females – in different Iranian State Universities, were selected based on convenient sampling to participate in this study. Request data were collected by means of a discourse completion test (DCT). Requests, then, were coded and analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Frequency and chi-square test were performed for each situation. Findings indicated the majority of male and female participants relied on negative polite strategy and speaker-hearer oriented perspectives for initiating their requests. Analyses of internal and external modifiers further indicated these modifiers were combined in the male and female participants’ requests. In conclusion, findings indicated that there were no significant differences between the male and female participants. This study has implications for L2 teachers and learners and course designers.

Keywords: external modifiers; gender; internal modifiers, negative polite strategy; requests



Cite this article:
Rahimi Domakani, M., & Farhang-Ju, M. (2020). Gender-linked differences in graduate L2 learners’ speech acts in the university setting. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 9(1), 1-14.

*Corresponding Author