Pragmatics instruction in EFL context: A focus on requests

2016 IJRSLL – Volume 5 Issue 1


Anani Sarab, Mohammad Reza
Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, Department of English Language and Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Iran (

Alikhani, Sima*
MA Graduate, Department of English Language and Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Iran (


The present study aimed at exploring the effect of instruction on Iranian EFL learners’ development of the speech act of “request”. A Quasi-experimental method of research was adopted at the outset of the study. Learners’ recognition and production of the target speech act was measured through MC and WDCTs respectively. Results of the pre-tests were indicative of the groups’ parallel performance on the three sub-strategies of direct, conventionally indirect and non-conventionally indirect requests at both levels of awareness and production. Despite the relatively equal performance of learners at both groups in the pre-test, following the instructional phase, participants in the experimental group exhibited a significant improvement in their awareness and production of requests. This finding was apparent in the significant decrease of direct request strategies in their post-test productions; furthermore regarding the notion of “point of view operation” in requests, members of both groups in the pre-test displayed a high frequency in the utilization of “hearer-oriented requests”; however the experimental group in the post-test relied heavily on the “speaker-oriented” request strategies. With regard to internal and external modifications results evinced high proportion of these strategies in participants’ responses in the pre-test. Inappropriate application of this strategy was seen in several situations in the DCT responses of both groups. However in the post-test the experimental group displayed a modified request behavior by a significant increase in the variety and appropriate use of these strategies.

Keywords: interlanguage pragmatics; pragmatics instruction; discourse completion tasks; requests; direct strategies; conventionally indirect strategies; non-conventionally indirect strategies



*Corresponding Author