Request Strategies: A Contrastive Study Between Yemeni EFL and Malay ESL Secondary School Students in Malaysia

  •  Amr Abdullatif Yassin    
  •  Norizan Abdul Razak    


The aim of this study was to investigate the types of request strategies employed by Yemeni and Malay secondary school students in English language. It also aimed at investigating the influence of social power and social distance on the students’ choice of request strategies. The data was collected through a discourse completion test (DCT) and the analysis used both Blum-Kulk’s et al. (1989) Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realization Patterns (CCSARP), and Scollon and Scollon’s (1995) politeness system. The findings of the study showed that both groups often use non-conventionally indirect request strategies by means of query preparatory. The analysis revealed that both groups do not take into consideration the social power and the social distance between the interlocutors because they always use the same strategies with any person. The students have this sociopragmatic knowledge in their mother tongue; however, both groups are not sensitive to the social power and social distance existing between the interlocutors as they lack the sociopragmatic knowledge in the target language. Moreover, the students almost use the same strategies even though they have different cultural backgrounds, and this might be attributed to their assimilation in the school learning environment which is a positive indicator for conductive learning environment.

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