The Evaluation of Iranian EFL Learners’ Interlanguage Pragmatic Knowledge through the Production of Speech Acts

  •  Kim Hua Tan    
  •  Atieh Farashaiyan    


This study evaluated Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ knowledge of interlanguage pragmatic learning outcomes through the production of the speech acts of apology, request, and refusal. The study drew upon the conceptualization of Austin (1962) speech act theory and Brown and Levinson (1987) politeness theory as the theoretical framework of this study. The participants of the study included 235 EFL intermediate learners. Discourse Completion Task (DCT) was used as the instrument for data collection. The results of the data from the tests on speech acts showed that learners utilized more conventional or routinized strategies to perform these speech acts. Moreover, the results revealed that there were not so much differences in the frequency, shift and type of speech acts strategies or semantic formulas utilized in the production of speech acts by Iranian EFL learners in responding to a higher, an equal, and a lower-status person. The results also were suggestive of the learners’ lack of pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic knowledge. The implication of this study is for language teachers to teach interlanguage pragmatics explicitly in EFL contexts to draw learners’ attention to both pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic features, pay more attention to these areas and allocate more time and practice to solve learners’ problems in these areas.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.