Pragmatic Awareness of the Request Speech Act in English as an Additional Language: Monolinguals or Bilinguals?

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

Shahrekord University

Abstract

This study attempted to investigate the effect of bilingualism on pragmatic
awareness and development among Iranian Turkish/Persian EFL learners. Data were
collected through a personal profile questionnaire with questions about the
participants’ language background and a WDCT with 10 situations to determine the
extent to which the bilinguals demonstrated their pragmatic awareness of requests.
They were to read the situations and assess whether they realized the
(in)appropriateness of the speech acts. For inappropriateness, they were also asked
to explicate their selections and provide appropriate alternatives. Responses were
analyzed according to 3 social factors of power, distance, and degree of imposition
with the assumption that the more references to these factors, the more
pragmatically aware the participants. Alternatives were coded according to the
coding scheme of CCSARP. Results showed that none of the groups outperformed
the others in their perception of the (in)appropriate acts and in the realization
patterns of request acts in trilingual education. This failure may be due to their lack
of cultural awareness, literary skills, and insufficient L2/L3 pragmatic input.

Keywords