The Effect of Natural and Classroom Settings on Iranian Learners’ Pragmatic Competence: Length of Residence Versus Intervention

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of English Language Teaching, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

2 ELT Department, College of humanities, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran


The present investigation sought to comparatively explore the effect of length of residence (LOR) as well as EFL instruction on the pragmatic competence of Iranian learners. The participants were 45 EFL learners in Iran and 45 learners in Canada selected based on snowball sampling and each group was divided into three sub-groups based on the years of learning English in an EFL or a natural setting. The instrument used to collect data was a Pragmatic Test developed by Roever (2006) consisting of three subtests i.e. implicature, routines, and speech act sections, each containing 12 items. Initially, the participants in classroom settings in Iran were asked to complete the Pragmatic Test. As for the learners in the natural setting, the participants were requested to complete the test which was sent to them through social networks such as instagram, and submit it. The results of independent samples t-test and ANOVA indicated those residing in Canada were more competent in terms of pragmatic competence; however, the length of residence in Canada and also years of classroom experience did not have any significant effect on learners’ pragmatic competence. The findings of the current study have implications for material developers, syllabus designers, and EFL teachers.