A Meta-Analytic Study of Instructed Second Language Pragmatics: A Case of the Speech Act of Request

Document Type : Research Article


Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran



Research on the effectiveness of request instruction in L2 pragmatics has been extensive, yet inconclusive. The present meta-analysis aims not only to provide a quantitative and reliable measure of the effects of instruction for the speech act of request in Iran, but also to illustrate a description of the relationship between some variables that moderate its effectiveness (age, gender, proficiency level, treatment type, research design, and data collection procedure). To do so, a total of 37 studies were retrieved and by establishing a set of different inclusion/exclusion criteria, 17 primary studies were coded and analyzed. Results revealed that (1) there is an overall large effect size on the effectiveness of the instruction of request (g = 1.48) in an Iranian context; (2) some variables were found to be a moderator for this effectiveness like gender and treatment type; (3) considering gender, the male group produced a larger effect size (g = 3.09) than the female one (g = 1.10); (4) and regarding treatment types, the explicit group yielded a larger effect size (g = 1.53) than the implicit one (g = 1.20). A thorough interpretation of the results, as well as a discussion of practical, theoretical, and methodological implications of this study, is provided to tackle a number of conundrums surrounding the instruction of request and shed light on how to reorient future research.