The Use of Personal Pronouns: A Comparison between Iranian and Malaysian Dyads

Seyed Yasin Yazdi-Amirkhiz, Kamariah Abu Bakar, Karim Hajhashemi


The present paper is part of a larger study which comparatively examined the collaborative discourse of two Iranian and two Malaysian dyads. The members of the dyads were all female and of the same English language proficiency. Core findings of the study on the typology and the frequency of the pronouns used by the participants in the course of eleven sessions of collaborative writing are reported. The content analysis of their pair talk for pronouns indicated that Iranian participants tended to use “I” and “you” considerably more than their Malaysian counterparts, whereas Malaysian participants were found to have a stronger tendency to use “we” more often. The findings are discussed with regard to the macro-cultural dichotomy of world cultures (collectivist/ individualist).



Pronouns, collaborative writing, culture, collectivist, individualist

Full Text:



Chen, S. J., Hsu, C., & Caropreso, E. J. (2006). Cross-cultural collaborative online learning: When the west meets the east. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 2(1), 17-35.

Donato, R. (1988). Beyond group: A psycholinguistic rationale for collective activity in second-language learning. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Delaware.

Hofstede, G. (1986). Cultural differences in teaching and learning. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10(3), 301-320.

Li, X., & Wang, H. (2004). Cultural influence and beyond: Investigating L2 writing. In K. Kaur & M. E. Vethamani (Eds.), Second language writing (pp. 93-117). Petaling Jaya: Sasbadi Sdn. Bhd.

Lynch, T. (2007). Learning from the transcripts of an oral communication task. ELT Journal, 61(4), 311-320.

Na, J., & Choi, I. (2009). Culture and first-person pronouns. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(11), 1492-1499.

Schiffrin, D. (1994). Approaches to discourse (Vol. 8): Wiley-Blackwell.

Triandis, H. C. (1993). Collectivism and individualism as cultural syndromes. Cross-Cultural Research, 27(3-4), 155.

Villamil, O. S., & Guerrero, M. (2006). Sociocultural theory: A framework for understanding the social-cognitive dimensions of peer feedback. Feedback in second language writing: Contexts and issues, 23-42.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

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

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.