A Gender-based Study of Iranian EFL Learners' Pragmatic Awareness: The Role of Receptive Skill-based Teaching

Ali Zangoei, Esmaeel Nourmohammadi, Ali Derakhshan


This study explored the effects of contextual factors, namely exposure to instruction and gender difference on Iranian EFL learners' pragmatic perception of the illocutionary act of apology.  To this end, sixty four upper-intermediate English learners (34 males & 30 females ranging in age from 17 to 27), from a language institute in a city in north-eastern Iran, voluntarily took part in the study. While investigation of the effect of explicit instruction of apology speech act, through consciousness-raising listening prompts, on EFL learners' interlanguage pragmatic competence is one of the current study's prime concerns, the participants, who were equally assigned to an experimental group and a control group, were given 14 sessions of instruction accompanied, merely within the experimental class, by consciousness-raising activities via listening prompts. Adopting a multiple choice discourse completion task (MDCT) as both the pre-test and post-test, the results confirmed the beneficial effect of listening-based teaching of apology speech act juxtaposed with consciousness-raising activities on the learners' pragmatic awareness. Besides, the context-external factor of gender yielded a significant impact on the way females and males, in the experimental group, perceived the communicative act of apology. In the light of the findings, the study provides implications for curriculum designers, materials developers, and language teachers.


Awareness-raising; interlanguage pragmatics; listening prompts; pragmatic competence; speech act

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.3n.6p.53


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