Politeness and Indirect Request Speech Acts: Gender-Oriented Listening Comprehension in Asian EFL Context

Mozhgan Harooni, Natasha Pourdana


The aim of this study was to examine the notions of politeness and indirectness in EFL listening comprehension and whether they are gender-bound in Middle Eastern context of language learning. To this end, 40 language learners of both genders were sampled and assigned into two male and female experimental and two male and female control groups in this study. Performance data were collected with Written Discourse Completion Test (WDCT) including sixteen situational scenarios to dismiss the initial differences among the participants listening comprehension for indirect request speech acts.  After conducting the treatment on indirect/polite request speech acts to the experimental group, all participants performed on a test of pragmatics to assess their improvement on listening comprehension for indirect/polite speech acts. The first assumption in this study was the absence of meaningful differences between male and female EFL learner's listening comprehension of indirect/polite request speech acts which was statistically rejected in favor of the female participants' outperformance. Secondly, it was assumed no differences in the fluency of internal and external modifiers comprehension by male and female EFL learners which similarly was rejected as a result of female EFL learners' outperformance on the post-test of pragmatics. Some pedagogical implications were provided as the concluding remarks in this study.


Speech Act, Indirectness, Politeness, Gender, EFL, Pragmatics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.2p.214


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