Request Strategy Development in Iranian Study Abroaders

Hassan Rasouli Khorshidi, Rangasawmy Subbakrishna


This longitudinal study empirically investigated the development of request strategies in Iranian study abroaders. More specifically, this study aimed at exploring if length of stay in L2 context impacts learners’ number and type of strategies. To this end, 72 students who registered in a six month study abroad program and 60 native speakers from U.S. Britain, Australia, and Canada agreed to participate in the present study. The learners in this investigation were tested at three phases. In the first phase, the study abroad (SA) group was given a Discourse Completion Task (DCT) at the beginning of the program as a pre-test. Three months later the same test was administered to the learners as post-test 1 and subsequently at the end of the program once again the test was given to the learners as post-test 2 in order to measure their achievement after three and six months sojourn. The native speakers were also asked to fill the DCT in order to compare the learners’ responses to the native speakers’. Finally, through comparing the learners’ performances in pre-test and post-tests with each other and with the native speakers’, it was found out that first, majority of learners and native speakers used conventionally indirect strategies in their request utterances, second, the number of strategies used by the students steadily increased over time from pre-test to the first and second post-test and third, the type of request strategies used by learners changed to be native like at the end of their sojourn.



interlanguage pragmatics, pragmatic competence, request strategies, speech acts, study abroad

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