The Influence of L2 English Acquisition of the Request Speech Act on Persian Preschool Children

Firooz Sadighi, Shahrzad Chahardahcherik, Maryam Delfariyan, Fariba Feyzbar


In Iran the age of learning English as a foreign language is decreasing yearly. It is obvious that learning English at a very early age is a most appropriate time to start. The investigation in this study is focused on the speech act of request. Instructional effects of learning request strategies are assessed in preschoolers who received instruction to find out whether the exposure to the foreign language learning enhances the development of request strategy use and brings about changes in their first language strategy use features. The data were collected from 10 preschool Iranian learners of English as a foreign language. The participants of the study took a two-semester speaking course in an academic setting in Iran. The study had a pretest and posttest design in which 10 conversations were used including polite request strategies of English to analyze instructional effects on the learners’ first language after the posttest, by comparing and measuring the backward transfer against the pretest results. The oral task was in the form of role plays which were also utilized for communicative practice with the learners. The data were rated for the extent of a foreign language effect on the first language by experienced tutors and linguistic analyses were done to identify the foreign language components of request strategies features in the first language production. Results showed that frequent use of English request strategy features in the first language was an indication of L2 students’ beneficial experience in their L1.


Pragmatic Competence، L2 Learning, Preschoolers, Back Transfern, Speech Acts

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