A Cross-Sectional Study of Refusal Speech Act Used by Iraqi Undergraduate Students of English in Relation to the Academic Level

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Hutheifa Y. Turki
Juma’a Q. Hussein
Ahmed A. Al-Kubaisy


This paper is conducted to investigate how Iraqi EFL learners refuse different speech acts across different proficiency levels. It aims to examine the most appropriate strategies used by 2nd year students of English as compared to those of 4th year when refusing their interlocutors' invitation, suggestion, and offer. WDCT questionnaire was used to collect data from 40 Iraqi undergraduate students of English: 20 2nd year and 20 4th year. Adopting Beebe et al.'s (1990) theory of refusal, data collected was analyzed quantitatively using statistical analysis. The findings revealed that the 2nd year students of English were more frequent in using direct refusals than their 4th year counterparts. This means the latter were more aware of using refusals politely than the former. On the other hand, the findings showed that 4th year students more frequent in their use of indirect refusal strategies that the 2nd year students. This indicates that the EFL learners of low proficiency level might not bridge the gap between the pragmalinguistic strategies and the grammatical form of the target language. This means that they were not pragmatically competent of the use of the appropriate pragmalinguistic strategies. This implies that the 2nd year students need to pay more attention to pragmatics and use their refusal strategies appropriately. Thus, the paper recommends conducting further research on the use of refusal speech act in Arabic and English.


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How to Cite
Turki, H. Y., Hussein, J. Q. and Al-Kubaisy, A. A. (2020) “A Cross-Sectional Study of Refusal Speech Act Used by Iraqi Undergraduate Students: of English in Relation to the Academic Level”, Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(1), pp. 166-173. doi: 10.14500/kujhss.v3n1y2020.pp166-173.
Author Biographies

Hutheifa Y. Turki, Department of English, College of Education for Humanities, University of Anbar, Al-Anbar, Iraq

Hutheifa, is a Ph.D. holder in English language studies (sociopragmatics) obtained from the faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia (UPM) in 2019. He holds a MA  in English language and Linguistics, from University of Mustansiria in 2006. He has worked as a lecturer at University of Anbar since 2006 up to now. His research interests are pragmatics, semantics, sociolinguistics and discourse analysis.

Juma’a Q. Hussein, Department of English, College of Education for Humanities, University of Anbar, Al-Anbar, Iraq

 Juma'a, is an Asst. prof. at the Department of English, College of Education for Humanities, University of Anbar, where he pursued his B.A. degree (English Language and Literature) in 1993. He subsequently pursued his Masters of Arts in English language and linguistics at Al-Mustansiriya University in 2005. He was awarded his Ph.D. in cognitive semantics and pragmatics from the faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in 2019. His area of expertise and interest include Semantics and Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, Genre Analysis, CDA, and Applied linguistics.

Ahmed A. Al-Kubaisy, Department of English Language, Faculty of Modern Language and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia

Ahmed, is a Ph.D. holder in English Language Studies obtained from the faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). His master degree (master of Arts in English Language Studies) was obtained from the National University of Malaysia, in 2013. During his Ph.D. journey, he worked as an English teacher in some international schools in Malaysia. His research interests are in Applied Linguistics, English Language Studies, and EFL/ESL Writing.




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