Main Article Content
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Abed, A.Q. (2011) Pragmatic transfer in Iraqi EFL learners’ refusals. International Journal of English Linguistics, 1(2), p. 166.
Aksoyalp, Y. (2009) A cross-cultural investigation of refusals by Turkish-speaking EFL learners: A case study (Doctoral dissertation, Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU).
Al-Eryani, A.A. (2007) Refusal strategies by Yemeni EFL learners. The Asian EFL Journal, 9(2), pp. 19-34.
Al-Issa, A. (2003) Sociocultural transfer in L2 speech behaviors: Evidence and motivating factors. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 27(5), pp. 581-601.
Allami, H. and Naeimi, A. (2011) A cross-linguistic study of refusals: An analysis of pragmatic competence development in Iranian EFL learners. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(1), pp. 385-406.
Al-Shalawi, H.G. (1997) Refusal strategies in Saudi and American cultures. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University. Department of Linguistics and Languages.
Asmali, M. (2013) Cross-cultural comparison of non-native speakers’ refusal strategies in English. International Journal of English Language and Translation Studies, 1(3), pp. 111-135.
Barron, A. (2007) Ah no honestly we’re okay: Learning to upgrade in a study abroad context. Intercultural Pragmatics, 4(2), pp. 129-166.
Beebe, L.M., Takahashi, T. and Uliss-Weltz, R. (1990) Pragmatic transfer in ESL refusals. Developing Communicative Competence in a Second Language. New York: Newbury House.
Brown, P. and Levinson, S.C. (1987) Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Vol. 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Çapar, M. (2014) How do Turkish EFL learners say ‘no’. International Journal of Language Academy, 2(3), pp. 262-282.
Chang, Y.F. (2009) How to say no: An analysis of cross-cultural difference and pragmatic transfer. Language Sciences, 31(4), pp. 477-493.
Chen, H.J. (1995) Pragmatic Judgment on Refusals: Its Reliability and Consistency”. Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language, Anaheim, California (ERIC Document: No. ED 391381).
Delen, B. and Tavil, Z.M. (2010) Evaluation of four course books in terms of three speech acts: Requests, refusals and complaints. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 9, pp. 692-697.
Félix-Brasdefer, J.C. (2003) Declining an invitation: A cross-cultural study of pragmatic strategies in American english and Latin American Spanish. Multilingua, 22(3), pp. 225-256.
Félix-Brasdefer, J.C. (2008) Perceptions of refusals to invitations: Exploring the minds of foreign language learners. Language Awareness, 17(3), pp. 195-211.
García, C. (1996) Teaching speech act performance: Declining an invitation. Hispania, 79, pp. 267-279.
Genc, Z.S. and Tekyildiz, O. (2009) Use of refusal strategies by Turkish EFL learners and native speakers of English in urban and rural areas. Asian EFL Journal, 11(3), pp. 299-328.
Hainess, P. (2007) The refusals strategies to a date invitation used by female Chinese students and female Javanese students in Surabaya. Unpublished thesis, English Department, Faculty of Letters, Petra Christian University, Surabaya.
Houck, N. and Gass, S.M. (2011) Interlanguage refusals: A cross-cultural study of Japanese-English. Vol. 15. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Kasper, G. (2001) Four perspectives on L2 pragmatic development. Applied Linguistics, 22(4), pp. 502-530.
Kasper, G. and Dahl, M. (1991) Research methods in interlanguage pragmatics. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 13(2), pp. 215-247.
Kasper, G. and Rose, K. (2002) The role of instruction in learning second language pragmatics. Language Learning, 52(1), pp. 237-73.
Lee, H. (2013) The influence of social situations on fluency difficulty in Korean EFL learners’ oral refusals. Journal of Pragmatics, 50(1), pp. 168-186.
Leech, G. (1983) Principles of pragmatics. London and New York: Longman.
Leech, G. (2005) Politeness: Is there an East-West divide. Journal of Foreign Languages, 6(3), pp. 3-31.
Morkus, N. (2014) Refusals in Egyptian Arabic and American English. Journal of Pragmatics, 70, pp. 86-107.
Nelson, G.L., Carson, J., Batal, M.A. and Bakary, W.E. (2002) Cross-cultural pragmatics: Strategy use in Egyptian Arabic and American english refusals. Applied Linguistics, 23(2), pp. 163-189.
Saad, N., Bidin, S.J. and Shabdin, A.A. (2018) Refusal strategies of malay speakers of english and native speakers of english. International Journal of Education, 3(10), pp. 103-116.
Sattar, H.Q.A., Lah, S.C. and Suleiman, R. (2012) Refusal strategies in English by Malay university students. GEMA Online. Journal of Language Studies, 11(3), pp. 1-13.
Stevens, P.B. (1993) The pragmatics of ‘‘No!’’: Some strategies in English and Arabic. IDEAL, 6(87), p. 110.
Tanck, S. (2002) Speech act sets of refusal and complaint: A comparison of native and non-native english speakers’ production. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 13, pp. 65-81
Thomas, J. (1983) Cross-cultural pragmatic failure. Applied Linguistics, 4, pp. 91-112.
Turnbull, W. and Saxton, K.L. (1997) Modal expressions as facework in refusals to comply with requests: I think I should say ‘no’right now. Journal of Pragmatics, 27(2), pp. 145-181.
Von Canon, A.L. (2006) Just saying ‘no’: Refusing requests in Spanishas a first and second language. Iowa City: The University of Iowa.
Wijayanto, A. (2011) Interlanguage pragmatics of refusal strategies by Javanese EFL learners (Doctoral dissertation, University of Aberdeen).