Investigating the Difficulties Faced by EFL Learners in Using Speech Act of Permission
Volume 4, Issue 12, Pages 339-365
AbstractThis study is concerned with revealing some aspects of Iraqi EFL learners' use of the speech act of permission. The study aims at (1) investigating the ability of Iraqi EFL learners to distinguish between the speech act of permission and other related speech acts, particularly speech acts of (requesting, offering and suggestion) when these are expressed by similar linguistic devices in a number of situations, (2) investigating the most common strategies adopted by Iraqi EFL learners for issuing the speech act of permission in certain situation.
These two objectives can be carried out through the following hypotheses:
1. Iraqi EFL learners recognize explicit permissive utterances better than implicit one.
2. Iraqi EFL learners misinterpret permission with relevant speech acts such as: requesting, offering and suggestion at both levels of recognition and production.
To achieve the objectives of the study and verify the hypotheses, the researcher conducted a test in which 45 Iraqi EFL college students at the fourth year stage, Department of English, College of Education for Human Sciences, University of Karbala 20013/2014. The analysis of the data confirms the hypotheses of the study and yields the following:
1. The learners' success in identifying the intended speech act depends to large extent on the degree of the explicitness of the performative expression used.
2. Iraqi EFL learners misinterpret the speech act of permission and have a difficulty to recognize it from other speech acts as requesting, offering and suggestion at the recognition level.
3. The learners tend to use explicit utterances that grant permission better than implicit ones
The contextual factors have no significant influence on the learners' choice of strategies at the production level.
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