Socio-pragmatic Deficiency in E.Requests

Shurooq Abboodi Ali

Abstract

The speech act of request is face-threatening by nature and an inappropriate request can cause offence to the hearer, particularly when s/he has higher authority (Economidou-Kogetsidis, 2011). E-mail is frequently used to facilitate communication between student and professor in Iraq. Iraqi EFL (English as a foreign language) learners face pragmatic difficulty in making proper requests to individuals of higher authority via e-mail. Some studies have been conducted on Arab EFL learners to uncover the pragmatic behaviour of these learners in real-life requests using elicited data. This research fills a gap in Inter-language Pragmatics (ILP) literature in that it investigates the use of academic request in three diverse imposition levels (low, medium, and high) by Iraqi EFL learners when they communicate with their professors via e-mail. This study uses authentic data consists of 200 e-mails related to academic requests sent by Iraqi EFL learners to their professors. Besides, the study uses the CCSARP (cross-cultural speech act realisation project) originally proposed by Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper (1989) and modified later by Biesenbach-Lucas (2007). Qualitative and quantitative analyses are used to analyse the data. The findings reveal that Iraqi EFL learners primarily use direct strategy in all types of request impositions by e-mail. These learners have socio-pragmatic deficiency in high imposition requests; that is, they are mainly direct with their professors in requests call for conventional indirectness to be acceptable pragmatically.

Keywords

Academic request, authentic data, directness level, EFL context, e-mail corpus, imposition level, socio-pragmatics, student-professor interaction

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