Pragmalinguistic and Sociopragmatic Recognition of High and Low Level EFL Learners

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of English Language, Faculty of Language and Literature, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of English Language, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran

3 Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University,Tehran, Iran

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of English as foreign language (EFL) proficiency on what the authors of this study called pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic recognition of EFL learners. To elicit the data, the study used two types of pragmatic measures: a pragmalinguistic recognition (PLR) test and a sociopragmatic recognition (SPR) test. Both tests were developed by the researchers of this study based on the distinction made by Leech (1983) between pragmalinguistics and sociopragmatics. Subsequent to the development of the tests, 80 Iranian EFL students were divided into two groups based on their EFL proficiency level: the low level group (n = 41) and the high level group (n = 39). Each participant group was tested on the two pragmatic measures. Pearson correlation results indicated construct differences between PLR and SPR of speech acts. Moreover, independent samples t-test results revealed that there were developmental differences in pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic recognition of speech acts by EFL learners. The findings offer insights to EFL teachers and testers regarding pragmatic instruction and assessment.

Keywords