Exploring Pragmatic Transfer in Iraqi EFL Learners' Complement Responses

Ahmed Rawdhan, Salman, Saman Ebadi
2015 Journal of Applied Linguistics   unpublished
Intercultural miscommunication is often caused when learners fall back on their L1 norms for interaction in terms of the structure of conversation a well as the use of pragmatic devices. Hence, language learners must acquire not only the correct forms of the target language, but also the knowledge of how language is pragmatically used in the target culture. This study investigated pragmatic transfer in Iraqi Arabic learners of English responding to compliments. To this end, a Discourse
more » ... n Test (DTC) was adapted and designed to elicit the Compliment Responses (CRs) from 100 undergraduate students (50 males and 50 females), majoring in general English from University of Babylon, Iraq. The collected CRs were then divided into Herbert's (1986) taxonomy. The results of the study suggested that the Iraqi learners of English transferred some of the conventionalized expressions of Iraqi Islamic culture to their CRs expressed in English. Based on the findings, suggestions concerning the instruction of speech actsof compliment and CR performance were made for the instructors of English to help learners enhance their knowledge or competence of appropriate use of CRs in the target language. Some suggestions were also considered for further research.