Learner-centered comparison study between American native speakers and Saudi English language learners in forming English requests and refusals in academic setting

Alqarawi, Nahlah, author
Delahunty, Gerald, advisor
Becker, Anthony, committee member
Abdel-Ghany, Salah, committee member
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Native speakers of a language may not consider cultural differences when performing speech acts which can lead to misunderstandings between people from different cultures. Therefore, this study investigates differences between Saudi Arabic learners of English and American English speakers in how requests and refusals are realized. Specifically, the goal of this research is to look at different factors that go into forming a request or a refusal such as formality, social status, and scale of directness. Using a Discourse Completion Task, this study examined the significant differences between American Native Speakers (n=15) and Saudi Native Speakers (n=15) to explore the frequency of request and refusal strategies. Overall, findings in the study resulted in statistically significant differences in participant's requests. It was also found that ANSs used significantly more requests than did SNSs. Additionally, ANSs used way more sub-strategies than did SNSs. For refusals however, no statistically significant difference was found. There was a wider use of refusal strategies by SNSs; ANSs used certain refusal strategies more extensively. Some implications for the findings include identifying authentic requests and refusals selected from an American academic spoken corpus or by role plays with hypothetical request and refusal situations.
2018 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights Access
English as a second language
speech acts
English as a second language
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