Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Vol.6. No.2 June 2015                                            Pp.302 – 315

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Saudi EFL Students’ Knowledge in Pragmatics – Making Requests 

Sara M Al-Otaibi
English Language Institute, King Abdulaziz University



This paper investigates the pragmatic awareness of final-year Saudi students majoring in English; specifically, their interlanguage pragmatics knowledge when making requests. Accordingly, it addresses the following questions: a) how much knowledge do Saudi EFL students have about making appropriate requests? b) To what extent their knowledge differs from that of native English speakers? In this study, data were collected by means of a questionnaire. The findings revealed that both non-native speakers and native speakers showed similar performance in terms of the level of request directness. However, non-native speakers showed limited awareness in employing appropriate direct strategies and syntactic and lexical modifiers compared to native speakers. Finally, this paper highlights the need for further studies to address L2 pragmatics development.
Key words: Direct and indirect requests, L2 pragmatics knowledge, L2 speech acts, Requests strategies, Saudi EFL Learners

Cite as: Al-Otaibi, S. M. (2015). Saudi EFL Students’ Knowledge in Pragmatics – Making Requests.
Arab World English Journal, 8 (1).


Sara Mhezal Al-Otaibi holds masters degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of
Nottingham, England. She works at the English Language Institute of King Abdul-Aziz
University. Her research interests include second language acquisition, L2 motivation, selfregulation and learner autonomy in foreign and second language contexts.