Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number3.  September 2022                                 Pp.106 -129

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The Effect of the Length of L2 Education and L2 Exposure on Apologies Produced by
Saudi Females

Israa Qari
English Language Institute
King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Received: 05/26/2022                     Accepted: 08/18/2022                Published:09/24/2022


This study investigates the effect of the length of language education and Language exposure on English apologies as produced by female Saudi learners. Second language research studies stress that learning a second language from a younger age often results in a higher level of language proficiency. Nevertheless, factors such as language exposure outside of the classroom setting can have a significant effect on the learners’ fluency and competence. This paper investigates the relationship between these two concepts, focusing on the speech act of apology. The current study will attempt to answer the following research question: In terms of L2 apologies, which factor seems to help the learners achieve better and more accurate results: longer periods of formal EFL classroom education or longer periods of EFL exposure outside of the classroom? In this research, forty-eight Saudi female participants responded to an online questionnaire which was the main data collection method in this study, along with interviews. The respondents were divided into four groups: group one was introduced to English at age three; group two learned English at age six; group three learned English at age twelve, and group four started learning English at the university level. It seems fitting to suggest that the respective four groups systematically represent the following linguistic proficiency levels (advanced, upper-intermediate, lower-intermediate, and beginner). The results concluded that there was a positive correlation between the years of language education and the application of apologies, in that the earlier a participant started learning English as a second language, the more appropriate her apologies were linguistically and pragmatically. However, a few exceptional cases were found where group one used apologies at the beginner level. Alternatively, group four displayed advanced competencies in employing apologies, despite their shorter years of formal English classroom education.
Keywords: Apology, Saudi females,  second language education,  second language exposure, speech acts

Cite as:  Qari, I. (2022). The Effect of the Length of L2 Education and L2 Exposure on Apologies Produced by Saudi Females. Arab World English Journal, 13 (3) 106 -129.


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Received: 05/26/2022   
Accepted: 08/18/2022
Published: 09/24/2022  

Israa Qari is an assistant professor who teaches in the English Language Institute at King AbdulAziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She obtained her master’s and doctorate degrees from the UK (2008 and 2017 respectively) Her research interests include: cross-cultural comparative politeness research, intercultural pragmatics, Arabic politeness, politeness and gender, interlanguage pragmatics and error analysis.