Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number3.  September 2022                                     Pp. 220 -235

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The Role of Gender on Saudi English Language Learners’ Performance of Refusals 

Badryah Alalawi
Applied Linguistics, School of English
University of Nottingham, United Kingdom


 Received: 04/10/2022                     Accepted:08/22/2022                  Published: 09/24/2022


Refusal is one of the most complicated challenges for the hearer, as a face-threatening act, which is influenced by social factors such as gender. Thus, the main purpose of the study is to investigate the role of gender on the speech acts of refusal by comparing the performance of English foreign language (EFL) learners and English second language (ESL) learners, males and females. EFL and ESL students’ data were collected using an online written Discourse Completion Task (DCT), which was modified and further classified based on Beebe, Takahashi and Uliss-Weltz’s (1990) model. A total of 32 postgraduate students participated in this study: 16 Saudi EFL students in Saudi Arabia (eight males, eight females) and 16 Saudi ESL students in the United Kingdom (eight males, eight females). The study found that gender has no significant role in performing refusals except in using indirect strategies and adjuncts by EFL males and females with different interlocutors and the number of instances used with different objects.
Keywords: English foreign language (EFL) learners, English second language (ESL) learners, Pragmatics,
the role of gender, the speech act of refusals. 

Cite as:  Alalawi, B.  (2022). The Role of Gender on Saudi English Language Learners’ Performance of Refusals . Arab World English Journal, 13 (3) 220 -235.


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Received: 04/10/2022
Accepted: 08/22/2022
Published: 09/24/2022

Badryah Alalawi is a current PhD student in Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham. She holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Nottingham, as well. She is sponsored by Taibah University in Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Cultural Bureau in London. She is interested in pragmatics, intercultural communication and health communication.