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Investigating the apology strategies of Saudi learners of English

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Abstract

The present study examines the apologetic behavior of Saudi learners of English in a foreign language learning context. The study also investigates the influence of language exposure, gender, distance and dominance on the learners’ apologies. To this end, a Discourse Completion Test was completed by (1) 411 Saudi learners of English, (2) 42 native speakers of Saudi Arabic and (3) 47 native speakers of English. The groups of native speakers provided the norms of apologetic behavior in the learners’ first (L1) and second (L2) languages. The results showed the Saudi participants’ preference for face-saving strategies to both the speaker and hearer, and a positive influence for increased L2 exposure on the learners’ pragmatic competence. The variables of gender, distance and dominance also proved influential but to varying degrees. The results are interpreted in light of the existing literature and theoretical models. Pedagogical implications and research directions are proposed.
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Keywords: DCT; EFL/ESL; L2 pragmatics; Saudi Arabic; apologizing strategies; pragmatic competence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2018

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