Ahmed Qasem H. Al-Khadhmi, Mirza M. B., Abdullah Ali Al-Eryani


The present study aimed at investigating the pragmatic competence of the Yemeni Non-Native Speakers of English (YNNSs) through examining their performance in the speech act of refusals. The study followed the qualitative comparative analytic approach. For the purpose of attaining the required data for this study, forty (YNNSs) and forty American Native Speakers (ANSs) of English were involved. The questionnaire used for collecting data from the participants was a written Discourse Completion Task (DCT), which was developed by Beebe et el. (1990), employed for collecting the data related to the use of refusal strategies by the two groups of participants in English. The data collected from DCT was analyzed by using a loading scheme adapted from Beebe et al. (1990). This study revealed that the Yemeni NNSs were not pragmatically competent enough in English. In spite of the similarity between the two groups in their use of refusal strategies, the differences between them were more apparent. The total number of strategies used by the American NSs was almost double those used by the Yemeni NNSs in all refusal situations. This study recommends that instructors should design contextualized, task-based, oral activities and integrating the intercultural aspects of language into ELT textbooks. 


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