Gender based variation in employing suggestion strategies by Iraqi EFL learners

Sharqawi, Mushtaq Abdulrazzaq (2021) Gender based variation in employing suggestion strategies by Iraqi EFL learners. Doctoral thesis, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia.


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As the speech act of suggestion pragmatically conveys the intention behind its utterance rather than its mere structure, suggestions are crucial to EFL learners to master to communicate their ideas. Since the inception of the speech act theory, scholars have reported incomplete or impolite use of different speech acts, including suggestions from different regional contexts. These ill-mannered suggestions were due to the EFL learners' modest knowledge of the suggestion structures, directness principles, or potential politeness. However, attempts to deal with suggestions from their three linguistic levels in terms of gender remained scant. The study, thus, was set to determine (i) gender variation in suggestion strategies in terms of structure, directness, and politeness, (ii) the common suggestion formula employed by the EFL learners, (iii) the directness of suggestions by the learners, and finally (iv) the learners’ consideration to politeness. The study randomly sampled 52 male and 52 female fourth-year students from the English Language Department at the University of Qadisiyah. Written Discourse Completion Task and Multiple-choice Discourse Completion Task were used to collect data. The data were analysed using the SPSS software in addition to MS Excel 2016. The findings revealed that the female achieved higher scores than the male. As for structure, it was found that the female varied from the male at some strategies and it was evident that the EFL learners used the formula ‘I suggest…’ more frequently than other formulas. As for the directness, it was uncovered that the male was more direct than the female. However, the learners tended towards conventionalized indirect suggestions. In terms of politeness, no statistical variations exhibited between the male and female in terms of who is more polite. As a whole, the majority of the learners’ suggestions tended to be polite. The study provides a novel insight about the learners’ current state of pragmatic knowledge, and by exploring suggestions using two piloted instruments makes the study a reliable measure of the learners’ suggestion-specific pragmatic competence. This descriptive study is projected to be a comprehensive approach contributing to the Iraqi EFL context by dealing with suggestions from two detailed perspectives: (i) gender variations and (ii) EFL learners’ performance. Being descriptive, the study acts as an informative statement to the learners, gender interested personnel, syllabus designers, and teachers who are suggested to rethink the teachability of suggestion strategies in the secondary schools and higher institutes. For better performance, as the study recommends, EFL learners need to be exposed to oral suggestion-in-context means to help identify their verbal knowledge of suggestions at the structure, directness and politeness level.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Depositing User: Miss Afiqah Faiqah Mohd Hafiz
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2021 08:41
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2021 08:41

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