The Pragmalinguistic Competence in Requests: A Comparison between One Native and Two Non-native Spea...

Ahmad Mousa B. Altasan

American Journal of Educational Research

The Pragmalinguistic Competence in Requests: A Comparison between One Native and Two Non-native Speakers of English

Ahmad Mousa B. Altasan

ArRass College of Technology, ArRass, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Speech acts are a very important part of pragmatics in any language. There are many types of acts (e.g., request, complain, question, etc.) associated with the speaker’s utterances. Searle (1972) calls production of linguistic communication ‘a speech act’ (137). The present study examines how two Arab learners of English at two levels of proficiency modify requests compared to a native speaker. The performances by the three informants were compared in terms of internal modification (lexical and phrasal downgraders) and external modification (supportive moves) used. The data were collected by means of a Discourse Completion Test (DCT). Overall, the results revealed that although the advanced-level learner outperformed the intermediate-level learner in using lexical and syntactic mitigators, both learners underuse internal and external modifiers compared to the native speaker. This study addressed three questions that are associated with three directional hypotheses: Hypothesis 1, intermediate or advanced learners of a second language underuse internal modifiers compared to L2 native speakers. Hypothesis 2, advanced learners could vary the syntactic form of the request while the intermediate learners relied heavily on modals and the politeness marker 'please'. Hypothesis 3, second language learners have been said to display verbose pragmatic behavior by producing frequent and lengthy supportive moves (Hassel, 2001).

Cite this article:

  • Ahmad Mousa B. Altasan. The Pragmalinguistic Competence in Requests: A Comparison between One Native and Two Non-native Speakers of English. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 4, No. 4, 2016, pp 353-359. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/4/4/9
  • Altasan, Ahmad Mousa B.. "The Pragmalinguistic Competence in Requests: A Comparison between One Native and Two Non-native Speakers of English." American Journal of Educational Research 4.4 (2016): 353-359.
  • Altasan, A. M. B. (2016). The Pragmalinguistic Competence in Requests: A Comparison between One Native and Two Non-native Speakers of English. American Journal of Educational Research, 4(4), 353-359.
  • Altasan, Ahmad Mousa B.. "The Pragmalinguistic Competence in Requests: A Comparison between One Native and Two Non-native Speakers of English." American Journal of Educational Research 4, no. 4 (2016): 353-359.

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1. Introduction

The aim of most L2 learners is to communicate appropriately in a given target language and context. To communicate speech acts in L2 you need to learn not only linguistic expressions but also new cultural attitudes about the use of these expressions [12]. This means we should focus not only on the linguistic competence of L2 learners, but also on their pragmatic competence since lack of this competence my hinder communication. Pragmalinguistic competence refers to the ability to perform speech acts using a range of linguistic expressions ([12], p. 53). The speech act of requesting has been widely investigated in pragmatics research. Requests have been defined as a directive speech act in which the speaker asks the hearer to perform an action [7]. Requests are impositive face-threatening speech acts and speakers frequently tend to soften their requests by using modifiers. Therefore, knowing these modifiers would increase the speaker' use of appropriate requests in various social situation, which in turn would improve his/her pragmatic competence in the target language [2]. What is therefore examined in this study is the way two Arab learners of English (high-level and intermediate-level of proficiency) modify their requests in English and the extent to which this modification deviates from that of a native speaker. The present study focused only on requests because they contain pragmalinguistic conventions and they occur frequently among L2 learners [1], also they are identified by a range of linguistic forms like imperatives, declaratives, or interrogatives [3]. In spite of the fact that the use of request utterances in L2 has been examined in many languages, very few studies have investigated Arab learners’ performance in a foreign language. Moreover, very few studies have examined in detail how learners use modifiers on requests.

1.1. Background

As defined by The Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realisation Project (CCSARP) [5], requests consist of three parts: (a) the alerter or address term, (b) the head act, and (c) the adjunct to the head act. The head act can be performed by using three main types of realization strategies direct, conventionally indirect, and nonconventionally indirect (hint) [3]. In addition to Blum-Kulka et al.’s [3] classification of request head acts, head acts were examined according to their internal and external modifications [8]. Internal modifications include lexical and phrasal downgraders (e.g., diminutives, ‘please’, and mental verbs such as ‘think/believe’) and syntactic mitigators (e.g., conditional, interrogative, aspect markings ' I was wondering if you'). Finally, external modifications include Alerters (e.g., Excuse me, Sir) and optional supportive moves that modify the head act. Supportive moves include: reasons, preparators (e.g., I have a problem with the class, can I borrow your notes?), and disarmers (e.g., I know that you take good notes and I see that you have them with you, can I can borrow them?).

The use of internal and external modifications in the speech act of requesting have received a great deal of attention in pragmatics research [6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13], based on the Speech act theory, which was developed mainly by Austin (1962) and Searle (1969). This study will expand on previous researchers' ideas, but it will focus only on the pragmalinguistic competence in L2 requests. Sociopragmatic is beyond the scope of this study.

2. Literature Review

Blum-Kulka and Olshtain [6] investigated the requests performed by Hebrew learners of English and native speakers of English. They found that, among other things, learners underuse internal modifications and overuse external modifiers, particularly the type of grounders, compared to NSs. Using the Discourse Completion Test (DCT), similar findings were reported by House & Kasper [11]. They examined requests used by German and Danish learners of British English. Results revealed that negative pragmalinguistic transfer should be observed in that both learners use fewer syntactic downgraders and employed more supportive moves than NSs. In a role-play study, Trosborg (1995) examined the requests of three groups of Danish learners of English. In contrast to the overuse of external modifiers found in the previous two studies, Trosborg (1995) found that intermediate and advanced Danish learners of English employed significantly less supportive moves than L2 native speakers. Among the findings were higher frequencies of modifiers to main strategies (e.g., upgraders, downgraders, supportive moves) with increased proficiency.

The effect of increased proficiency found in Trosborg (ibid) also had been reported by Blum-Kulka and Levenston, [4]. They examined the syntactic structures of requests used by native Hebrew and English speakers. They discovered that differences in external modification are related to levels of proficiency. They indicated that the difference in perspective is linked to processes of lexical modification, and over-generalization of expressions. Using a written DCT, Hill [10] examined the requests used by Japanese EFL learners at three proficiency levels. He found that learners at all proficiency levels underused both internal and external modifiers. However, he indicated that with improved proficiency, frequencies of both types of modifications increased. Regarding internal modifiers, results revealed that low-level learners overuse the politeness marker 'please' when compared with high-level learners and NSs. Hassall [9] examined Australian English speakers' requests in Bahasa Indonesia as a foreign language, by using interactive role-plays. In the same vein as Hill [10], Hassall found that lower proficiency learners may opt for internal modifiers because they lack internal modifying resources. In use of external modifiers, learners use a similar number of supportive moves, particularly grounders, to the Indonesian native speakers. Moreover, Takahashi (2001) in a study of request strategies found that advanced Japanese EFL students rejected the bi-clausal “I was wondering if you could "and “Would it be possible for you to” relying heavily on mono-clausal structures such as “could you (please) VP” instead. She concluded that “the Japanese EFL learners lack the L2 pragmalinguistic knowledge that an English request can be modified to a greater extent by making it syntactically more complex” (p. 173).

In terms of longitudinal studies, Ellis [7] also investigated the English requests performed by two children. The findings revealed that they overused direct requests (imperatives) and they relied heavily on the use of 'please' as an internal modification. Over time, they were able to use a variety of lexical and phrasal downgraders. Rose [13] investigated the development of EFL and Cantonese requests. The author used a cartoon oral-production task to elicit data from three groups of primary school in Hong Kong. Results showed a distinct movement from direct to conventionally indirect strategies and a higher frequency of supportive moves in the performance of the oldest group. However, there was little evidence of situational variation, indicating that learners had more control over pragmalinguistic than sociopragmatic aspects of speech act performance.

2.1. Research Questions

This study addressed three questions which are associated with three directional hypotheses:

1. Do native speakers and non-native speakers of English use the same linguistic expressions to make request?

Hypothesis 1, learners of a second language underuse internal modifiers compared to L2 native speakers.

2. What is the difference between the linguistic expressions performed to make requests by intermediate-level and high-level learners of English?

Hypothesis 2, advanced learners could vary the syntactic form of the request while the intermediate learners relied heavily on modals and the politeness marker 'please'.

3. Do L2 learners rely heavily on supportive moves to modify their request?

Hypothesis 3, second language learners may display verbose pragmatic behavior by producing frequent and lengthy supportive moves.

3. Methodology

3.1. Participants

Two non-native speakers of English and one native speaker of English participated in this study. Arabic is the L1 of the non-native speakers of English and their levels of English proficiency are different. According to their ILETS's scores, they are an intermediate-level learner and a high-level learner. The high-level learner is a 27 years old male, a friend of mine who is studying master of TESOL in UWS. The intermediate-level learner is 24 years old female, my wife who is studying intensive English course at Alpha Omega Education and Training (AOET) – a private school in Sydney. The native speaker is a 25 years old female, a friend who stopped studying since high school and now she is working for a private company.

3.2. Instruments

This study used the Discourse Completion Test (DCT), which originally developed by Blum-Kulka (1982) and widely used as an elicitation method by many researchers (e.g., [10, 11]). This method is easy to use and help researchers to collect a large and a wide- range of data in a short time. Moreover, it helps researchers to control for specific variables of the situation, [13], and allowed for the differences in the proficiency level of the subjects to show up. The DTC, which I used in this study, is adopted and modified from Rose & Ono (1995). It contains a set of very briefly described situations to elicit requests orally or in written. In this study, I used it to elicit request orally. (See appendix A). There are twelve such situations in the DCT, which reflect everyday life of students in a Western context.

3.3. Procedure

Each participant was interviewed separately. The learners were interviewed by a native speaker of English. The interviews were recorded. Subjects were asked to respond orally to twelve DCT scenarios, which are based on two variables: social distance and social dominance. The interviewer made sure that an elicitation of a request, rather than a description of one, was produced.

The frequencies of the lexical/ phrasal modifiers were analyzed using the KWIC program. They were coded using the CCSARP coding manual [3]. They were classified into: The marker “please”; Consultative devices/Openers (e. g., “would you mind”, “do you think I could …”) ; Downtoners (e. g., “possibly”, “perhaps”); Understaters (e. g., “a bit”, “a little”); etc. As a tool for categorizing supportive moves, requests were also analyzed based on the classification adopted by the CCSARP project ([3], pp. 287-289). The coding manual is as follows: _ Preparators (e. g., to prepare the addressee for the request “I’d like to ask you something …”). _ Grounders. (e. g., to justify the request “Judith, I missed the class yesterday. Could I borrow your notes?”). _ Disarmer (e. g., to avoid a refusal “I know you don’t like lending out your notes, but could …”). _ Getting a pre-commitment (e. g., “Could you do me a favor? …”). _ Promise of reward (e. g., Could you give me a lift home? We’ll use my car tomorrow.). _ Imposition minimizer (e. g., “Would you give me a lift, but only if you’re going my way.”).

4. Results

In terms of internal modifications, the results showed that both the intermediate-level and the advanced-level learners underuse internal modifiers compared to Ns. Only 4.5% and 5.4% of their requests were modified internally (see Table 1). This findings lend support to the previous studies (e.g., [4, 6]).

Comparing the advanced learner and the intermediate-level learner results indicated that the advanced learner employed more internal modifiers (5.4%) than the intermediate-level learner (4.5%) and used a wide range of syntactic mitigators. This finding is consistent with Hill [10] and Hassall [9]. Moreover, results showed that the intermediate learner underused the openers (0.8%) and heavily relied on the use of the lexical downgrader 'please' (7.5%). The overuse of 'please' is consistent with the findings of Hill [10]. The reason behind this overuse is discussed below.

Examining the modals, one will notice that they were frequently used by the intermediate learner (9.1%). Can and could were most frequent overall, accounting for nearly 94% of responses. The different situations do not seem to have an important effect on the use of the modals.

Table 1. Internal Modification: 12 situations

With regard to external modifications, the results showed that my learners underused supportive moves. Only 2.5% of their requests were modified using supportive moves (see Table 2). This finding was in line with the study of Trosborg (1995) and in contrast with the studies of Blum-Kulka and Olshtain [6]; and House and Kasper [11]. Regarding the type of supportive move used, the grounder was most frequent overall.

Moreover, the findings revealed that the native speaker used more alerters to draw the hearer's attention than the learners (see Table 2). The native speaker also used a combination of alerters ('excuse me, sir' and 'excuse me, sis').

Table 2. External modifications: supportive moves. 12 situations

5. Discussion

The findings of this study indicate that my L2 learners are unable to perform request expressions as effectively as native speakers are. Regarding the first question, it seems very clear that my learners found it difficult to add internal modifiers to their request compared to Ns. This confirms the hypothesis that learners of a second language underuse internal modifiers compared to L2 native speakers. As for why L2 learners use so few internal modifiers, Hassal [9] argued that using lexical or syntactic modifiers in requests "is likely to increase the complexity of the pragmalinguistic structure (271)" and this needs more processing effort.

In terms of the second question, the directional hypothesis that advanced learners could vary the syntactic form of the request while the intermediate learners relied heavily on modals and the politeness marker 'please' was confirmed. In examining the results, one will notice that the advanced learner outperformed the intermediate level learner in using a wide range of syntactic downgraders. This is consistent with Hill [10] and Hassall [9]. They argued that learners with low proficiency may not be able to use various modifiers because they have not yet acquired the necessary linguistic means.

Moreover, results showed that a large percentage of the intermediate-level learner's requests were modified using 'please', which are usually found in the language of speakers at lower levels of pragmatic competence. According to Faerch and Kasper (as cited in [2], p. 8), L2 learners prefer to modify their request using the politeness marker 'please' because it has a "double function as illocutionary force indicator and transparent mitigator" and requires less pragmalinguistic competence than the use of others internal modifiers. Another reason is that only the modals (can and could) and the politeness markers 'please' were taught in Saud primary school. Therefore, my learners did not knew that syntactic modifiers such as ' Would you mind ..ing?' and 'I'd be grateful if you …' are equivalent to the modifiers 'can/could' and 'please' .

In terms of the third question, my learners did not overuse the supportive moves compared to Ns. This did not confirm the hypothesis that second language learners may display verbose pragmatic behavior by producing frequent and lengthy supportive moves. Although, this was in contrast with the finding found in the studies of Blum-Kulka and Olshtain [6]; and House and Kasper [11], it lends support to the study of Trosborg (1995).

6. Conclusion

The result of this study revealed little indication of situational variation for any of the requests uttered by my learners, which may imply the antecedence of pragmalinguistics over sociopragmatics in the development of pragmatic in a second language. However, the data show some interesting linguistic differences between the native speaker and the Arab learners of English and between the two learners.

The outcomes of this study suggest that even at advanced levels of proficiency, non-native speakers’ pragmatic performance may present deviations from that of native speakers’. Although, the high-level learner was better than the intermediate-level learner was and exhibited a wide range of pragmalinguistic competence when compared with the native speaker in making requests, there were quite differences in the pragmatics of NNs and Ns. This leads us to conclude that the linguistic competence does not guarantee a corresponding level of pragmatic competence. Pragmalinguistic competence is one of the factors that affect the degree of politeness and appropriateness found in learners' use of English. Learners may produce speech act using what he or she believes to be perfect grammar, suitable lexical items, but some native English speakers can perceive it as lacking in the appropriateness and politeness that was intended by the speaker.

5.1. Limitations

One major limitation is the amount of data which was collected by the DCT instrument. This instrument is not valid for this study because the population was only three subjects. Most of the previous researchers used the DCT to elicit requests from a large size population. I think another study with more participants should be conducted. Another boundary is that one of the subject is the researcher's wife and to avoid any potential bias, informants should not be close relatives to the author. Moreover, this study explored only the effect of L2 proficiency on L2 pragmatic. Other effects such L1 transfer should be explored.

References

[1]  Achiba, M. (2003). Learning to request in a second language: Child interlanguage pragmatics. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
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[2]  Alcón, E., P. Safont & A. Martínez-Flor (2005). “Towards a typology of modifiers for the speech act of requesting: A socio-pragmatic approach.” RæL: Revista Electrónica de Lingüística Aplicada, 4, 1-35.
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[3]  Blum-Kulka, S; House, J; and Kasper, G. (Eds).1989. Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and Apologies. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.
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[4]  Blum-Kulka, S., & Levenston, W. A. (1987). Lexico-grammatical pragmatic indicators. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 9, 155–170.
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[5]  Blum-Kulka, S., & Olshtain, E. (1984). Requests and apologies: A cross-cultural study of speech act realization patterns (CCSARP). Applied Linguistics, 5, 196-213.
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[6]  Blum-Kulka, S and Elite Olshtain (1986). Too many words: Length of utterance and pragmatic failure. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 8 (2), 165-179.
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[7]  Ellis, R. (1992). Learning to communicate in the classroom: A study of two language learners’ requests. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 14, 1-23.
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[8]  Faerch, C., & Kasper, G. (1989). Internal and external modification in interlanguage request realization. In S. Blum-Kulka, J. House, & G. Kasper (Eds.), Cross-cultural pragmatics (pp. 221-247). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
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[9]  Hassall, T. (2001). Modifying requests in a second language. International Review of Applied Linguistics (IRAL,) 39, 259-283.
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[10]  Hill, T. (1997). The development of pragmatic competence in an EFL context. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Temple University, Tokyo, Japan.
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[11]  House, Juliane and Gabriele Kasper (1987). Interlanguage pragmatics: Requesting in a foreign language. In Perspectives on Language in Performance. Festschrift for Werner Hullen on his 60th Birthday, W. Lörscher and R. Schulze (eds.), 1250-1288. Tübingen, Germany: Gunther Narr Verlag.
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[12]  Irague, J. C. (1996). Requests and Apologies: A Comparison between Native and Non-native Speakers of English. ATLANTIS XVII (1-2), 53-61.
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[13]  Rose, K. (1994). On the validity of DCTs in non-western contexts. Applied Linguistics, 15, 1-14.
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Appendices

Appendix A (The Discourse Completion Test (DCT))

1. You are going to see your friend at the Bankstown Station at noon. You are going to be late if you walk to the nearest station. If you asked your father to drive you to the station, what would you say?

2. You are studying in your room for a test that you have tomorrow, but you cannot concentrate because your younger brother is listening to loud music in the next room. If you asked him to use his headphones, what would you say?

3. You missed math class yesterday. If you asked your friend to let you copy her lecture notes, what would you say?

4. You are sitting in a large lecture hall during class. The professor's voice is so low that you cannot hear it clearly. If you asked the professor to speak a little louder, what would you say?

5. You are watching television in the living room. You want to change the channel. The remote control is next to your younger sister, who is reading a magazine. If you asked her to pass the remote, what would you say?

6. You know that your friend has a lot of books by Sidney Sheldon. If you asked her to lend you one that she thinks is good, what would you say?

7. Your friend gave you a ticket for a concert next Saturday, but unfortunately you have to work at your part-time job that day. Your senior in the club you belong to also works part-time at the same place. If you asked her to work instead of you that day, what would you say?

8. You are having a meeting about the college festival in the club room. You are thirsty. If you asked your junior to go and buy a coke from a vending machine, what would you say?

9. You and your friend are getting on the train to go home. The two of you have just decided to see a movie tomorrow. You still need to talk about when and where you should meet tomorrow, but your friend has to get off the train now. If you asked her to call you tonight, what would you say?

10. You bought a computer, but you don’t know how to use it. Your senior in your club has the same computer you bought. If you asked her to teach you how to use it, what would you say?

11. You are going to play tennis with your club members next Sunday. If you asked your junior to reserve a tennis court for you, what would you say?

12. You know that your friend has a Whitney Houston CD. If you asked her to record it for you, what would you say?

Appendix B

L = intermediate-level learner (Arabic L1 – English L2)

Y = Interviewer (English native speaker)

Number. Turn: SpeakerText Turn

1. Y: You are going to see your friend at the Bankstown Station at noon. You are going to be late if you walk to the nearest station. If you asked your father to drive you to the station, what would you say?

2. L: would you please take me to the station

3. Y: You are studying in your room for a test that you have tomorrow, but you cannot concentrate because your younger brother is listening to loud music in the next room. If you asked him to use his headphones, what would you say?

4. L: I have an exam tomorrow. Would you turn it off

5. Y: You missed math class yesterday. If you asked your friend to let you copy her lecture notes, what would you say?

6. L: could you please lend me your notes

7. Y: You are sitting in a large lecture hall during class. The professor's voice is so low that you cannot hear it clearly. If you asked the professor to speak a little louder, what would you say?

8. L: I can't hear you professor. can you speaking… speaking up, please

9. Y: You are watching television in the living room. You want to change the channel. The remote control is next to your younger sister, who is reading a magazine. If you asked her to pass the remote, what would you say?

10. L: mm..can you…can you passed remote control, please

11. Y: You know that your friend has a lot of books by Sidney Sheldon. If you asked her to lend you one that she thinks is good, what would you say?

12. L: could you please lend me Sidney Sheldon books

13. Y: Your friend gave you a ticket for a concert next Saturday, but unfortunately you have to work at your part-time job that day. Your senior in the club you belong to also works part-time at the same place. If you asked her to work instead of you that day, what would you say?

14. L: mm .. I have a ticket for .er.concert next Thursday. would you mind working instead of me that day

15. Y: You are having a meeting about the college festival in the club room. You are thirsty. If you asked your junior to go and buy a coke from a vending machine, what would you say?

16. L: bring me a coke

17. Y: You and your friend are getting on the train to go home. The two of you have just decided to see a movie tomorrow. You still need to talk about when and where you should meet tomorrow, but your friend has to get off the train now. If you asked her to call you tonight, what would you say?

18. L: could you please call me tonight

19. Y: You bought a computer, but you don’t know how to use it. Your senior in your club has the same computer you bought. If you asked her to teach you how to use it, what would you say?

20. L: mm.. can you teach me how to use a computer please

21. Y: You are going to play tennis with your club members next Sunday. If you asked your junior to reserve a tennis court for you, what would you say?

22. L: would you reserve tennis court for us .. mm..next Saturday please

23. Y: You know that your friend has a Whitney Houston CD. If you asked her to record it for you, what would you say?

24. L: can you burn Whitney CD please for me

Appendix C

L = Advanced-level learner (Arabic L1 – English L2)

Y = Interviewer (English native speaker)

Turn Number. Speaker: Text Turn

1. Y: You are going to see your friend at the Bankstown Station at noon. You are going to be late if you walk to the nearest station. If you asked your father to drive you to the station, what would you say?

2. L: Dad, I wonder if you can drive me to the station.

3. Y: You are studying in your room for a test that you have tomorrow, but you cannot concentrate because your younger brother is listening to loud music in the next room. If you asked him to use his headphones, what would you say?

4. L: I have an exam tomorrow, I think you should use your headphones.

5. Y: You missed math class yesterday. If you asked your friend to let you copy her lecture notes, what would you say?

6. L: I missed the lecture yesterday. I would be grateful if you let me copy your notes please?

7. Y: You are sitting in a large lecture hall during class. The professor's voice is so low that you cannot hear it clearly. If you asked the professor to speak a little louder, what would you say?

8. L: Excuse me, I can’t hear you. Can you speak a little louder please?

9. Y: You are watching television in the living room. You want to change the channel. The remote control is next to your younger sister, who is reading a magazine. If you asked her to pass the remote, what would you say?

10. L: can you pass the remote to me please.

11. Y: You know that your friend has a lot of books by Sidney Sheldon. If you asked her to lend you one that she thinks is good, what would you say?

12. L: Is it possible that you lend me one of your good books?

13. Y: Your friend gave you a ticket for a concert next Saturday, but unfortunately you have to work at your part-time job that day. Your senior in the club you belong to also works part-time at the same place. If you asked her to work instead of you that day, what would you say?

14. L: Can you work instead of me on Saturday, please?

15. Y: You are having a meeting about the college festival in the club room. You are thirsty. If you asked your junior to go and buy a coke from a vending machine, what would you say?

16. L: would you buy for me a coke, please?

17. Y: You and your friend are getting on the train to go home. The two of you have just decided to see a movie tomorrow. You still need to talk about when and where you should meet tomorrow, but your friend has to get off the train now. If you asked her to call you tonight, what would you say?

18. L: Call me tonight.

19. Y: You bought a computer, but you don’t know how to use it. Your senior in your club has the same computer you bought. If you asked her to teach you how to use it, what would you say?

20. L: can you teach me how to use this computer, please?

21. Y: You are going to play tennis with your club members next Sunday. If you asked your junior to reserve a tennis court for you, what would you say?

22. L: Could you please, reserve a tennis court for us next Sunday ?

23. Y: You know that your friend has a Whitney Houston CD. If you asked her to record it for you, what would you say?

24. Y: Would you please, make a copy of Whitney Houston CD for me?

Appendix D

N = English native speaker

Y = Interviewer (Arabic L1 – English L2)

Number. Turn: SpeakerTurn Text

1. Y: You are going to see your friend at the Bankstown Station at noon. You are going to be late if you walk to the nearest station. If you asked your father to drive you to the station, what would you say?

2. N: Dad. I need to meet my friend at Bankstown station at 12 and I'm not going to make it. Is that possible that you drive me to the near station?

3. Y: You are studying in your room for a test that you have tomorrow, but you cannot concentrate because your younger brother is listening to loud music in the next room. If you asked him to use his headphones, what would you say?

4. N: can you please put your head phone on as I'm studying for an exam tomorrow and I can't concentrate with the music

5. Y: You missed math class yesterday. If you asked your friend to let you copy her lecture notes, what would you say?

6. N: I missed math class yesterday. I need to copy your notes. Could I borrow them off you.

7. Y: You are sitting in a large lecture hall during class. The professor's voice is so low that you cannot hear it clearly. If you asked the professor to speak a little louder, what would you say?

8. N: excuse me sir, but I can't hear you very clearly. Could you please speak up a little bit?

9. Y: You are watching television in the living room. You want to change the channel. The remote control is next to your younger sister, who is reading a magazine. If you asked her to pass the remote, what would you say?

10. N: excuse me sis, but can you please pass me the remote that next to you.

11. Y: You know that your friend has a lot of books by Sidney Sheldon. If you asked her to lend you one that she thinks is good, what would you say?

12. N: I know you have a lot of books by Sidney Sheldon. Can you recommend the best one and lend it to me?

13. Y: Your friend gave you a ticket for a concert next Saturday, but unfortunately you have to work at your part-time job that day. Your senior in the club you belong to also works part-time at the same place. If you asked her to work instead of you that day, what would you say?

14. N: I've a ticket to a concert, but I'm working that day. Is that possible for you to cover my shift?

15. Y: You are having a meeting about the college festival in the club room. You are thirsty. If you asked your junior to go and buy a coke from a vending machine, what would you say?

16. N: can you please buy me a coke from the vending machine

17. Y: You and your friend are getting on the train to go home. The two of you have just decided to see a movie tomorrow. You still need to talk about when and where you should meet tomorrow, but your friend has to get off the train now. If you asked her to call you tonight, what would you say?

18. N: give me a call tonight when you free so we can arrange time and we able to meet tomorrow for the movie

19. Y: You bought a computer, but you don’t know how to use it. Your senior in your club has the same computer you bought. If you asked her to teach you how to use it, what would you say?

20. N: I'm sorry to ask, but I don't know how to use my computer. Can you, please teach me.

21. Y: You are going to play tennis with your club members next Sunday. If you asked your junior to reserve a tennis court for you, what would you say?

22. N: can you, please call and reserve a court for us for next Sunday

23. Y: You know that your friend has a Whitney Houston CD. If you asked her to record it for you, what would you say?

24. N: I really like that Whitney Houston CD you had. Do you mind burning me a copy

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