Pragmatic Assessment of Request Speech Act of Iranian EFL Learners by Non-native English Speaking Teachers

Document Type : Original Article


1 Islamic Azad University – Tehran-West Branch, Iran

2 Sharif University of Technology, Iran


The analysis of raters' comments on pragmatic assessment of L2 learners is among new and understudied concepts in second language studies. To shed light on this issue, the present investigation targeted important variables such as raters’ criteria and rating patterns by analyzing the interlanguage pragmatic assessment process of the Iranian non-native English speaking raters (NNESRs) regarding the request speech act, while considering important factors such as raters’ gender and background teaching experiences. For this purpose, 62 raters’ rating scores and comments on Iranian EFL learners’ requests based on six situations of specified video prompts were analyzed. The results of the content analysis of raters’ comments revealed nine criteria, including pragmalinguistic and socio-pragmatic components of language, which have been noted by raters differently through six request situations. Among the considered criteria, politeness, conversers’ relationship, style and register, and explanation were of great importance to NNESRs. Furthermore, t-test and chi-square analysis of raters’ assigned rating scores and mentioned criteria across different situations verified the insignificance of factors such as raters’ gender and teaching experiences on the process of EFL learners’ pragmatic assessment. In addition, the results of the study suggest the necessity of teaching L2 pragmatics in language classes and in teacher training courses.