Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 7 July 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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Polite Request Strategies as Produced by
Yemeni EFL Learners

Yahya Mohammed Ali Al-Marrani, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Azimah Binti Sazalie, Ph.D.


This is a socio-pragmatic investigation into polite request strategies made by Yemeni learners of English as a foreign language. For this study, 196 Yemeni learners of English were asked to respond in English to six different situations in which they carried out the speech act of request. The data was collected using a Discourse Completion Test (DCT). The data was analyzed according to the models proposed by Blum-Kulka, et al (1989).

Blum-Kulka, et al's (1989) analytical framework classified request into three levels of directness: direct strategies, conventionally indirect strategies, and non-conventionally indirect strategies. Five strategies are considered direct (mood derivable, performative, obligation statement, want statement), two strategies are considered conventionally indirect (query preparatory, suggestory formulae), and two strategies are non-conventionally indirect strategies (strong hints and mild hints).

Results indicate that the Yemeni EFL students prefer to use conventionally indirect strategies more than other strategies when the social distance, social power and ranking of imposition are very high between the requester and requestee. On the other hand, they would choose to use direct strategies when the speaker and hearer have equal status and when the speaker has a higher status than the hearer to show solidarity between them.

Key words: Request, Politeness, Request Strategies, direct, indirectness


In recent years, linguistic studies have shown a shift of emphasis in second and foreign language teaching and learning theories from a grammatical or structural approach to a communicative or pragmatics studies (Widdowson, 1987; Canale, and Swain, 1980) as cited in (Al-Zumor,2003).

One of the important approaches in pragmatics is the application of the notion of speech acts. The basic notion of speech act theory is that language performs communicative acts. This theory was developed by Austin (1962) who proposed that speech is a unit of speaking, used to perform different functions in communication and .certain actions can only be carried out using language.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

EAT Expressions in Manipuri | Learning from Movies - 'Slumdog Millionaire' and Language Awareness | Maternal Interaction and Verbal Input in Normal and Hearing Impaired Children | Role of L2 Motivation and the Performance of Intermediate Students in the English (L2) Exams in Pakistan | Problems in Ph.D. English Degree Programme in Pakistan - The Issue of Quality Assurance | Using Technology in the English Language Classroom | Teaching Literature through Language - Some Considerations | e-Learning of Japanese Pictography - Some Perspectives | Is It a Language Worth Researching? Ethnographic Challenges in the Study of Pahari Language | Using a Reading Material for Interactive Reading | Importance of Task-Based Teaching in Second Language Acquisition - A Review | Skill Enhancement Techniques - The Necessary Tools for the Indian Management Students | African American Literature and Ishmael Reed's Novels - Hoodism | Instances of Code Switching in Indian Television Serials | The Role of Compounding in Technical English Prescribed for Engineering Students in Tamilnadu | Polite Request Strategies as Produced by Yemeni EFL Learners | Manju Kapoor's Difficult Daughters - A Saga of Feminist Autonomy and Separate Identity | Reflections on Partition Literature - A Comparative Analysis of Ice Candy Man and Train to Pakistan | Mother Tongue! The Neglected Resource for English Language Teaching And Learning | Breaking the Good Mother Myths - A Study of the Novels of Amy Tan | Effect of Teachers' Academic Qualification on Students' L2 Performance at the Secondary Level | What Is Most Important? Fluency or Accuracy? Is Learning a Second Language a Conscious Process? | Let Us Learn from Our Standard 1 Textbook, Again! - A Brief Note on the New Standard 1 Tamil Textbook in Tamilnadu | Eugene O' Neill's The Hairy Ape - An American Expressionistic Play | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JULY 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of July 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Yahya Mohammed Ali Al-Marrani, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
English Department, Sana'a University, Yemen, and
Department of English Language Studies
Universiti Sains Malaysia
Pinang, Malaysia

Azimah Binti Sazalie, Ph.D.
Department of English Language Studies
Universiti Sains Malaysia
Pinang, Malaysia

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