An Analysis of Iranian EFL Learners’ Dis-preferred Responses in Interactional Discourse

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Shahid CHamran University of Ahvaz

2 Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz


The present study, on the one hand, attempted to investigate the strategies applied in dispreferred responses by Iranian university students of English and the extent to which pragmatic transfer could occur.  On the other hand, the study aimed to probe into the association between dispreferred organization and turn-shape. To this end, 31 relevant naturally occurring conversations, totaling 120 min drawn from approximately 9 hr of audio-taped conversations from 40 voluntary students, were recorded from which the refusal strategies and complexity of turns were elicited. The findings suggested that a sizable number of the learners delivered responsibility to other sources using accounts and discourse markers. As for preference organization, the results showed that solidarity was the dominant aspect among the learners. Moreover, the study compared 2 measures of L2 competence: oral interaction and a discourse completion test (DCT). The results showed that the 2 methods induced somewhat different production samples from the learners in terms of frequency, type of refusal strategies, and turn shapes. These variations suggest that production through DCTs cannot depict the complexity of natural conversations in which the speakers find themselves free to control the conversation. Finally, it is important to consider cultural differences in language usage by emphasizing the significance of a curriculum that utilizes the act of refusal within its cultural contexts.


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