Pragmatic Transfer in Moroccan EFL Learnersâ€™ Requests
Keywords:Pragmatic Transfer, EFL Learners, Requestive Strategies, Pragmatic Competence.
Chomskyâ€™s generative paradigm has invaded and informed linguistic research and hence all linguistic subfields. The field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) has not been exempted from this ostensible invasion. Yet, research conducted within this new paradigm has focused only on exploring and teaching formal grammatical forms; other components of linguistic competence, namely Pragmatics, have been pushed to the edges. More recently (Kasper & Blum-Kulka, 1993; Kasper, 1992; Ishihara & Cohen, 2010 among others), however, a growing interest in the effects of culture and native language on the development of the learnersâ€™ L2 has brought into focus the fact that for non-native speakers/ L2 learners to achieve a fully-fledged competence in the target language, they have, of necessity, to consider the sociocultural and pragmatic aspects of the target language. For this reason, the present paper is couched within the area of Interlanguage Pragmatics (ILP), the aim being to address the issue of the role of pragmatic competence in SLA in general and, more particularly, in a Moroccan EFL context. Conducted within the framework of the Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realization Project (CCSARP), this study, then, purports to investigate the issue of pragmatic transfer from L1 into the Interlanguage of Moroccan learners of English, particularly when these learners make requests in English. The two main hypotheses that the present paper attempts to defend are: (i) there is pragmatic transfer in the English requests produced by Moroccan learners of English, both from a Pragmalinguistic and Sociopragmatic perspective; (ii) L2 pragmatic competence acquisition is still wanting among Moroccan advanced students. The participants involved in this study are Moroccan university learners of English (second year and third year) and native speakers of English. Under this light, this study seeks to compare the average frequencies of direct and indirect strategies used by both native Moroccan English as a foreign language learners and native English speakers. Finally, this study will further attempt to explore whether transfer decreases as the study level increases. The paper concludes with some pedagogical implications.
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