Investigating the Effect of L1 Pragmatic Transfer on the Acquisition of English Language by Saudi Speakers

Amal Hamdan Alhadidi


This paper investigates the effect of native language pragmatic transfer on the acquisition of English Language by Saudi adult speakers. Participants in this study were 42 Saudi speakers of English divided into two groups; beginners and advanced speakers according to their levels of proficiency. A multiple-choice questionnaire was designed to examine their pragmatic awareness of various speech acts. The findings in this study showed that beginner speaking English as Foreign Language tend to rely on their native language pragmatics due to the shortage of second language pragmatic knowledge. During Second Language Acquisition, they actively transfer knowledge of their native language to generate the missing competence of L2 acquisition. In addition, no L1 pragmatic transfer is found among the advanced group, which shows that the higher the proficiency level of English, the less L1 pragmatic transfer is found. 

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