The Effect of Explicit Instruction of Compliment Responses Strategies on Intermediate Iranian Foreign Language Learners’ Ability to Respond to Compliments

Aramreza Sadeghi, Masomeh Foutooh


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of explicit instruction of compliment responses strategies on intermediate Iranian EFL learners’ ability to respond to compliments appropriately. It also touched on the relationship between explicit instruction and Vygotsy’s Zone of Proximal Development. More specifically, the study aimed at exploring the linguistic and pragmatic strategies used by Iranian EFL learners when responding to compliments before and after receiving explicit instruction of compliment responses strategies. Furthermore, the research project investigated the social and cultural norms and values that can affect the formulation of compliment responses strategies. A quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest design was conducted with two groups (experimental and control group) with the total number of 30 English female students at Oil Company Language Institute. The experimental group was exposed to metapragmatic information featuring explicit teaching on compliment responses strategies based on Herbert’s taxonomy, followed by communicative practice. The study based its argument on a data elicited by means of an English version of Discourse Completion Test(DCT).The data, collected from a DCT, were categorized according to the compliment responses strategies in light of Herbert’s taxonomy (1989). The data were analyzed focusing on two super categories, Agreement and Non-agreement strategies. The results were examined through a Chi-Square by comparing the experimental and control group’s use of compliment responses strategies before and after treatment. The results of the data analysis revealed that explicit instruction had an impressively positive effect on raising students’ pragmalinguistic awareness as well as their hindrance of L1 pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic transfer to L2(second language).

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