Request Modifications as Produced by Moroccan EFL Learners and American Native Speakers of English
Keywords:Moroccan EFL learners, American native speakers of English, syntactic downgraders, internal modifiers, external modifiers
This cross-cultural comparative study aimed to investigate the production of request modifications by American native speakers of English (ANSE) and Moroccan EFL learners (MEFLLs). With this aim in mind, the researcher employed two research instruments, namely a discourse completion test and a semi-structured interview. The former was the main research instrument, whereas the letter was mainly employed to explore the motives behind the participants’ use of certain modification strategies. Furthermore, sixty seven informants participated in the current study. Thirty MEFLLs and thirty ANSE responded to the ten given situations, while four MEFLLs and three ANSE were interviewed. This study adopted Blum-Kulka et al.’s (1989) coding scheme. The findings revealed that ANSE preferred syntactic downgraders, whereas MEFLLs selected lexical/phrasal downgraders. With regards to external modifiers, the two groups significantly differed in their use of mitigating supportive moves. That is, MEFLLs preferred combination and preparators, while ANSE favoured combination and grounders. The two groups used few aggravating supportive moves, and they did not display any significant differences in their use of external modifiers. However, they were used by ANSE more than MEFLLs. This paper ends with some suggestions to textbook designers and EFL teachers.
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