“I think maybe I want to lend the notes from you”
This study examines the development of request modification strategies in eight graduate students from Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan in a British university. The study employed open role plays (Kasper 2008) to collect interlanguage data on three occasions over eight months. The role plays comprised two sociocontextually varied (status unequal, status equal) situations and sought to investigate (i) the patterns of request strategy development in relation to internal and external modification and (ii) the effect of situational variation on the selection of modification strategies. Qualitative data in the form of retrospective interviews informed on learners’ states of pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic knowledge in pragmatic development. Comparison with baseline data indicated convergence to, and divergence from native speaker patterns of request modification over time.