Volume 16, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


Fifty-nine Japanese college students of English at two different proficiency levels were evaluated for their ability to produce a speech act of request in a spoken role play task. Learners’ production was analyzed quantitatively by rating performance on a six-point scale for overall appropriateness, as well as qualitatively by identifying the directness levels of the linguistic expressions used to produce requests. Results revealed a significant L2 proficiency influence on overall appropriateness, but only a marginal difference in the types of linguistic expressions used between the two proficiency groups. Moreover, grammatical and discourse control encoded in the rating scale seemed to have affected the quality of speech acts.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. ACTFL
    (1986) ACTFL proficiency guidelines. In H. Byrnes & M. Canale (eds.), Defining and developing proficiency: Guidelines, implementations, and Concepts. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bachman, L
    (1990) Fundamental considerations in Language Testing. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bachman, L. , and A. Palmer
    (1996) Language Testing in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bardovi-Harlig, K
    (1999) Exploring the interlanguage of interlanguage pragmatics: A research agenda for acquisitional pragmatics. Language Learning49: 677-713. doi: 10.1111/0023‑8333.00105
    https://doi.org/10.1111/0023-8333.00105 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bardovi-Harlig, K. , and B. Hartford
    (1991) Saying "No": Native and nonnative rejections in English. In L.F. Bouton , & Y. Kachru (eds.), Pragmatics and Language Learning (vol.2). University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Division of English as an International Language, pp. 41-57.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. (1993a) Learning the rules of academic talk: A longitudinal study of pragmatic change. Studies in Second Language Acquisition15: 279-304. doi: 10.1017/S0272263100012122
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100012122 [Google Scholar]
  7. (1993b) Refining the DCT: Comparing open questionnaires and dialogue completion tasks. In L.F. Bouton & Y. Kachru (eds.), Pragmatics and Language Learning (vol.4). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Division of English as an International Language, pp. 143-165.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Blum-Kulka, S. , J. House , and G. Kasper
    (1989) Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and apologies. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Brown, J.D
    (2001) Pragmatics tests: Different purposes, different tests. In K. Rose & G. Kasper (eds.), Pragmatics and language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 301-326. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139524797.020
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524797.020 [Google Scholar]
  10. Brown, P. , and S. Levinson
    (1978) Universals in language usage: Politeness phenomena. In E.N. Goody (ed.), Questions and politeness: Strategies in social interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 256-289.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Canale, M. , and M. Swain
    (1980) Theoretical aspects of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics1: 1-47. doi: 10.1093/applin/1.1.1
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/1.1.1 [Google Scholar]
  12. Cohen, A
    (1994) Assessing language ability in the classroom. Rowley, MS: Newbury House.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Cohen, A. , and E. Olshtain
    (1993) The production of speech acts by ESL learners. TESOL Quarterly27: 33-56. doi: 10.2307/3586950
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3586950 [Google Scholar]
  14. DuFon, M.A
    (2001) Triangulation in qualitative SLA research on interlanguage pragmatics. In S. Bonch- Bruevich , W. Crawford , J. Hellermann , C. Higgins , & H. Nguyen (eds.), The past, present, and future of second language research: Selected proceedings of the 2000 second language research forum. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press, pp. 251-270.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Eisenstein, M. , and J. Bodman
    (1993) Expressing gratitude in American English. In G. Kasper & S. Blum-Kulka (eds.), Interlanguage pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 43-57.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Felix-Brasdefer, J.C
    (2003) Declining an invitation: A cross-cultural study of pragmatic strategies in American English and Latin American Spanish. Multilingua22: 225-255. doi: 10.1515/mult.2003.012
    https://doi.org/10.1515/mult.2003.012 [Google Scholar]
  17. Gass, S.M. , and N. Houck
    (1999) Interlanguage refusals. Berllin: de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110809879
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/9783110809879 [Google Scholar]
  18. Hartford, B.S , and K. Bardovi-Harlig
    (1992) Experimental and observational data in the study of interlanguage pragmatics. In L.F. Bouton (ed.), Pragmatics and language learning (vol.3). University of Illlinois, Urbana-Champaign: Division of English as an International Language, pp. 33-52.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Hill, T
    (1997) The development of pragmatic competence in an EFL context. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Tokyo: Temple University-Japan.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Hoffman-Hicks, S
    (1992) Linguistic and pragmatic competence: Their relationship in the overall competence of the language learner. In L.F. Bouton & Y. Kachru (eds.), Pragmatics and language learning monograph series vol.3. Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois, pp. 66-80.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Hudson, T. , E. Detmer , and J.D. Brown
    (1995) Developing prototypic measures of cross-cultural pragmatics(Technical Report No.7). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Second Language Teaching & Curriculum Center.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. John, J
    (1992) The Ontario test of ESL oral interaction test. System20: 305-316. doi: 10.1016/0346‑251X(92)90042‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0346-251X(92)90042-2 [Google Scholar]
  23. Kasper, G. , and E. Kellerman
    (1997) Communication strategies. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Maeshiba, N. , G. Kasper , and S. Ross
    (1996) Transfer and proficiency in interlanguage apologizing. In S. Gass & J. Neu (eds.), Speech acts across cultures. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 155-187.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. North, B
    (1995) The development of a common framework scale of descriptors of language proficiency based on a theory of measurement. System23: 445-465. doi: 10.1016/0346‑251X(95)00032‑F
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0346-251X(95)00032-F [Google Scholar]
  26. (2000) The development of a common framework scale of language proficiency. New York: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Psathas, G
    (1994) Conversation analysis: The study of talk-in-interaction. London: Sage Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Roever, C
    (2005) Testing ESL pragmatics. Frankfurt: Gunter Narr.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Rose, K.R
    (2000) An exploratory cross-sectional study of interlanguage pragmatic development. Studies in Second Language Acquisition22: 27-67. doi: 10.1017/S0272263100001029
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100001029 [Google Scholar]
  30. Sasaki, M
    (1998) Investigating EFL students' production of speech acts: A comparison of production questionnaires and role plays. Journal of Pragmatics30: 457-484. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(98)00013‑7
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(98)00013-7 [Google Scholar]
  31. Takahashi, S
    (1996) Pragmatic transferability. Studies in Second Language Acquisition18: 189-223. doi: 10.1017/S0272263100014881
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100014881 [Google Scholar]
  32. Thomas, J
    (1995) Meaning in interaction: An introduction to pragmatics. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Trosborg, A
    (1995) Interlanguage pragmatics: Requests, complaints, and apologies. New York: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110885286
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/9783110885286 [Google Scholar]
  34. Wesche, M.B
    (1987) Second language performance testing: The Ontario test of ESL as an example. Language Testing4: 28-47. doi: 10.1177/026553228700400103
    https://doi.org/10.1177/026553228700400103 [Google Scholar]
  35. Yamashita, S
    (1996) Six measures of JSL pragmatics(Technical Report No. 14). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Second Language Teaching & Curriculum Center.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Appropriateness of speech act production; L2 pragmatic competence
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error