Investigating the Realization of Apology Speech Acts and Politeness Strategies among Iranian EFL Learners of Lower-Intermediate and Advanced Levels of Proficiency

Document Type : research article


1 Department of English Language and Literature, University of Tehran,Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Foreign Languages, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran



Gaining a high level of proficiency is the ultimate aspiration of all language learners, and the use of apology and politeness strategies is consistently associated with the levels of language proficiency. Owing to the significance of speech acts, politeness strategies, and level of proficiency, this study aimed to investigate the realization of apology speech acts and politeness strategies among Iranian EFL learners to examine and compare the lower-intermediate and advanced learners’ use of apology and politeness strategies. To achieve this goal, 320 learners were selected out of 390 EFL learners who took a test of English language proficiency and were then divided into lower-intermediate and advanced levels. The findings of the study revealed significant differences between lower-intermediate and advanced Iranian EFL learners in the realization of the speech act of apology and politeness strategies. Advanced learners preferred to use more indirect and complicated forms of apology speech acts and tended to apply negative politeness and off-record strategies more than the lower-intermediate learners did. However, lower-intermediate learners preferred to use simple and more direct forms of apology and politeness strategies. It can be concluded that as learners increase their knowledge in the target language, and as their interlanguages get closer to the target language, they tend to apply more complicated and native-like speech acts and strategies


Main Subjects

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