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Research Article

EEO. 2020; 19(3): 2536-2544

Forwarding a Request: An Interlanguage and Cross-cultural Study of Pashto and Saraiki Speaking ESL Learners in a Pakistani University

Muhammad Farooq Alam, Aneela Gill, Rooh Ul Amin.

This study seeks to answer the question as how learners of English language from diverse cross-cultural backgrounds accomplish the speech act of request and what dominant strategies Pashto and Saraiki ESL learners employ in the realization of such speech act(s). In addition, how learners tend to execute different strategies of in/directness in the realization of the speech acts of request. Data has been collected in an academic setting from learners belonging to different cultures and linguistic backgrounds which are the potential factors affecting their abilities during interlocution. Selected via purposive sampling, a total of fifty undergraduate ESL (having an equal number of Pashto and Saraiki speaking) learners participated in the study. A qualitative research paradigm and two data collection tools namely Written WDCTs and Oral Role Play have been used in both data collection and data elicitation from interlanguage pragmatics perspective. Grounded in Blum-Kulka and Olshtain’s (1984) analytical framework of Cross-Cultural Study of Speech Act Realization Patterns (CCSARP), the findings illustrate several instances of cross-cultural variability during the realization of requests were carried out in English. With respect to Pashto speaking ESL learners, requesters are predisposed to make use of provisions of address, hearer-oriented terminology and religious-bound expressions while Saraiki participants appear to opt for modal items, speakeroriented requests, imposition minimizers, and apologies. It was evident that Pashto ESL learners were found to be more indirect as compared to Saraiki participants who were more direct even in a higher status context. Thus, the present study offers a new avenue for EFL teachers to make learners understandable about the other aspects related to the realization of the speech acts of request.

Key words: Interlanguage Pragmatics; Cross-cultural Pragmatics; Request Strategies; ESL Learners; Pragmatic Competence

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