Document Type : Original Article


University of Bahrain, Bahrain


This study intends to investigate the role of culture in the acquisition of pragmatic competence by EFL learners. It investigated the refusal of requests and offers used by Bahraini and Indian learners of English compared to those employed by native speakers of English. It also explored the similarities and differences between refusal strategies used by Bahraini and Indian L2 learners on the one hand and native speakers of English on the other. The participants included 20 Bahraini and 20 Indian learners of English (ILE) and 12 British and American native speakers of English (NE). Two instruments were used to collect the data: a discourse completion test (DCT) and open-ended Role Plays. The data were classified using widely used refusal strategies classifications and were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The findings indicated that there were differences between the two EFL groups and the NE control group in the frequency and number of pragmatic strategies.