Document Type : Original Article


Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia


Interlanguage pragmatic studies predominantly focus on teaching and learning English as a second or foreign language. However, there is a substantial research gap in understanding the interlanguage characteristics of those learning English as a second language, particularly within the Saudi context. To bridge this critical gap, this paper undertakes a comprehensive examination of the interlanguage pragmatic competence exhibited by a cohort of 51 High Achievers (HAs) juxtaposed with 48 Low Achievers (LAs). A Discourse Completion Test (DCT) and the Scale-Response Questionnaire (SRQ) were administered to elicit request utterances. The paper concludes that HAs tended to use a wide range of linguistic forms in using mitigated request expressions significantly compared to LAs’ performance. Regarding the influence of contextual variables, HAs showed more awareness of both social power and distance compared to LAs. In conclusion, there is a robust connection between language proficiency and the pragmatic competence of request acts among Saudi learners.