Document Type : Original Article


1 Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

2 Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Saudi Arabia


This study addresses the gap in research on the interlanguage pragmatic knowledge of Saudi English learners across two proficiency levels. Recognizing the lack of understanding of interlanguage characteristics within the Saudi context, the research conducts a comprehensive examination of interlanguage pragmatic competence in High Achievers students (HAs) and Low Achievers students (LAs). Using a Discourse Completion Task (DCT) that incorporates essential social variables such as power (P) and distance (D), the study aims to elicit supportive moves in request utterances. Findings indicated that HA students significantly employed a wider variety of linguistic patterns in mitigated request utterances in comparison to LAs. HAs demonstrated awareness of both social power and distance in realizing and producing speech acts, while LAs exhibited less consciousness of social variables influencing external modifications. The study further emphasizes the substantial impact of language proficiency on the use of supportive moves among Saudi EFL learners.