Pragmatic Failurein Iraqi EFL Contexts


This study investigates Iraqi EFL students' pragmatic performance at all their educational levels in an attempt to identify the potential pragmatic failure they commit when using English. The study hypothesizes that (1) the students under study commit pragmatic failure whether pragmalinguistically or sociopragmatically at all levels, and (2) their teachers allow for such a kind of pragmatic failure as long as students produce well-formed sentences. To achieve the aim of the study and test its hypotheses, the sample of the study is subjected to a questionnaire which consists of twenty situations, each of which includes four well-formed utterances but only one of them is pragmatically appropriate to the situations in which they occur. The sample of the study consists of various levels of students and teachers to check the results on various levels. The subjects are first-year and fourth-year university EFL students and university EFL teachers of various academic titles, degrees and specializations all from the Department of English, College of Education for Human Sciences. The study verifies the hypotheses of the study and concludes that Iraqi EFL learners’ pragmatic performance is generally poor since the average pragmatic success they recorded amounts to only 55.75%. Years of study do not seem to satisfactorily develop the pragmatic performance of the Learners since the difference in this regard between the first-year students and their PhD teacher is only 17.21%. The study falls in six main sections: Section One presents the problem, aim and hypotheses. Section Two elaborates on the notion of "pragmatic failure" along with its types. Section Three explains the reasons of pragmatic failures and Section Four discusses some ways of overcoming such failures. Section Five reviews the methods of data collection and analysis. Section Six puts forward the main conclusions of the study.