Apologies in EFL: An Interlanguage Pragmatic Study on Moroccan Learners of English

Omar Ezzaoua


This study explores the strategies Moroccan Learners of English (MLEs), American English Speakers (AEs)), and Moroccan Arabic speakers (MAs) use when performing the speech act of apology. The study basically investigates the interlanguage of MLE as compared to other groups. Equally important, the aim is to study whether MLEs displayed pragmatic transfer when using apology strategies. To this end, A written discourse completion test/ task was administered to the participants both native and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners in order to elicit apologies through five hypothetical situations. The productions of Moroccan EFL learners were analyzed to see where they stand between native speakers norms and Moroccan Arabic norms in terms of strategies choices. In the analysis of the data, all responses were categorized according to Trosborg’s (1995) apology speech act set. The results show that Learners of English in higher education significantly deviated the overall desired strategies as compared to American native speakers of English. Meanwhile, some developmental patterns towards native like norms were perceived.


Apologies; Pragmatic transfer; Interlanguage Pragmatics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11640


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