Exploring the effects of instruction on EFL learners’ pragmatic development

Document Type : Original Article


Yazd University



In the present study an attempt was made to focus on pragmatic instruction and feedback as a kind of discriminatory factor. To teach English compliment and compliment responses, this paper evaluated the relative effectiveness of input-based instruction involving 132 Iranian EFL learners at intermediate and advanced levels. The main purpose of the study was to investigate to what extent instruction affected learners’ knowledge and ability to use compliment strategies. Students were divided into three groups: explicit, implicit and control. They were taught common strategies regarding how to compliment and respond to it. Whereas the explicit groups received instruction by means of explicit feedback on the use of appropriate compliments, the implicit groups were provided with instruction plus implicit feedback. The results of the data analysis based on the pre-tests, post-tests and follow up tests including discourse-completion tasks and self-assessment tests indicated that although instruction had a positive effect on the development of students’ socio-pragmatic competence of both explicit and implicit groups, the explicit group did better. The study may have some implications for teaching compliment forms which have been forgotten somehow in EFL classrooms today.