Iranian Advanced EFL Learners’ Awareness and the Use of Marked Word Order: Discourse-pragmatically Motivated Variations

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Islamic Azad University- South Tehran Branch

Abstract

The present investigation was designed to study the production and comprehension of specific means for information highlighted by advanced Iranian learners of English as a Foreign Language. The study focused on the discourse-pragmatically motivated variations of the basic word order such as inversion, pre-posing, it- and Wh-clefts. After taking the Nelson test, a homogeneous group was settled. For measuring the learners’ comprehension, a set of meta-linguistic tests was administered consisting of an acceptability judgment task along with an error identification task. In the case of investigating the learners’ production, they were supplied with a test of production consisting of discourse completion items. A total of 30 males and females who were all MA EFL learners served as the participants of this study. First, the production task was administered, and the learners went through the comprehension task in another session. Descriptive analysis and Pearson tests were performed on the data to test the hypotheses of the study. The results indicated that the advanced Iranian learners of English are aware of the syntactic options for structuring the information; however, they avoid producing these structures in their use of language to convey their proper pragmatic functions. Furthermore, there is no meaningful relationship between the learners’ awareness and their use of marked structures.

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