Document Type: Original Article


Shahrekord University


This study aimed to investigate EFL learners’ request strategies to faculty to see whether politeness is interpreted differently or similarly across gender and different levels of language proficiency in text-based synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC). Data included initial semistructured interviews with 4 EFL instructors and 10 college EFL learners. Based on the interviews, an online task was developed that included request situations that were most likely to occur in real life in SCMC settings. Having administered the Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT), the online task was completed by 99 lower-intermediate and 118 upper-intermediate EFL learners in 4 universities in Iran. Participants’ request strategies were coded and analysed to explore the possible differences. Chi-square findings suggested that gender had no relations with the choice of request strategies by the participants to faculty in SCMC; however, level of proficiency made a difference. This research provides guidelines for course designers to generate appropriate pedagogic guidelines for EFL learners in their hierarchical relationships with their teachers.


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