Email Requests Realizations by Tunisian Postgraduate Students

Imen Aribi Ben Amor


The aim of the present study is to analyze the requests realizations of a group of Tunisian postgraduate students sent to their professor via emails. This study examines the email requests in terms of the degree of directness employed and seeks to find out whether the directness level of Tunisian postgraduate students e-requests varies with increasing the imposition of requests.

Results prove the reliance of Tunisian postgraduate students on direct strategies when requesting their professor. This is manifested in the preference for direct questions and mood derivables in requests for information and expectation want and need statements for requests for action. The findings also reveal no significant differences between requests for information and requests for action concerning direct strategies and conventionally indirect requests. However, a significantly higher number of hints was found in non-conventionally indirect requests for requests for action. Tunisian postgraduate students realized their requests for information and requests for action with different request realizations, but they displayed a preference for directness in the two types of requests.

 The preference for direct requests strategies may enhance a negative effect on their evaluation by their recipient. This suggests that Tunisian postgraduate students have not acquired enough pragmalinguistic and sociolinguistic knowledge to request appropriately a socially superior person. Accordingly, this study suggests some pedagogical implications and suggestions for Tunisian EFL (English as a Foreign Language) instructors. Henceforth, Tunisian teachers and syllabus designers should devote more attention to developing Tunisian EFL learners’ pragmatic competence through teaching L2 pragmatics.


e-requests, politeness, directness, ranking of imposition.

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