A Pragmatic Analysis of the Interactions in MA TEFL Students' Defense Sessions

Maryam Daneshvar, Ali Asghar Kargar, Arash Zareian


The purpose of this study was to investigate the performance of Iranian MA TEFL students in their defense sessions from pragmatic point of view. Common face-saving and face-threatening acts were identified in Iranian MA defense sessions, and pragmatic competence of students in handling their defense sessions was evaluated. In other words, it was estimated whether Iranian MA TEFL students have enough pragmatic competence to cope up with face-saving and face-threatening interactions of their defense sessions. To achieve the aim of the study, the following steps were taken. The participants of the study were 10 MA TEFL students at Islamic Azad University of Abadeh. For collecting data, direct observation was used; the researcher provided a video of ‘Question and Answer’ section of the defense sessions and then analyzed them. The results of this study revealed whenever the students were located in a face-threatening situation like criticism, they tried to save their face and defend themselves by answering the examiner's questions and justifying themselves; whenever they faced face-saving situations like compliments, they thanked. It was also showed that sometimes the students used some body language instances like laughing and silence for saving their face due to the lack of pragmalinguistic knowledge.


conversation analysis, face, FCT, pragmatics

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