Mina Azima, Akbar Hesabi, Speech Act of Thanking: A Contrastive Analysis among Iranian EFL Learners in Terms of Gender and Level of Proficiency, ILSHS Volume 59, International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 59)
    The speech act of thanking is one of the fairly neglected areas of research in the Iranian context. The present study seeks to investigate the ways in which this social act is expressed by young male and female EFL learners. To collect the data for this study sixty participants (30 males, 30females) were selected randomly from among the population of BA and MA students of Najafabad university and students learning English in a language institutes located in Najafabad. The major focus of this study was the role that gender and individuals’ level of proficiency might play in the application of thanking strategies. Students were asked to complete a discourse completion test (DCT). They were supposed to read thirteen natural situations, and react to them via expressing gratitude. In order to analyze the utterances of thanking, Cheng’s coding scheme was employed. Students’ responses were further classified according to the gender and level of proficiency. The results revealed that the females were more cautious in selecting strategies of gratitude. Individuals’ level of proficiency was also found to play an important role in the process of strategy selection.
    Gender, Level of Proficiency, Speech Act, Thanking