Semester of Graduation

Spring 2021


Master of Arts (MA)


World Languages and Literatures

Document Type



This study investigates the effects of pragmatic instruction on two experimental groups in order to analyze participants’ pragmatic ability of producing culturally and situationally appropriate refusals in Spanish. The three groups include an in-class group, a tandem group, and a control group. Using pre and post written discourse completion tasks (DCTs), this study analyzes participants’ first turn in making a refusal of a friend’s invitation (-P, -D) and a professor or advisor’s suggestion (+P, +D). Based on tokens elicited for each group, it will be demonstrated that 1) both experimental groups increased in their ability of producing appropriate refusal strategies, while the control group did not 2) the English baseline data reflects the influence of the treatment on participants’ refusals in their first language (L1). While the data suggest that teaching the speech act (SA) of refusals in the Spanish foreign language (FL) classroom is effective for both experimental groups, the data also suggests that participants may have misunderstood certain aspects of instruction. The data show the complexity of learning second language (L2) pragmatics in the FL classroom and suggest that future study in utilizing tandem learning for teaching the SA of refusals is in order.

Committee Chair

King, Jeremy W.