Intercultural Miscommunication in the Production of Communicative Patterns by Arab EFL Learners

Hameed Yahya A. Al-Zubeiry


The present study is an attempt to describe how Arab learners of English produce culture-specific expressions that create potential miscommunication across cultures. Three related approaches - ethnography of communication, pragmatic failure and conversational Analysis - were reviewed so as to get insights into understanding such a phenomenon. The subjects of the study consist of 120 male Saudi and Yemeni learners of English. In order to elicit data for the study, the subjects were given a Multiple-choice Discourse Completion Test (MDCT) which consists of six situations wherein they picture themselves to be in the real situation and choose a response from the ones provided. The findings of the study showed that the hypothesized responses, which are Arab culture –specific communicative patterns, received high number of frequency compared to the other responses. Such communicative patterns are likely to cause miscommunication in situations like the ones described in the study. The study concluded that Arab speakers of English should be made aware of the misuse of such communicative patterns in order to minimize miscommunication in their communicative interaction across cultures.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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