The Use of Euphemistic Expressions by Arab EFL Learners: Evidence from Al Ain University of Science and Technology


  •  Abdel Rahman Altakhaineh    
  •  Hanan Rahrouh    

Abstract

This study measures the extent to which Arab EFL learners are aware of euphemistic expressions related to two areas, namely, courtesy and physical appearance and whether they are able to recognise them in context. The study also attempts to investigate whether the participants' gender and English proficiency level may play a role in their use of euphemism in their day-to-day lives. For the purposes of the study, we developed a multiple-choice test in which the participants were asked to choose the suitable answer out of four choices. The contextualized sentences used in the test were adapted from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) to suit the participants’ English proficiency level. Results revealed that Arab EFL learners had little awareness of euphemistic expressions in English. Also, the participants' English proficiency level had little effect on their use of euphemistic expressions. However, the participants' gender played a significant role in their performance on the test. In particular, the female participants were significantly more aware of euphemistic expressions than the males. The study concluded with some pedagogical implications and recommendations for further research.



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