Document Type : Research article


1 English Department, Imam Khomeini International University, Ghazvin, Iran

2 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of English Language and Literature, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran


Identity processing styles are those psychological, sociocultural, and socio-cognitive mechanisms that shape, reshape, and establish different individuals’ identities both in their mother tongues and in the second or foreign language they are striving to acquire. The relationship between these identity processing styles and L2 learners’ pragmatic competence is a crucial issue that has not been explored thus far in an EFL context. Therefore, the present study sought to investigate the relationship between the information-oriented, diffuse-avoidant, and normative identity processing styles as measured by Berzonsky’s (2011) Identity Processing Style Inventory (ISI-4) and L2 speech-act knowledge and production among 122 (82 F and 40 M) Iranian upper-intermediate to advanced proficiency level learners. A validated 35-item multiple-choice discourse completion test (MDCT) including five frequent English speech acts (requests, apologies, refusals, complaints, and compliments/compliment responses) and a related role-play interactive test were then employed. The application of multiple regression revealed that diffuse-avoidant and normative identity processing styles were significant but moderate contributors to both pragmatic knowledge and production; however, information-oriented identity processing style was a weak significant predictor. These findings imply that teachers can manage and tailor the instructional pragmatic practices in accordance with the learners’ identity processing styles.


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