The accuracy of the second language use has for long been a center of focus among many societies. The societies placed high expectations on people on how they should use the second language in communication. Adherence to the rules was something one had to observe without any compromise (Chang, 2009). However, things took a new direction when Hymes came up with the idea of communicative competence in 1970s. In this policy, the knowledge of the speaker on the linguistic rules and the socio-cultural rules of speaking that apply to the second language was equally regarded. This was a time when the trends teaching and learning of a second language changed from the grammatical competence to communicative competence.
In this article, the difference between the Chinese and the Americans was examined in the acts of refusal and how the Chinese learners of English are influenced by their first language. The study revealed that the semantic rules were bound to the limitations of content. The Native Americans demonstrated a higher degree of refusal strategies compared to the Chinese. It was identified that there are exist differences between the two linguistic groups (Chang, 2009). Moreover, the occurrence of pragmatic transfer in the utilization of fewer direct refusal strategies than in the use of adjuncts had an implication that there is a hierarchy of difficulty of learning sociolinguistic rules.
In the research methodology, questionnaires with Chinese version of questions and English versions were designed and administered to different groups. The questionnaires were administered to sampled population consisting of four different groups. These groups included a representation of the American College Students who speak English, English Major Seniors, English Major Freshmen and Chinese Major Sophomores.
The methodology used in the research was effective and generated objective results. In the context of cultural dynamism, there must be the provision of priority to all the concerned parties. Both the Chinese and the Native Americans were given equal chances to express the differences that exist between them. However, the exclusion of students who were double major in the study of English made the sampling to be biased.The conclusions were drawn from the study results upon analysis. Attention was given to every aspect found from the study findings. This was an effective study in developing insight into the cultural differences in the society
Chang, Y.-F. (2009). How to say no: an analysis of cross-cultural difference and pragmatic transfer. Language Sciences , 31 477–493.