On the Effectiveness of Flipped Instruction on Iranian EFL Learners’ Appropriate Use of Request and Refusal

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English Language, Malayer Branch, Islamic Azad University, Malayer, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of English Language, Malayer Branch, Islamic Azad University, Malayer, Iran



This study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of flipped instruction on the Iranian upper-intermediate English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ appropriate use of request and refusal. The participants of the study included 60 upper-intermediate EFL learners from a language institute in Tehran, Iran, who were selected through the Quick Placement Test (QPT) from a total of 80 learners who were originally picked up based on convenience sampling in the form of two intact classes. Then, the two classes were randomly assigned to two groups namely, flipping group and control group. The two groups were subjected to 12 treatment sessions wherein instruction on the appropriate use of request and refusal was offered to the flipping group through explicit flipped instruction and to the control group through non-flipped instruction. The instruments used to collect the data included the Quick Placement Test (QPT) and Written Discourse Completion Test (WDCT). The results showed that flipped instruction significantly affected the EFL learners’ appropriate use of request and refusal. According to the findings, EFL teachers are recommended to use flipping methods in an attempt to enhance EFL learners’ appropriate use of request and refusal.


Davies, R. S., Dean, D. L., & Ball, N. (2013). Flipping the classroom and instructional technology integration in a college-level information systems spreadsheet course. Educational Technology Research & Development, 61(4), 563-580.
Ahmad, N., & Al-Khanjari, Z. (2011). Effect of Moodle on learning: An Oman perception. International Journal of Digital Information and Wireless Communications, 1(4), 746-752.
Al-Harbi, A. H. (2015). A flipped learning approach using social media in health informatics. Scientific Research, 6(13), 1466-1475.
Al-Harbi, S., & Alshumaimeri, A. (2016). The flipped classroom impact in grammar class on EFL Saudi secondary school students’ performances and attitudes. English Language Teaching, 9(10), 61-80.
Alsmari, N. A.  (2020). The effect of flipped classroom instruction on developing Saudi EFL learners’ comprehension of conversational implicatures. International Journal of English Linguistics, 10 (2), 107-127.
Al-Zahrani, A. M. (2015). From passive to active: The impact of the flipped classroom through social learning platforms on higher education students’ creative thinking. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(6), 1133-1148.
Amiryousefi, M. (2017). The incorporation of flipped learning into conventional classes to enhance EFL learners’ L2 speaking, L2 listening, and engagement. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 13(2), 1–15.
Ary, D., Jacobs, L. CH., Sorensen Irvine, Ch. k., & Walker, D. A. (2019). Introduction to research in education. Cengage Learning.
Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. Harvard University Press.
Birjandi, P., & Rezaei, S. (2010). Developing a multiple-choice discourse completion test of interlanguage pragmatics for Iranian EFL learners. ILI Language Teaching Journal (Special Issue: Proceedings of the First Conference on ELT in the Islamic World), 6 (1, 2), 43-58.
Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013). The flipped classroom: A survey of the research. Paper presented at the 120th ASEE Annual & Exposition, Atlanta, USA.
Chandra, V., &Fisher, D. L. (2009). Students’ perceptions of a blended web-based learning environment. Learning Environment Research, 12, 31-44.
Chau, J., & Cheng, G. (2010). Towards understanding the potential of e-portfolio for independent learning: A qualitative study. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(7), 932-950.
Chen Hsieh, J. S., & Marek, M. W. (2017). Using the flipped classroom to enhance EFL learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30(1–2), 1–21.
Crystal, D. (1997). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Dashtestani, R. (2013). Implementing mobile assisted language learning an EFL context: Iranian EFL teachers on challenges and affordance. JALTCAL Journal, 9(2), 149-146.
Derakhshan, A., & Malmir, A. (2021). The role of language aptitude in the development of L2 pragmatic competence. Teaching English as a Second Language Electronic Journal (TESL-EJ), 25(1). https://tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej97/a4.pdf
Derakhshan, A., Malmir, A., & Greenier, V. (2021). Interlanguage pragmatic learning strategies (IPLS) as predictors of L2 speech act knowledge: A case of Iranian EFL learners. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 18(1), 235-243.
Ekmekci, E. (2017). The flipped writing classroom in Turkish EFL context: A comparative study on a new model. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 18(2), 151–167.
Fahmi Bataineh, R., & Barjas Mayyas, M. (2017). The utility of blended learning in EFL reading and grammar: A case for Moodle. Teaching English with Technology, 17(3), 35-49.
Finkbeiner, C. (2001). One and all in CALL? Learner-moderator-researcher. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 14(3-4), 339-361.
Ghabanchi, Z., & Anbarestani, M. (2008). The Effects of CALL Program on Expanding Lexical Knowledge of EFL Iranian Intermediate Learners. The Reading Matrix : An International Online Journal, 8, 86-95.
Gibson, S. (2008). Reading aloud: A useful learning tool?. ELT Journal, 62(1), 118-130.
Greene, N. (2013). Computer assisted language learning (CALL) for the inclusive classroom. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Dublin City University.
Haghighi, H., Jafarigohar, M., Khoshsima, H., & Vahdany, F. (2018). Impact of flipped classroom on EFL learners’ appropriate use of refusal: Achievement, participation, perception. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 1-33.
Hazaimeh, W., & Altakhaineh, A.R. (2019). The effect of flipped classroom instruction on developing Emirati EFL learners’ pragmatic competence. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 127-143.
Hung, H. T. (2017). Design-based research: Redesign of an English language course using a flipped classroom approach. TESOL Quarterly, 51(1), 180–192.
Jan, M., Soomro, S., A., & Ahmad, N. (2017). Impact of social media on self-esteem. European Scientific Journal, 13(23), 329-341.
Joshaghan Nezhad, M., & Bagheri, F. (2018). The impact of a flipped classroom on student motivation and student learning in computer course. Research in Curriculum, 2(31), 110-126.
Kasper, G. (2000). Data collection in pragmatics, in Spencer-Oatey, H. (Ed.) Culturally speaking (pp. 316–341). Continuum.
Katchamat, P. (2018). The effect of flipped classroom instruction on appropriacy of English apology by Thai EFL learners. International Journal of Pedagogy and Teacher Education (IJPTE), 2, 113-124.
Kaviani, H., Liaqatdar, M., & Zamani, B. (2017). Flipped learning process: Representation of the curriculum experienced in higher education. Quarterly Student Curriculum in Higher Education, 8(15), 56-618.
Khadjieva, I., & Khadjikhanova, S. (2019). Flipped classroom strategy effects on students’ achievements and motivation: Evidence from CPFS level 2 students at Wiut. European Journal of Research and Reflection in Educational Sciences, 7 (12), 120-130.
Kvashnina, O. S., & Martynko, E.A. (2013). Analyzing the potential of flipped classroom in ESL teaching. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 11(3), 49-58.
Lai, C. L., & Hwang, G. J. (2016). A self-regulated flipped classroom approach to improving students’ learning performance in a mathematics course. Computers & Education, 100, 126-140.
Leech, G. (1983). The principles of pragmatics. Longman.
Levinson, S. C. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press.
Lin, P. L., & Chen, H. M. (2016). The effects of flipped classroom on learning effectiveness: Using learning satisfaction as the mediator. World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education, 14(2), 231-244.
Malmir, A., & Derakhshan, A. (2020). The socio-pragmatic, lexico-grammatical, and cognitive strategies in L2 pragmatic comprehension: The case of Iranian male vs. female EFL learners. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 8(1), 1-23.
Malmir A., & Taji, N. (2021). The interplay of action, context, and linguistic vs. non-linguistic resources in l2 pragmatic performance: The case of requests and refusals. Language Related Research (LRR), 12(3), 215-253.
Mireille, F. (2014). The impact of using a flipped classroom instruction on the writing performance of twelfth grade female Emirati students in the Applied Technology High School (ATHS) [Master’s thesis]. The British University, Dubai, Emirates.
Moranski, K., & Kim, F. (2016). Flipping lessons in a multi-section Spanish course: Implications for assigning explicit grammar instruction outside of the classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 100 (4), 830-852.
Najmi, K. (2015). The effect of mobile-assisted language learning on guided writing skill of Iranian upper inter-mediate learners. Journal of Applied Linguistic and Language Research, 2(4), 42-52.
Rastegar, S., & Yasami, F. (2014). Iranian EFL learners’ proficiency levels and their use of apology strategies. Proceedings of International Conference on Current Trends in ELT, 1535-1540.
Sadri, Z., Allami, H., & Rezai, M. J. (2008). Telephone conversation closing strategies used by Persian speakers: Rapport management approach. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching & Research, 6 (21), 21-40.
Searle, J. R. (1975). A taxonomy of illocutionary acts. In Gunderson, K. (Ed.), Language, mind, and knowledge (pp. 344-369). University of Minnesota Press.
Searle, J. R. (1969). Speech acts. Cambridge University Press.
Sidman-Taveau, R. L. (2005). Computer-assisted project based learning in second language: Case studies in adult ESL. https://etd.lib.metu.edu.tr/upload/12606252/index.pdf
Tajeddin, Z., & Malmir, A. (2015). The construct of interlanguage pragmatic learning Strategies: investigating preferences of high vs. low pragmatic performers. The Journal of Teaching Language Skills (JTLS), 6(4), 153-180.
Trosborg, A. (1995). Interlanguage pragmatics: Requests, complaints and apologies. Mouton de Gruyter.