The present study examines the realization of the refusal of invitations made by advanced Saudi learners in the UK in comparison with British native speakers. The refusal speech act is examined in terms of the influence of the L1 culture levels of social distance and social power. The conceptual framework is based on (1) Brown and Levinson’s (1987) theory of politeness; (2) Classification of refusal speech act by Beebe, Takahashi and Uliss-Weltz (1990), Tseng (1999) and (3) Cai and Wang (2013). Data were collected through a 6-situation role play. The response strategies were adopted from Beebe, Takahashi and Uliss-Weltz (1990) and Tseng (1999) in two parts of direct and indirect responses. The data were analysed by one-way analysis of variance ANOVA. Saudi participants in the UK significantly differed from their counterparts in the KSA in using refusal strategies, and they were significantly similar to British participants in using refusal strategies.
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