Assessing the Performance of Iraqi EFL College Students in Using Rhetorical Questions


Rhetorical questions are those which do not expect an answer. They are used simply as a way of drawing attention to something. Rhetorical questions are of different types having different functions. Students of English as a foreign language often find difficulty in using rhetorical questions in English because of their constituents and functions and here lies the problem of the study. It is hypothesized that Iraqi EFL college students encounter difficulty in using the topic under investigation.A random sample of (60) students has been taken from the fourth year stage of the Department of English, College of Education for Human Sciences, University of Babylon to undergo a diagnostic test designed to assess the students' performance in using the rhetorical questions. The findings of the test show that the number and percentage of the incorrect answers in the whole test (749, 62.42%) are more than those of correct answers (451, 37.58%). These results show that the learners face difficulty in using the rhetorical questions at both the recognition and production levels and this, in turn, confirms the hypothesis of the study. This study includes the theoretical comprehensive study of the rhetorical questions with their different types and functions followed by the practical part which encompasses a diagnostic test applied to a random sample of EFL college students to investigate their performance in using the topic under investigation.