This study aimed at investigating the effect of explicit teaching of English refusals on pragmatic competence of Iranian EFL learners. Sixty-five high school female students from two intact groups participated in this study. Thirty-three learners were in the experimental group who received the treatment and thirty-two in the control group. Four types of refusals including refusals to invitations, suggestions, offers and requests were dealt with in the study. A Written Discourse Completion Test was used as a pretest and post test to obtain the quantitative data. As for statistical analysis, One sample K-S Test and one way ANCOVA were used. The results showed that the students in the experimental group outperformed the students in the control group in their appropriate use of English refusals. To triangulate the quantitative data, students` opinions were elicited via a written self-report. The findings suggest that explicit teaching of English refusals had a positive effect on the appropriate use of them by Iranian High School learners. The results have some implications for teaching English refusals in the EFL context.
Keywords: Pragmatic competence, English refusals, EFL learner, appropriate use, Discourse Completion Test