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Investigating Evaluative Tools in Oral Personal Experience Narratives of Female Egyptian EFL Learners

Waleed Nureldeen
University of Business & Technology Academy, University of Business & Technology, Saudi Arabia.
Hala Alsabatin
College of Education, Zarqa University, Zarqa, Jordan
Remon Eskander
Engineering Programs Director, Alamein International University, New Alamein City, Egypt
Waleed Nasr
Dept. of General Subjects, College of Engineering, University of Business & Technology, Saudi Arabia
Keywords: Narrative Discourse, Personal Experience Narratives, Oral Storytelling, Evaluation in Oral Narrative. ,


Expressing emotions in a narrative requires a high degree of narrators’ involvement in and reflection of personal experiences. An array of complex emotions is reflected in the narrators’ use of a wide range of language and paralanguage tools when they share their feelings with their audience. This study attempted to investigate how female non-native speakers of English expressed their feelings towards their personal experiences while narrating them. The data was collected from 24 female Egyptian university students who were studying English language and literature. They narrated unpleasant personal experiences which they marked as memorable in the form of ‘intense monologue narratives’, collected in a series of structured openended interviews. Some of these experiences amount to ‘trauma’. A qualitative analysis of narratives revealed that the density of evaluation – as reflected by the number of evaluative clauses used in the participants’ narratives – varied. Results also showed that narrators employed ‘direct evaluation, evaluation by suspending the action, embedded evaluation, and dramatized evaluation’ as various types of evaluation. In many cases, participants used more than one type of evaluation within the same narrative. Besides, narrators were also able to use a wide range of linguistic (i.e. lexical, syntactic, and discursive), and paralinguistic (i.e. laughter and sighs) tools to showcase their emotions and stances towards what they had experienced.