This study set out to find out to what extent English language learners at TOBB University of Economics and Technology Preparatory School in Ankara, Turkey can perform strategies of three specific speech acts, i.e. requests, refusals and complaints and to check these speech acts in the coursebooks used. Data was collected from 90 students with a discourse completion task and their eleven coursebooks were also evaluated. The results of the DCT demonstrated that the learners were able to perform requests and refusals more or less while their complaints were not completely appropriate and that majority of the answers lacked variety in all three speech acts. The frequency of requests in the books was not problematic, the refusals and complaints were barely included in most of them. The coursebooks also had a paucity of various strategies. (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd.