This paper reports on efficacy of instruction in L2 complaints in an EFL classroom. There were eighty participants in this study, with two native groups (American and Chinese) serving as baseline groups, and two Chinese learner groups (high and low-proficiency) as experimental groups. The learners were asked to engage in pre- and post-DCT tasks, and their performances were then compared to the American and Chinese native-speaker productions to see if there were deviations from the native norm and if such deviations were a result of L1 transfer. The findings show that L1 transfer is closely related to L2 proficiency and that explicit instruction in semantic formulas, semantic content, and linguistic forms is beneficial to learners. We therefore conclude that instruction in L2 pragmatics should be implemented in an EFL classroom to enhance learners' pragmatic competence.