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Learning Pragmatics from Native and Nonnative Language Teachers



• This book deals with intercultural pragmatics and focuses on how both nonnative teachers and their native teacher colleagues may be able to enhance their classroom instruction regarding target-language pragmatics –focusing on creative ideas that both sets of teachers may draw on to compensate for gaps in knowledge about pragmatics. • The intention is to provide suggestions for how both native and nonnative teachers can make pragmatics as accessible as possible for their learners, who stand to benefit from insights as to how to be pragmatically appropriate in their language of focus. • Unlike other books which do not really acknowledge potential similarities and differences between native-speaker nonnative-speaker status in the teaching of pragmatics, this book deals directly with the issue. • Since pragmatic aspects of language and nonverbal behavior are often dependent upon specific contexts that defy one-size-fits-all interpretations (such as humor), the approach adopted in this volume is that of providing examples of pragmatics as played out in a number of different languages and cultures. • Themes in the book include (1) defining target language pragmatics, (2) looking for ways to support teachers in their classroom instruction about pragmatics, (3) reporting the findings from an international survey about how teachers handle pragmatic, (4) broaching basic issues in the teaching pragmatic and provision of numerous suggestions for how to teach it and for motivating learners to want to learn it. Other themes include (5) the role of technology, (6) the role of learning strategies, (7) the assessment of pragmatics, and (8) ways to research pragmatics.
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Andrew D. Cohen (Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota)
Author Information
Andrew D. Cohen is Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota, USA. He has published extensively in the areas of
pragmatics, language assessment, and language learner strategies, and frequently presents his research at international
conferences. He was the recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award from the American Association
for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). He is also a hyperpolyglot, currently learning his 13th language, Mandarin.
Chapter 1: An Introduction to Pragmatics for Learners and Teachers
Chapter 2: The Development of Pragmatic Ability (with Lauren Wyner)
Chapter 3: The Handling of Pragmatics by Native and Nonnative Teachers
Chapter 4: What Native and Nonnative Teachers Know About Pragmatics and What
They Report Doing
Chapter 5: Basic Issues in the Teaching of Pragmatics (with Lauren Wyner)
Chapter 6: Ideas for Teaching Pragmatics and for Motivating Learners
Chapter 7: The Role of Technology in Teaching and Learning Pragmatics
Chapter 8: The Learning of Pragmatics
Chapter 9: The Assessment of Pragmatics
Chapter 10: Researching Pragmatics
Chapter 11: Conclusions
This book focuses on how both nonnative and native teachers may enhance their handling of target language pragmatics in
the classroom and provides ideas that both sets of teachers may draw on to compensate for gaps in their knowledge. Focus
is also given to learner strategies and motivation, technological advances, assessment and research methods.
Publication News
Series: Second Language AcquisitionHbk ISBN 9781783099924 £109.95/US$149.95/€134.95
Pages: 312ppTerritory: World
Pbk ISBN 9781783099917 £34.95 / US$49.95 / €44.95 Level: Postgraduate, Research / Professional
Format: 234 x 156 mmPub Date: 31/05/2018 Subject (BIC): CFDC Language Acquisition, CJ Language Teaching
& Learning (other than ELT), CJC Language Learning: Specic Skills,
CFB Sociolinguistics
This book is a timely addition to the eld, helping us move from the native-nonnative distinction to native-nonnative collaboration when teaching
pragmatics in a language classroom. A variety of personal experiences and episodes used to illustrate theories, research, and practice make the
content of pragmatics fully accessible to teachers and students. This book is the ideal companion for practitioners and researchers who wish to
gain a thorough understanding of issues related to pragmatics learning in a global context.
Naoko Taguchi, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
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... Natural pragmatic use of language and discourse practices occur in the context of real life communicative situations, which include intuitional settings like school environment (Potter, 2012). In fact, L2 students develop knowledge of pragmatics by learning their target language through learning materials with natural discourse content (Cohen, 2018). Thus, it is important to teach L2 learners natural discourses which can be used in real communicative situations, since language has the structure and properties that serve communicative functions of transmitting and receiving information in natural contexts (Ellis & Beattie, 2017). ...
... For L2 students to develop communicative competence, they need to learn genuine interactions through immersion in an L2 speech community (Cohen, 2018). Studies on development of L2 pragmatic competence suggest that discourses for L2 students need to contain intercultural resources that can mediate social meanings in speech acts (McConachy, 2017;Wang & Halenko, 2019) and connect to real interaction situations through technology such as a computer or the internet (Cohen, 2018;Tang, 2019) to enhance English language learners' pragmatic abilities. ...
... For L2 students to develop communicative competence, they need to learn genuine interactions through immersion in an L2 speech community (Cohen, 2018). Studies on development of L2 pragmatic competence suggest that discourses for L2 students need to contain intercultural resources that can mediate social meanings in speech acts (McConachy, 2017;Wang & Halenko, 2019) and connect to real interaction situations through technology such as a computer or the internet (Cohen, 2018;Tang, 2019) to enhance English language learners' pragmatic abilities. Therefore, the discourses in the CSAT listening tests should include authentic English dialogues to check whether the students have an English ability to understand natural spoken English and communicate with others in their daily life. ...
... Verbal report has notably reflected a host of different approaches (see Bowles, 2010;Cohen, 2013Cohen, , 2018. For starters, there is SELF-REPORT, where respondents provide descriptions of what they do (or rather, what they think they do), characterized by generalized statements. ...
... There are strategies which test constructors can use in order to make oral measures of TL pragmatics more manageable (see Cohen, 2018, section 9.4 on strategies for test construction). They include keeping the pragmatics tasks realistic for the given TL community and engaging for the respondents. ...
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This entry focuses on research questions about assessing the thornier and hence largely neglectedareas relating to targe t-language pragmatics. These include the learning and performance ofsociopragmatics and nonverbal behavior, and questions encompassing the assessment ofnaturally-occurring discourse in real-life situations and test-taking strategies.
... The findings point out similar perspectives on pragmatics among teachers across school levels, but also draw attention to a stronger need for pre-service and on-the-job training, especially for primary school teachers. This type of research is in line with recent investigations in applied pragmatics, which engage in needs analyses of language educators (e.g., Cohen, 2018;Costa & Pladevall-Ballester, 2018;Pavan & Gesuato, 2021). ...
EN This volume presents a theoretical and practical approach to the teaching of pragmatics in primary and secondary educational contexts. Targeting first language (L1), second language (L2), and foreign language (FL) teachers, the volume starts by introducing key concepts in pragmatics, providing an overview of theoretical notions in communicative competence, and drawing pedagogical implications from these notions. The book then reports findings from a survey conducted among language teachers on their views on and experience with the teaching of linguistic pragmatics. Finally, a 5-step inductive-explicit pedagogical model is put forward for raising metapragmatic awareness and developing receptive and productive pragmatic skills among learners of varied age groups. A rich set of sample activities illustrates how to put the model into practice and to adapt it to learners’ specific needs. Key words: PRAGMATICS TEACHING, METAPRAGMATIC AWARENESS, L1/L2/FL TEACHERS, PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, INDUCTIVE-EXPLICIT PEDAGOGY ES Este volumen presenta una aproximación teórica y práctica a la enseñanza de la pragmática en contextos educativos de primaria y secundaria. Dirigido a profesores de lengua primera (L1), segunda lengua (L2) y lengua extranjera (LE), el volumen comienza introduciendo conceptos clave en pragmática, brindando una descripción general de las nociones teóricas en competencia comunicativa y extrapolando las implicaciones pedagógicas que surgen de dichas nociones. Asimismo, este libro recoge los resultados obtenidos a partir de una encuesta realizada entre profesores de idiomas sobre sus puntos de vista y experiencias en la enseñanza de la pragmática lingüística. Finalmente, se propone un modelo pedagógico inductivo-explícito que consta de 5 pasos para aumentar la conciencia metapragmática y desarrollar habilidades pragmáticas receptivas y productivas entre estudiantes de diferentes grupos de edad. Un amplio conjunto de actividades de muestra ilustra cómo poner en práctica el modelo y adaptarlo a las necesidades específicas del alumnado. Palabras clave: ENSEÑANZA DE LA PRAGMÁTICA, CONCIENCIA METAPRAGMÁTICA, DOCENTES L1/L2/LE, EDUCACIÓN PRIMARIA Y SECUNDARIA, PEDAGOGÍA INDUCTIVO-EXPLICITA IT Questo volume presenta un approccio teorico-pratico all’insegnamento della pragmatica in contesti di istruzione primaria e secondaria. Rivolgendosi a insegnanti delle lingue madre (L1), seconda (L2) e straniera (LS), il volume si apre con una presentazione dei concetti chiave della pragmatica, offrendo una panoramica delle nozioni generali sulla competenza comunicativa e delineando le implicazioni pedagogiche che ne derivano. Il libro riporta poi i risultati di un sondaggio condotto tra insegnanti di lingue sul loro punto di vista e sulla loro esperienza con l’insegnamento della pragmatica. Infine, viene proposto un modello pedagogico induttivo-esplicito composto di cinque fasi per raggiungere una consapevolezza metapragmatica e per sviluppare competenze pragmatiche sia recettive sia produttive tra studenti di età diversa. Un ricco repertorio di attività illustra come mettere in pratica il modello e adattarlo ai bisogni specifici degli studenti. Parole chiave: DIDATTICA DELLA PRAGMATICA, CONSAPEVOLEZZA METAPRAGMATICA, INSEGNANTI DI L1/L2/LS, ISTRUZIONE PRIMARIA E SECONDARIA, PEDAGOGIA INDUTTIVO-ESPLICITA
... 89). By putting more emphasis on social and functional dimensions of language use compared to structural ones, research on L2 pragmatic competence and development has increased in the last three decades (Cohen, 2017(Cohen, , 2018Derakhshan, 2020;Derakhshan & Eslami, 2015;Eslami-Rasekh, 2005;Eslami & Liu, 2013;Li, Raja, & Sazalie, 2015;Kasper, 2007;Kasper & Roever, 2005;Kasper & Rose, 1999, 2002Taguchi, 2015Taguchi, , 2017Taguchi, , 2019. Furthermore, research on second language pragmatics, called ILP, has mainly focused on speech acts, conversational structure, and conversational implicatures (Bardovi-Harlig, 2010; Derakhshan, 2019). ...
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Despite the significant role of emotions in any aspect of language learning, including its pragmatic aspect, there has been few research studies on this topic. As a stride toward narrowing this research nitche, the objectives of this research were threefold. Firstly, it aimed to examine the two face-threatening speech acts of request and apology as indicators of learners' interlanguage pragmatic competence (ILP) and its relationships with learners' Emotional Quotient (EQ). Secondly, it sought to investigate whether gender as an intervening variable would have any significant relationship with ILP and EQ, and thirdly whether EQ could predict ILP development. To this end, 72 (50 females and 22 males) Iranian lower-intermediate level learners ranging in age from 17 to 25 from two universities took part in this research. A multiple-choice discourse completion test (MDCT) (Liu, 2004) and Bar-Onʼs (1997) EQ scale were used and correlation analysis was done to search for any linkage between ILP and EQ. The Pearson product-moment correlation outcomes revealed no significant relationship between EQ and ILP. However, a significant relation was found between Independence as a component of EQ and EFL learners' ILP competence. The independent samples t-test outcomes indicated that female participants had a higher level of (ILP) competence than male participants; however, male and female participants did not differ significantly regarding their EQ level. The findings indicate that EQ in general is not influential in EFL learners' ILP competence. The paper concludes with providing pedagogical implications for EFL learners and instructors.
... In contrast to early L2 pragmatic research which focused on comparisons with first language (L1) norms, and on use rather than acquisition or development of pragmatic skills (Kasper, 1997;Martínez-Flor et al., 2003;Rose & Kasper, 2002), instructional pragmatics addresses questions of teachability and learnability in line with Schmidt's (1993) noticing hypothesis. Studies have examined the effects of different types of instructional interventions, sometimes in comparison with simple exposure (Bardovi-Harlig, 2001;Rose, 2005); comprehensive overviews by Taguchi (2015), McConachy (2017) and Cohen (2018) provide convincing evidence for the role of instruction in developing L2 pragmatic competence. This competence is clearly amenable to instruction and learners who are given instructional support perform better than uninstructed peers (Bardovi-Harlig & Griffin, 2005;Bardovi-Harlig & Mahan-Taylor, 2003). ...
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With today’s strong focus on communicative competence in second language (L2) classrooms, speech acts like suggestions, requests, refusals, and apologies are often investigated in interlanguage pragmatic (ILP) as well as instructional pragmatics. Even though there is strong evidence in ILP research that purports that L2 learners respond well to pragmatic instruction (Taguchi, 2015), the teaching of L2 pragmatics is not always prioritized in textbooks, teaching programmes or teacher education (Barron, 2016; Savvidou & Economidou-Kogetsidis, 2019) with the consequence that pragmatic learning can only occur incidentally. The present study examines opportunities to acquire L2 requests for 308 English as a foreign language (EFL) learners across 7 years of instruction in French secondary schools, investigating textbooks preferred by teachers, classroom interaction (39 hours), and teacher perspectives (semi-structured interviews with 10 teachers). After a pragmatic analysis of 15 EFL textbooks with a focus on requests, the study examines the incidence of metapragmatic input in 39 hours of teaching in 13 classes at 3 levels, and relates interactional patterns with interview data from the 10 teachers concerned. Findings suggest limited pragmatic input in both textbooks and classroom interaction. By comparing the profiles of teachers who encouraged L2 requests with those who did not, the study offers new explanations for L2 learners’ limited pragmatic development which also broadly corroborate previous findings of somewhat limited potential for L2 pragmatic development in obligatory school contexts.
... Consequently, the development of pragmatic ability especially among FL learners would likely benefit from their becoming more explicitly aware of both similarities and differences in pragmatic behavior when comparing the L1 and the TL speech communities. Classroom activities could include those in which students engage in analyzing and critiquing their perceptions of the pragmatics in given interactions, where the interlocutors' age, gender, socioeconomic level and other factors come into play (see examples of such activities provided in Cohen, 2018). ...
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This study had as its goal to investigate how nonnative speakers ( NNS s) of Spanish were able to perform pragmatics which in various ways resembled that of native speakers ( NS s). The study focused on three advanced NNS s of Spanish who had contributed data six years earlier to a corpus of NS and NNS speech acts of complimenting, apologizing and refusing. The purpose was to do a contrastive analysis comparing the pragmatic performance of NNS s and NS s in order to capture both similarities and areas where highly competent NNS s displayed knowledge gaps, however subtle. The subjects responded to a language background questionnaire regarding their learning of Spanish and also completed a learning style preference survey. They were then asked to revisit their earlier performance in pragmatics from the corpus data and to describe the strategies that they used to produce their highly-rated performance in Spanish pragmatics at that time. The findings revealed ways in which the three subjects differentially imitated NS behavior, and provided insights as to how they arrived at native-like behavior in their facial expressions, use of clicks, physical contact practices, colloquial language, and cursing. The subjects’ reported learning style preferences appeared to be generally consistent with the strategies that they reported using for dealing with the pragmatic features of interest, such as the way that they dealt with cursing.
... he pivotal role of pragmatic competence in having a successful communication has been acknowledged by several scholars (Cohen, 2018;Derakhshan, 2014Derakhshan, , 2019aDerakhshan, , 2019bDerakhshan & Eslami, 2019Derakhshan, Malmir, & Greenier, 2021;Ishihara & Cohen, 2014;LoCastro, 2013;Malmir & Derakhshan, 2020;Rose & Kwai-Fun, 2001;Taguchi, 2019). As Taguchi (2019) postulated, improving pragmatic competence is of high importance since a lack of sufficient knowledge of pragmatics will result in communication loss. ...
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Given the importance of complimenting and responding to compliments in everyday interactions, several studies have investigated the strategies used to compliment and also to respond to compliments. This systematic study offers a thorough review of research on Compliment Responses (CRs) in the Persian language conducted over the past three decades. It outlines the theoretical frameworks, the categorization schemes used, and the main findings of the reviewed studies. The bibliographical search on this area yielded a database of 35 studies on Persian CRs for this systematic review. We provide a synthesis of the research conducted in this area, the theoretical frameworks, and the methodologies used in different studies, including data analysis and data collection procedures. We then scrutinize the studies conducted on compliment response patterns in Persian, addressing similarities and differences and any emerging trends. Based on the review of the existing literature, recommendations are provided with guidelines and directions for future research in this area.
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This paper reviews research on teaching pragmatics – and more specifically speech acts – to young L2 learners from two perspectives: (1) studies investigating young L2 learners’ pragmatic competence and (2) studies examining the potential of different materials with regard to pragmatics instruction. The review of L2 learners’ speech act competence addresses cross-sectional and longitudinal developmental studies, as well as studies that examined the effects of specific instructional approaches, learning contexts or materials on young L2 learners’ pragmatic competence. The review of studies examining materials addresses both studies focusing on designated L2 teaching materials produced for the explicit purpose of foreign language instruction of young learners, as well as studies examining speech acts included in children’s books. The paper concludes with a discussion of issues relevant to young learners and the teaching and researching of L2 pragmatics.
Conversational implicatures (CIMs) are implied by the speaker in context rather than being linguistically encoded, and learners’ inability to infer the intended meaning, if not remedied through instruction (or mediation), leads to communication breakdowns. Given this premise, the current study aimed to examine effects of classroom praxis-based instruction adjusted to EFL learners’ Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) on their comprehension of CIMs. Participants were 36 Iranian high school students in 2 classrooms, assigned to experimental and comparison groups. A 20-item CIM test was administered at pretest and posttest times to collect the data. Microgenetic trajectories were also traced through audio-recorded role-plays and social interactions within the ZPD setting. ZPD-adjusted mediational instruction on CIMs was given based on a multi-level regulatory scale and a view of microgenetic development along an other-to self-regulated functioning continuum. In the non-ZPD setting, mainstream teacher-fronted instruction was employed. ANCOVA results revealed differential instructional effects in favor of the praxis-based mediational setting. Microgenetic learning episodes also portrayed how collectively-mediated, ZPD-activated learning led to L2 learners’ progressively improved comprehension of CIMs. The findings suggest that comprehension (and perhaps production) of L2 CIMs can be improved through praxis-oriented co-construction of pragmatic knowledge through collaborative engagement with communicative activity.
Second language (L2) pragmatics, also known as interlanguage pragmatics, is concerned with how L2 learners develop pragmatic competence over time. Since the 1980s, a great deal of research in L2 pragmatics has been conducted, covering a range of topics such as speech act, strategy-use, pragmatic instruction, and pragmatic assessment (Cohen, 2018). In spite of the increasing number of studies on L2 pragmatics, the discussion on pedagogy and implications for language education from the English as a lingua franca (ELF) perspective are still not adequately addressed, particularly in the East Asian context (Konakahara & Tsuchiya, 2020). The volume under review aims to fill the gap by exploring and discussing the significance of learning and teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) pragmatics in language education, with reference to how English is used among ELF learners in various classroom, experimental and natural contexts in three regions in East Asia – China, Japan and South Korea.
This study explored the influence of the learning context on second language (L2) pragmatic realizations by investigating the production of compliment responses by 48 American learners of Japanese as a second language (JSL) and as a foreign language (JFL). The data elicited through an oral discourse completion test were analyzed at three levels: compliment response strategies; patterns of semantic formulas; and lexical/phrasal characteristics. The quantitative and qualitative analyses showed that the JSL learners came out ahead over the JFL learners in using the target-like avoidance strategy in compliment responses, and that the JFL learners were apt to emphasize negation in their responses at all three levels. Follow-up interviews revealed that the JFL learners' tendency of negation might have come from their Japanese textbooks, which emphasize that explicit denial is an ideal means to respond to compliments in Japanese culture (i.e., transfer of training). On the other hand, through interaction with native speakers of Japanese, the JSL learners seemed to have opportunities to modify their knowledge gained from textbooks. © 2009 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin. All rights reserved.
This article describes how to develop teaching materials for pragmatics based on authentic language by using a spoken corpus. The authors show how to use the corpus in conjunction with textbooks to identify pragmatic routines for speech acts and how to extract appropriate language samples and adapt them for classroom use. They demonstrate how to use the language samples to help students notice how expressions are used in context and to provide explicit statements about form. They also provide examples of interactive production activities in formats that approximate conversation. They provide a step-by-step guide for working with a corpus for pragmatics teaching and illustrate the process with a unit on agreements, disagreements, and other- and self-clarifications for academic discussion in an English for academic purposes program.