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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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... Given the important role of pragmatics in second/foreign language (L2) learners' communicative success (Ishihara, 2022;McConachy, 2019), the past few decades have seen continuous calls to include pragmatics teaching in the English as a second/foreign language (L2) classroom at all levels (Cohen, 2018;Taguchi and Roever, 2017). As for pronunciation or grammar teaching, L2 teachers need to have knowledge of both pragmatics and instructional pragmatics to teach pragmatics successfully (Cohen, 2018;Ishihara, 2022). ...
... Given the important role of pragmatics in second/foreign language (L2) learners' communicative success (Ishihara, 2022;McConachy, 2019), the past few decades have seen continuous calls to include pragmatics teaching in the English as a second/foreign language (L2) classroom at all levels (Cohen, 2018;Taguchi and Roever, 2017). As for pronunciation or grammar teaching, L2 teachers need to have knowledge of both pragmatics and instructional pragmatics to teach pragmatics successfully (Cohen, 2018;Ishihara, 2022). Given that content and pedagogical knowledge constitute the knowledge components of L2 teachers (Freeman, 2016;Levis, 2018), second/foreign language preservice teacher education (SLPTE) needs to equip student teachers with sufficient knowledge of pragmatics (content knowledge) and of how to teach pragmatics (pedagogical knowledge) to help them become effective L2 instructors. ...
... Apart from instructional materials, training L2 teachers to teach pragmatics also merits further discussion. As in teaching other language aspects such as phonetics or semantics, L2 teachers need to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to teach pragmatics effectively (Cohen, 2018;Ishihara, 2022;Taguchi, 2021;Yates, 2017). ...
Pragmatics in the field of English language teaching has recently received increasing research interests, but studies on teachers learning to teach pragmatics are limited. The present study extends this research agenda by investigating how well second/foreign language preservice teacher education (SLPTE) prepares teachers to teach pragmatics. Adopting a multi-site case study approach, this study examines (1) the representation of pragmatics and instructional pragmatics in SLPTE programmes at Australian and Vietnamese universities, and (2) programme leaders’ beliefs about pragmatics instructor preparation. Data were collected from curriculum document analysis, a questionnaire, and four individual semi-structured interviews. The findings show that pragmatics was represented to different extents across the programmes but instructional pragmatics was entirely absent. The findings further show three sets of the programme leaders’ beliefs: (1) preservice teachers were not well-prepared to teach pragmatics; (2) teaching pragmatics and instructional pragmatics to preservice teachers is important; and (3) pragmatics and instructional pragmatics need to be sufficiently addressed in SLPTE. The study has important implications for teacher educators, curriculum designers, and relevant stakeholders regarding L2 pragmatics teacher preparation.
... Under this view, the main focus of language teaching is to 'develop the learner as an interlinguistic and intercultural communicator by developing an understanding of the process of meaning making and interpretation through experiences of language in use' (Liddicoat, 2020, p. 225). To facilitate learners to go through this development process, we argue that EALD teachers need to be aware of the importance of IP and have abilities to integrate IP into their teaching practices to meet the requirements of both the multicultural context of Australia and the diversity of EALD learners (Cohen, 2018;Ishihara, 2022). ...
... With the increasing popularity of intercultural communication in our current world of internationalisation, there has been continuous emphasis on teachers to play a key role in including IP in their English teaching (Cohen, 2018;Mugford, 2021;Taguchi, 2021). It is contended that teachers, via intercultural teaching, could 'help break down barriers such as xenophobia, racism, and ethnocentrism' (Amery, 2021, p, 58). ...
The teaching of English as an additional language or dialect (EALD) in Australia has been problematised partly due to teachers’ limited understanding of learners’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The gap could be potentially bridged with the integration of intercultural pragmatics (IP). Adopting a qualitative case study approach, this study explored how a teacher with awareness of the role of IP in intercultural communication could incorporate IP into adult EALD classrooms to enable learners to use the target language appropriately in the multicultural context of Australia. The findings illustrate the teacher’s awareness of multiple aspects of IP and how these aspects were meaningfully taught in adult EALD classrooms. The study thereby confirmed the usefulness of IP teaching in the investigated setting in particular and adult EALD classrooms in general. Hence, it suggests a need for systematic integration of IP into adult EALD programs and reveals pedagogical implications for IP teaching regarding not only teachers’ classroom practices but also teacher education and teacher professional development.
... This study thus underlines: (1) the importance of pragmatically appropriate teaching materials that are readily available to practitioners, (2) the need to equip foreign language teachers with pragmatic knowledge, awareness and skills and (3) the necessity to instil a positive self-concept that includes the confidence to not only teach grammar and vocabulary, but also pragmatics. Support for this conclusion comes from Cohen's (2016Cohen's ( , 2018 survey among native and non-native language teachers, which found that non-native teachers much more often reported a perceived lack of pragmatic knowledge or intuition and subsequent insecurities in teaching about situational variation and linguistic appropriateness as opposed to linguistic correctness. Cohen also points out the necessity to make more pragmatics resources available so that instructors can teach "pragmatics with greater comfort and facility" (Cohen, 2016, p. 583). ...
... This has to do, on the one hand, with the limited time teachers have available as they have to juggle many responsibilities and tasks besides their actual teaching load. On the other hand, materials creation as such is time-consuming, and non-native English teachers often feel insecure when creating pragmatics materials on their own (Cohen, 2016(Cohen, , 2018. Accordingly, a true 'pragmatics change' in teacher education can only come about when conceptual knowledge and awareness is paired with concrete and directly applicable materials and teaching suggestions. ...
Despite its crucial contribution to second/foreign language (L2) competence, pragmatics has still not gained a fixed place in many language teacher training programs. To address this, a workshop for in-service primary English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers was conducted to raise awareness of L2 pragmatics and to present suggestions for teaching it in the classroom. This chapter documents the contents of this professional training course and presents insights into the participants’ expectations and perceptions of the workshop, as well as their knowledge and attitudes towards the teaching of L2 pragmatics. Data was collected by means of questionnaires at the beginning and end of the workshop. In addition to presenting the results, the chapter discusses implications for teacher education to help bring pragmatics into the L2 classroom on a wider scale.
... Nonetheless, some L2 components have been neglected by LLS researchers in comparison with others including grammar (Pawlak 2009(Pawlak , 2013(Pawlak , 2021, pronunciation (Pawlak and Szyszka 2018;Sardegna 2021), and pragmatics (Sykes and Cohen 2018). The present paper focuses on the last of these areas or strategies that learners consciously employ to help them learn and use pragmatics, or develop their ability to communicate and interpret meaning in interaction (Cohen 2018). Cohen (2005) argues that LLS, as defined and operationalized by the existing literature, cannot be directly related to the development of pragmatic competence. ...
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Interlanguage pragmatics has been the focus of many studies since its inception in the 1980s, with several issues being investigated and a variety of approaches being applied. However, studies on the learning processes and strategies which are specifically responsible for the acquisition of interlanguage pragmatics (ILP) knowledge are rare. Therefore, the current investigation sought to examine the effects of selected individual differences (IDs), including age, gender, language learning experience (LLE), and L2 proficiency, on the use of interlanguage pragmatic learning strategies (IPLS) in a sample of 160 English as a foreign language (EFL) learners. The data were collected utilizing a six-point IPLS inventory which contained 58 6-point Likert scale items that were divided into six subcategories. Data analysis using independent samples t-tests revealed that young learners statistically significantly more IPLS compared to their adult counterparts; nonetheless, there were no significant differences in the use of the IPLS between the female and male learners. At the same time, two one-way ANOVAs indicated that LLE and L2 proficiency played a significant role in the use of IPLS, that is, learners with longer LLE and higher proficiency levels used more IPLS. These findings have some pedagogical implications for L2 learners and teachers. Keywords: age, gender, interlanguage pragmatic learning strategies (IPLS), language learning experience (LLE), L2 proficiency
... In addition to assessment tasks and role-play tasks, teaching activities and materials of rapport-building language use may broadly encompass awarenessraising activities and metapragmatic discussions using authentic audio and video recordings of similar interactions and transcripts (Cohen 2018) as well as audiovisual materials that include conversations taking place in a variety of contexts in which target rapport-building languages are used (Baron and Celaya 2022). Language teachers might also consider incorporating ethnographic activities to engage learners in collecting authentic conversations that target rapport-building language use in their daily lives, transcribing those conversations, analyzing and reflecting language use, and bringing the transcripts and recordings to class for discussion (Mir 2021;Shively 2010Shively , 2011. ...
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Although task complexity effects on L2 oral production have been widely studied in teaching contexts, their application to task-based language assessment and pragmatic language use remains underexplored. Since pragmatic competence is part of effective communication and interactional abilities and is context-dependent, an investigation of the relationships among task complexity, pragmatic language use, and paired speaking test performance is needed. This study examined the effect of the resource-directing and resource-dispersing dimensions (the number of elements, causal reasoning demand, and planning time) of Robinson’s task complexity construct on fifty-two intermediate-level English as a Second Language (ESL) learners’ rapport-building language use during two decision-making tasks as the achievement test in an EAP program, and the relationships between rapport language use and three dimensions of paired speaking test performance: collaboration, task completion, and style. The results showed that frequency and variety of rapport language use did not significantly differ between the two tasks. However, the study found that only in the simple task did different types of rapport building language have statistically significant positive or negative relationships with different dimensions of paired speaking test scores. Specifically, greeting language use had a strong or close to strong positive relationship with collaboration and style scores, whereas agreeing language had a strong negative relationship with collaboration scores. Additionally, thanking language had a strong negative association with task completion scores. These findings suggest that task complexity effects learners’ production of rapport-building language in terms of alignment with their peer interlocutors and formality of style, and also impacts raters’ perceptions of paired speaking task performance. The findings also highlight the importance of task effects, paired oral assessment rubrics development, and rapport-building language instruction. Keywords: task complexity; task-based language assessment; rapport building; second language pragmatics; paired speaking test
... Bardovi-Harlig et al. 1991;Barron 2016;Glaser 2020;Jakupčević and Ćavar Portolan 2021;Limberg 2015;Schauer 2019Schauer , 2020Schauer and Adolphs 2006). In addition, further studies have revealed that although L2 teachers tend to consider the teaching of appropriate language to achieve specific language functions (such as the speech acts of greetings, leave takings, requests and apologies) to be important, not all teachers feel that they have the necessary background knowledge to teach pragmatics (Cohen 2018;Savvidou and Economidou-Kogetsidis 2019;Schauer 2022b). Consequently, many L2 teachers may not feel sufficiently comfortable or confident to develop their own pragmaticsfocused materials. ...
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To date very little research is available that focuses on L2 pragmatics and young learners [cf. Schauer, G.A. 2022a. Teaching pragmatics to young learners: a review study. Applied Pragmatics. DOI:10.1075/ap.00006.sch]. Recent studies have shown that textbooks for young learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) vary considerably regarding their pragmatic content and frequently do not provide varied and consistent input of key speech acts and formulaic expressions. Graphic novels could be a rich source of pragmatic input for L2 learners as they tend to contain a considerable amount of direct speech that could be used in a variety of different ways in the L2 classroom. In this paper, I will examine four graphic novels (2 suitable for beginner level and 2 suitable for intermediate level EFL learners) concerning their potential to provide young L2 learners with pragmatic input of their respective level. The study provides an overview of the number of speech act occurrences of eight speech acts (greetings, leave-takings, requests, responses to requests, expressions of gratitude, responses to expressions of gratitude, apologies, responses to apologies), as well as a more detailed analysis of individual speech act expressions and formulaic routines of six of the eight speech acts.
Pragmatics—the rules of how to say what to whom, when, and in what context—is often not included in second or foreign language classrooms, leaving learners without preparation for everyday interactions in the target language. This entry reviews potential obstacles to teaching pragmatics and suggests ways to overcome them. One major obstacle is that information about pragmatics is rarely found in commercial textbooks, either as input (as examples or models) or as explanations of language use or what might be expected in the target culture. However, some materials have been developed for teaching pragmatics, but they are still largely limited to the professional development literature. This entry concludes by suggesting what teachers can do to develop materials and activities, and how they can be shared with other teachers in order to promote curricular innovation.
This is the first edited volume dedicated to both teachers and learners of second/foreign language (L2) pragmatics. It comprises a collection of studies that explore how teachers background and practices, and individual learners differences contribute to the teaching and learning of L2 pragmatics. Also included are chapters that present pedagogical approaches that bring teachers and learners together in action in the classroom setting. Written by an international team of experts, the volume examines the most relevant topics on instructional pragmatics in a variety of language contexts, including Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Spain, the United States, and Vietnam. This global perspective represents a key contribution in the current increasingly multilingual and multicultural society. Taken together, the findings presented have diverse research and pedagogical implications, and provide new directions to explore L2 pragmatic competence. This innovative book will be a valuable resource for researchers and graduate students, as well as for language teachers and course developers.
This paper examines the professional context of teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), whose first language is not English but who are required to help learners adhere to target-language (TL) politeness norms and practices. Many of these teachers have had little or no contact with TL countries/cultures and have limited professional training in this area. This paper highlights the specific context of 39 Mexican EFL teachers who reflected on their understandings and “teaching” of politeness. I argue that by employing existing resources and knowledge and with further training, bilingual teachers can be helped to take “possession” of politeness rather than having to unquestioningly teach appropriate, socially-accepted, socially-expected usage.
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.