Thursday, February 23, 2012

Teaching Interlanguage Pragmatic Knowledge

Studies show that importance of teaching pragmatic knowledge to language learners. However, it is not an easy task for language teachers (Jianda, n.d.). Native speakers often forgive the grammatical errors made by non-native speakers but they hardly forgive pragmatic errors (Nelson, et al., 2002). Thus teaching of interlanguage pragmatic knowledge can prevent L2 speakers from negative interpretation of native speakers. 
Gass & Silenker (2008) maintained that language is a phenomenon that cannot be separated from its social context. Therefore, teaching structure of phonological, syntactic, and lexical of the language is just a part of whole. This means without teaching interlinguage pragmatic knowledge language teaching and learning cannot be completed. Therefore, “Students should learn to go beyond the literal meaning of utterances to understand the pragmatic force” (Gass & Silenker, 2008, p. 287).
Matsuda (1999) examines the issues of teachability and the teaching of pragmatics in Language classrooms. Unfortunately, few empirical studies are available. Teaching interlanguage pragmatic knowledge along with the language is very important. Teachers can use materials with a functional approach. That is, the materials should present the contextual reference of the lessons to help students acquire pragmatic competence. 

Gass, S.M., & Selinker, S. (2008). Second language acquisition: An introductory course. New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.
Jianda, L. (n. d.). Assessing EFL learners’ interlanguage pragmatic knowledge:
Implications for testers and teachers. Retrived from
Matsuda, A. (1999). Interlanguage pragmatics: What can it offer to language teachers? Catesol journal 11 (1) pp. 39-59.
Nelson, G. L., Carson, J., Batal, M., & Waguida, E.B. (2002). Cross-cultural
pragmatics: Strategy use in Egyptian and Arabic and American English
refusals. Applied Linguistics (23) p. 163- 189.

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