Pragmatics and ELT - what we need to know (Peter Grundy)

Session details

Pragmatic competence has been widely recognised as being of vital importance to an L2 speaker, and in recent years ELT has sought to promote this ability through instructional pragmatics. This symposium will address a range of topics in the field of pragmatics and how they are taught in language classes. Our aims are to encourage colleagues to question the manner in which pragmatics is covered in ELT and to propose ways of improving L2 learners’ pragmatic competence through classroom language and instructional pragmatics. The symposium will enable you to evaluate pedagogical pragmatics from a wide range of perspectives, including the current status of English in the world, pragmatic awareness raising through classroom discourse and instructional pragmatics, materials development, teachers’ attitudes to pragmatics teaching and how linguistic choices affect pragmatic meaning.

The first presenter, Peter Grundy, Durham University, UK, will argue that approaches to the teaching of pragmatics in the language classroom differ depending on whether we view English as a foreign/second language for use in cross-cultural communication or as a lingua franca for use in intercultural communication. He will critique most former approaches and call for a new direction, outlining areas which he considers important.

The next two speakers will focus on learner data. Rachele De Felice, Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics, University of Nottingham, UK, will show how the tools for linguistic research into politeness and pragmatics find practical applicability in the ELT domain by enabling fine-grained comparisons of features such as adverb use and the distribution of expressions of time. Lubov Tsurikova, Voronezh State University, Russia, will discuss the importance of teaching pragmatics in an EFL context and enhancing cross-cultural sociopragmatic sensitivity in EFL learners. Her presentation will focus on the results of a research project used to assess the pragmatic (in)adequacy of discourse produced by the EFL speakers in spontaneous communication and the communication problems they may face in real-life interaction with English speakers.

The four final presenters will address pedagogic issues, often in an interactive way that will involve the audience.

Helen Basturkmen, Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics, University of Auckland, New Zealand, will report a small scale study that aimed to gather information for planning a teacher education program in which teachers would develop materials for teaching pragmatics in their own classes using authentic/semi-authentic texts. The first part of the presentation describes the study and the second part reports key findings concerning the teachers' reports of their current practices and which aspects of pragmatics and pragmatics-focused instruction they were interested in finding out more about.

Donna Tatsuki, Kobe City University, Japan, will dispel the mystery surrounding the creation of materials for pragmatic instruction. She will draw on her own experience creating materials and editing collections to give examples of activities for form-focused instruction of speech act sequences, involving awareness raising, identification and/or comprehension exercises, and opportunities for both controlled and guided practice.

Tarja Nikula, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, will help the audience explore and problematise pragmatic competence and awareness in the context of CLIL classrooms, with the target language as the means of instruction in content lessons. Applying a discourse-pragmatic perspective, attention will be drawn to how Finnish secondary level students orient to social-interpersonal dimensions of interaction when conducting their classroom activities in English.

Finally, Esra Özdemir, Istanbul University, Turkey, will focus on the aspects of pragmatics that can be taught, and the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of the teaching of pragmatics in ESL/EFL classrooms. The focus will be on instructional pragmatics and how it has improved in both theoretical and practical dimensions encompassing a variety of instructional approaches and activities that aim to raise awareness of pragmatic aspects of the target language.

There will be opportunities for audience participation at various stages and the symposium will conclude with an open discussion.

Associated Documents


Member since:
11 March 2009
Last activity:
2 years 49 weeks


Member since:
12 March 2012
Last activity:
2 years 43 weeks

Greetings from New Zealand & looking forward to seeing you in Glasgow

Member since:
10 March 2012
Last activity:
2 years 48 weeks

Enjoyed the symposium Peter--big thanks to you and Esra! I have uploaded my powerpoint on my page. What should I do next?

Text Only Options

Top of page

Text Only Options

Open the original version of this page.

Usablenet Assistive is a UsableNet product. Usablenet Assistive Main Page.