Production and Comprehension Aspects of Pragmatic Competence in an Immersive Language Program

Vahid Rafieyan, William Rozycki

Abstract


Since pragmatic ability appears to be a vital skill for social transactions, Bardovi-Harlig and Mahan-Taylor (2003) have argued for the inclusion of explicit instruction in pragmatics within general language instruction. However, their study adopts a speech-act framework that does not differentiate between pragmatic production and pragmatic comprehension. L1 learners develop a comprehension stage before producing appropriate utterances (Berk, 2012), and it may be that L2 learners do likewise. To advance pedagogy, this paper addresses four research questions within the context of a residential, immersive language program in an EFL setting: 1) Is there any relationship between language proficiency and the production aspect of pragmatic competence? 2) Is there any relationship between language proficiency and the comprehension aspect of pragmatic competence? 3) To what extent does an immersive language program lead to the development of the production aspect of pragmatic competence? and 4) To what extent does an immersive language program lead to the development of the comprehension aspect of pragmatic competence?

Japanese first-year college students (n=30) were assessed through three instruments at the start of a one-year language immersion program: TOEFL PBT; a 32-item pragmatic production test (Bardovi-Harlig, 2009); and a 58-item pragmatic comprehension test (Taguchi, 2007, 2008, 2012). The correlation between language proficiency and pragmatic production, as well as between language proficiency and pragmatic comprehension, was computed through Pearson correlation coefficient. Fifteen of the subjects thereupon participated in an intensive language program. At the end of the academic year, all 15 subjects took the pragmatic production and comprehension tests again (post-tests). The findings of the one-year longitudinal study on the efficacy of language instruction in an immersive language program, and its relation to both production and comprehension aspects of pragmatic competence, is demonstrated. Language proficiency had a positive correlation with gains in both pragmatic production and pragmatic comprehension. Also, language instruction, even without specifically addressing pragmatic instruction, had a significant effect on developing both pragmatic production and pragmatic comprehension. 


Keywords


Immersive language program; Language proficiency; Pragmatic competence; Pragmatic comprehension; Pragmatic production

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bachman, L. F. (1990). Fundamental considerations in language testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bardovi-Harlig, K. (2001). Empirical evidence of the need for instruction in pragmatics. In K. R. Rose, & G. Kasper (Eds.). Pragmatics in language teaching (pp. 13-32). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524797.005

Bardovi-Harlig, K. (2009). Conventional expressions as a pragma linguistic resource: Recognition and production of conventional expressions in L2 pragmatics. Language Learning, 59(4), 755-795. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2009.00525.x

Bardovi-Harlig, K., & Dornyei, B. (1998). Do language learners recognize pragmatic violations? Pragmatic versus grammatical awareness in instructed L2 learning. TESOL Quarterly, 32(2), 233-259. https://doi.org/10.2307/3587583

Bardovi-Harlig, K., & Mahan-Taylor, R. (2003). Teaching pragmatics. Washington DC: U.S. Department of State Office of English Language Programs.

Bardovi-Harlig, K., Mossman, S., & Vellenga, H. E. (2015). The effect of instruction on pragmatic routines in academic discussion. Language Teaching Research, 19(3), 324–350. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168814541739

Bardovi-Harlig, K., Rose, M., & Nickels, E. L. (2008). The use of conventional expressions of thanking, apologizing, and refusing (Selected Proceedings of the 2007 Second Language Research Forum, ed. Melissa Bowles et al., 113-130). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings.

Barron, A. (2003). Acquisition in interlanguage pragmatics: Learning how to do things with words in a study abroad context. Amsterdam: Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.108

Berk, L. E. (2012). Infants and children: Prenatal through middle childhood. Boston: Pearson.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Fraser, B. (1983). The domain of pragmatics, In J. C. Richards, & R. W. Schmidt (Eds.), Language and communication (pp. 29-59). New York: Longman.

Gharaghani, Z., Eslami Rasekh, A., Dabaghi, A., & Tohidian, I. (2011). Effect of gender on politeness strategies in greetings of native speakers of Persian; English and EFL learners. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, 3, 93-117.

Gravetter, F. J., & Wallnau, L. B. (2013). Statistics for the behavioral sciences. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

Landis, J. R., & Koch, G. G. (1977). The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33(1), 159-174. https://doi.org/10.2307/2529310

Lin, P. M. S. (2014). Investigating the validity of internet television as a resource for acquiring L2 formulaic sequences. System, 42(1), 164-176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2013.11.010

Liu, J. (2006). Measuring interlanguage pragmatic knowledge of EFL learners. Frankfurtam Main: Peter Lang.

Matsumura, S. (2003). Modelling the relationships among interlanguage pragmatic development, L2 proficiency, and exposure to L2. Applied Linguistics, 24(4), 465-491. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/24.4.465

Pallant, J. (2013). SPSS survival manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using SPSS program (5th ed.). Australia: Allen & Unwin.

Rafieyan, V. (2016a). Effect of cultural distance on pragmatic comprehension and production. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 7(4), 25-32.

Rafieyan, V. (2016b). Effect of pragmatic instruction versus educational sojourn on knowledge of conventional expressions. International Journal of Learning and Development, 6(2), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v6i2.9403

Rafieyan, V. (2016c). Bridging pragmatic gap in translation process through developing pragmatic awareness. Journal for the Study of English Linguistics, 4(1), 98-110. https://doi.org/10.5296/jsel.v4i1.9667

Rafieyan, V. (2018). Knowledge of formulaic sequences as a predictor of language proficiency. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 7(2), 64–69. https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.7n.2p.64

Roever, C. (2012). What learners get for free: Learning of routine formulae in ESL and EFL environments. ELT Journal, 66(1), 10–21. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccq090

Rose, K. R. (2005). On the effects of instruction in second language pragmatics. System, 33(3), 385-399. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2005.06.003

Taguchi, N. (2005). Comprehending implied meaning in English as a foreign language. The Modern Language Journal, 89(4), 543-562. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2005.00329.x

Taguchi, N. (2007). Development of speed and accuracy in pragmatic comprehension in English as a foreign language. TESOL Quarterly, 41(2), 313-338. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1545-7249.2007.tb00061.x

Taguchi, N. (2008). Cognition, language contact, and the development of pragmatic comprehension in a study-abroad context. Language Learning, 58(1), 33-71. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00434.x

Taguchi, N. (2011). The effect of L2 proficiency and study-abroad experience on pragmatic comprehension. Language Learning, 61(3), 904-939. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2011.00633.x

Taguchi, N. (2012). Context, individual differences and pragmatic competence. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Taguchi, N. (2013). Production of routines in L2 English: Effect of proficiency and study-abroad experience. System, 41(1), 109-121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2013.01.003

Takahashi, S. (2005). Noticing in task performance and learning outcomes: A qualitative analysis of instructional effects in interlanguage pragmatics. System, 33(3), 437-461. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2005.06.006




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10542

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 Vahid Rafieyan, William Rozycki

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Share us to:   


Reminder

  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use four mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; office@cscanada.net; ccc@cscanada.net; ccc@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Cross-Cultural Communication are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).

 CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION Editorial Office

Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada. 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net; Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mail:caooc@hotmail.com; office@cscanada.net

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture