On-line interactions as a resource to raise pragmatic awareness
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Although the development of pragmatic competence is now a stated aim in foreign language curricula, few researchers believe that the language classroom can equip learners with the necessary tools to achieve this. The artificiality of most classroom activities and the language produced in them restrict quantity and quality of input to which learners are exposed, particularly through the models presented in most language textbooks. Researchers have shown that textbook explanations fall short in accurately describing speech act realisations and that the native-speaker intuitions of textbook writers do not match naturally occurring data. This study contributes to the discussion by exploring the speech act advice giving. It compares the pragmalinguistic features described in 12 intermediate Spanish language textbooks with natural data collected from on-line advice about relationship break-ups. The comparison shows great differences in the structures used and in the distribution of discourse strategies. Conclusions point to the importance of supplementing classroom materials with data from naturally occurring interactions, to expose students not only to pragmalinguistic features of the language but also to sociopragmatic norms of the target culture.
Journal of Pragmatics
© 2011 Elsevier B.V.. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Discourse and Pragmatics