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Say what?! L2 sociopragmatic competence in CMC: Skill transfer and development

Issue: Vol 30 No. 3 (2013)

Journal: CALICO Journal

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.11139/cj.30.3.423-445


More so than any other type of learner error, pragmatic mistakes interfere with the ability to communicate (Bardovi-Harlig & Dörnyei, 1998), yet there is relatively little understanding of how pragmatic competence develops in the language classroom or how best to teach it, and whether relevant skills may transfer from the L1 (Eisenchlas, 2011; Kasper, 2001; Rose & Kasper, 2001). Pragmatics research has also primarily focused on learners’ ability to produce native-like language forms, specifically speech acts, often elicited via discourse completion tasks (Jeon & Kaya, 2006). To supplement such research, the present study used ethnography of communication (Saville-Troike, 2002) to examine whether and how 17 second-semester learners of German developed sociopragmatic competence by participating in computer-mediated communication. Based on the findings, some pragmatic “targets” are identified for different levels of instruction.

Author: Zsuzsanna Abrams

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