Raising Pragmatic Competence in Foreign Language Classrooms
Second language pragmatics has recently been a prevailing topic in the field of second language teaching. While many studies have been conducted about why, how, what to incorporate regarding the teaching of pragmatic competence, there are still unsolved issues about them. This study addresses the possibility of developing pragmatic competence in EFL classrooms through well-designed curricular courses. The study also examined the impact of proficiency in expediting pragmatic production in English L2 learners. Fifty senior university students (25 males; 25 females) with English high proficiency attended the course, participating in a pre-test before instruction began and a post-test upon course completion. The study addresses several significant questions, namely the relationship of proficiency and development of pragmatic competence, the impact of class-based curriculum in raising competence, and the role of gender as an influencing factor affecting competence and students' preference of assessment methods. Unlike previous studies, this study covered more than one aspect of pragmatic production, including inference, implicature, structural errors in meaning and interpretation, and speech act (requests, refusals, apology and offer). The study produced key findings that can help inform and improve the incorporating of pragmatic competence in language study; proficiency level significantly impacts pragmatic competence; pragmatic-based curricula are supportive in constructing competence; gender factor does not affect learning pragmatics, as both genders performed similarly in the tests. Eventually pragmatic competence can expectedly be raised in classrooms-based courses.
Keywords - Pragmatic Competence, Curriculum, Gender Difference, Assessment, Foreign Language.