Vol. 8. No. 2 A-2 September 2004
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The Effect of Explicit Metapragmatic Instruction on the Speech Act Awareness of Advanced EFL Students

Zohreh Eslami-Rasekh
Texas A&M University

Abbas Eslami-Rasekh
Isfahan University

Azizollah Fatahi
Alame Tabatabaei University


This study deals with the application of the pragmatics research to EFL teaching. The study explored the effect of explicit metapragmatic instruction on the speech act comprehension of advanced EFL students. The speech acts of requesting, apologizing, and complaining were selected as the focus of teaching. Teacher-fronted discussions, cooperative grouping, role plays, and other pragmatically oriented tasks were used to promote the learning of the intended speech acts. A pretest-posttest control group design was used. The subjects included Iranian undergraduate students in their last year of study in the field of teaching English as a foreign language. A group of American students were used to provide the baseline for the study. A multiple choice pragmatic comprehension test was developed in several stages and used both as a pretest and posttest to measure the effect of instruction on the pragmatic comprehension of the students. The results of the data analysis revealed that students' speech act comprehension improved significantly and that pragmatic competence is not impervious to instruction even in EFL settings.

Keywords: ESL,EFL,second language acquisition, pragmatics


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