Pragmatic challenges for second language learners

Lynda Yates

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    In this chapter I focus on the challenges that pragmatic aspects of language use present to adults as they learn to communicate in another language and culture. The study of interpersonal pragmatics has been approached and investigated from a number of perspectives using a variety of methodologies. Here, I draw somewhat ec1ectically on a range of this research in order to address the question of what it might be useful for language learners to know in order to better interpret and express meaning in a later-learned language. I do this from the perspective of what such speakers might find helpful and what evidence base is available to language professionals charged with assisting them to meet these practical communicative needs. In the first section I briefly discuss why an understanding of pragmatics is so important to language learners and go on to sketch some of the theoretical and conceptual issues that arise in trying to understand the interplay between language, culture and the individual speaker in interaction. I argue for the importance of attention to sociopragmatic as well as pragmalinguistic issues, and provide a brief overview of some of the insights that research into the pragmatics of native-speaker and non-native language use can offer. How these might be conceptualised and approached in adult language learning, and their relationship with notions of intercultural competence and English as a lingua franca, will be briefly explored in the final two sections as I reflect on issues relating to norms, intercultural competence and future orientations in the study of the pragmatics of non-native communication.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPragmatics across languages and cultures
    EditorsAnna Trosborg
    Place of PublicationBerlin ; New York
    PublisherDe Gruyter
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Print)9783110214437
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Publication series

    NameHandbooks of pragmatics
    PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton


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