Issues in Acquisitional Pragmatics

Jung, Ji-Young

This paper aims at a comprehensive review of the growing body of research in L2 pragmatic acquisition, including both theoretical discussions and empirical studies to date. To this end, the paper deals with a number of issues which are grouped into four broad categories: the essential constituents of pragmatic competence, models of pragmatic development, major processes of pragmatic competence, and various factors affecting pragmatic development. Throughout the paper, it is shown that cultural knowledge is of central importance in pragmatic competence and that such knowledge can be acquired through language-mediated social interactions. Furthermore, a learner’s unconditional adoption of a new set of cultural beliefs and values is unrealistic due to the unresolved conflict between L2 norms of speaking and the learner’s needs and beliefs about the ways of being in the world. Given these perspectives, this paper points to the need for a holistic approach to L2 pragmatic development, taking into account both the intra-learner, psychological and the inter-learner, sociocultural aspects of learning. The paper concludes with the suggestion that L2 pragmatic competence be discussed in terms of intercultural competence involving the learner’s continuous identity and attitude formation, rather than the acquisition of prescribed behavioral rules of speaking.


Also Published In

Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
October 15, 2015