The effects of English-medium instruction on the use of textual and interpersonal pragmatic markers
This study examines a semi and a full English-medium instruction (EMI) undergraduate program offered at a Catalan university in order to measure its effect on the students’ oral output. Specifically, it tackles the acquisition of pragmatic markers (PMs) by measuring four variables, the overall frequency of use, the variety of types, the use of textual PMs, and the use of interpersonal PMs. Oral data were collected via a monologue and an interaction task. The study is cross-sectional with 39 full-EMI and 33 semi-EMI participants in 2nd and 3rd year of study plus 10 native speakers. PM use was chosen for analysis due to the important role they play in communicative competence. Results show a significant increase in the overall frequency and variety of types of PMs used from year 2 to year 3. The full-EMI group used PMs at a significantly higher frequency and wider variety when compared to the semi-EMI group, neither group reached baseline levels for use of interpersonal PMs, and both groups displayed a higher use of textual PMs compared to the NSs.
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