Edited by Laura Gurzynski-Weiss and YouJin Kim
[Research Methods in Applied Linguistics 3] 2022
► pp. 149–180
The field of instructed SLA (ISLA) has grown rapidly in recent years to examine how systematic manipulations of instructional conditions can lead to the development of second language (L2) knowledge and use (Loewen & Sato, 2017). Following this trend, L2 pragmatics researchers have implemented various instructional methods and examined their effectiveness using experimental designs (Taguchi, 2015; Taguchi & Roever, 2017). The critical issue in this practice is how to assess learning outcomes in order to make a claim that certain instructional methods can produce robust pragmatic knowledge. To address this question, this chapter presents an overview of assessment methods used in analyzing pragmatics learning outcomes. The chapter surveys instructed L2 pragmatics studies published in the last four decades to identify common assessment methods (i.e., discourse completion tasks and role-play tasks). We provide step-by-step illustrations of expert studies in order to demonstrate how researchers design an assessment task, evaluate learning, and interpret results. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the challenges and limitations of current methods and provides direction for addressing such challenges in pragmatics research.