Edited by Naoko Taguchi and YouJin Kim
[Task-Based Language Teaching 10] 2018
► pp. 192–214
Chapter 8. Pragmatics, tasks, and technology
This chapter explores the relationship among pragmatics, tasks, and technology when the goal is to support the development of pragmatics in a new language (L2). We view L2 pragmatic competence as culturally and situationally specific and inseparable from authentic communication, which encompasses both the face-to-face and digital worlds of people. Taking as a premise that optimal blends of tasks and new technologies can provide a programmatic framework for L2 instruction (González-Lloret & Ortega, 2014), including L2 pragmatics instruction, we first survey key existing task-based, technology-mediated approaches that incorporate a focus on the development of L2 pragmatics. We then choose two well-known areas of TBLT – cognitive task complexity (Robinson, 2011; Skehan, 2003) and needs analysis (González-Lloret, 2014) – to point at factors that can shape interactional pragmatics, and we show how they can be relevantly applied to technology-mediated tasks for the teaching and learning of L2 pragmatics. From a TBLT stance, we argue that the pragmatics-related demands of tasks might impact cognitive task complexity as an independent variable. From a technology-mediated TBLT stance, we propose that the systematic analysis of tasks in terms of pragmatics is necessary to carve a formal curricular place for L2 pragmatics instruction. We close the chapter by pointing at two fruitful future areas for investigating how the synergy among pragmatics, tasks, and technology can be optimized.