Teacher talk reflecting pragmatic awareness: A look at EFL and content-based classroom settings

Tarja Nikula

Abstract

This paper approaches classroom interaction from a pragmatic perspective. More specifically, it concentrates on how pragmatic awareness is reflected in the use of modifying elements of talk by two teachers (both non-native speakers of English), and how their use of modifiers affects the ongoing interaction. The data come from two different classroom settings where English is either the object or the medium of study. The findings reveal an overall tendency towards directness in the teachers’ performance that is affected in complex ways both by the institutional context and the teachers’ status as nonnative speakers. The findings also suggest a need for future research to analyse classrooms as social contexts in their own right and with their own pragmatic constraints which may not correspond to those of everyday discourse in other settings.

Keywords:
Quick links
A browser-friendly version of this article is not yet available. View PDF
Allwright, D
(1999) Discourse in the language classroom. In B. Spolsky (ed.), Concise encyclopedia of educational linguistics. Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 319-323.Google Scholar
Auer, P
(1988) On deixis and displacement. Folia Linguistica 22/3-4: 263-292. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Bardovi-Harlig, K
(2001) Evaluating the empirical evidence: Grounds for instruction in pragmatics? In K. Rose & G. Kasper (eds.), Pragmatics in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 13-32. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Bardovi-Harlig, K., and B.S. Hartford
(1990) Congruence in native and nonnative conversations: Status balance in the academic advising session. Language Learning 40: 467-501. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Bardovi-Harlig, K., B.S. Hartford, R. Mahan-Taylor, M. Morgan, and D. Reynolds
(1991) Developing pragmatic awareness: Closing the conversation. ELT Journal 45: 4-15. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Bergman, M.L., and G. Kasper
(1993) Perception and performance in native and nonnative apology. In G. Kasper & S. Blum-Kulka (eds.), Interlanguage pragmatics. New York: Longman, pp. 82-107.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Biber, D., and E. Finegan
(1989) Styles of stance in English: Lexical and grammatical marking of evidentiality and affect. Text9.1: 93-124.  BoP CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Blum-Kulka, S
(1991) Interlanguage pragmatics: The case of requests. In R. Phillipson, E. Kellerman, M. Sharwood-Smith & M. Swain (eds.), Foreign/second language pedagogy research. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp. 255-272.Google Scholar
Brown, P., and S.C. Levinson
(1987) Politeness. Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Caffi, C., and R. Janney
(1994) Toward a pragmatics of emotive communication. Journal of Pragmatics, 22.3/4: 325-373. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Christoph, J.N., and M. Nystrand
(2001)  Taking risks, negotiating relationships: One teacher's transition towards a dialogic classroom . CELA Research Report No. 14003. http://​cela​.albany​.edu​/christoph013​/main​.html
Clennell, C
(1999) Promoting pragmatic awareness and spoken discourse skills with EAP classes. ELT Journal 53.2: 83-91. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Coates, J
(1987) Epistemic modality and spoken discourse. Transactions of the Philological Society 1987: 110-131. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Cohen, A., and E. Ohlstain
(1993) The production of speech acts by EFL learners. TESOL Quarterly 27: 33-56. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Flyvbjerg, B
(2001) Making social science matter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Framework
(1996) Modern languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. A common European framework of reference. CC LANG (95) 5 Rev. IV, Strasbourg: Council of Europe.Google Scholar
Fruhauf, G., D. Coyle, and I. Christ
(eds.) (1996) Teaching content in a foreign language. Practice and perspectives in European bilingual education. Alkmaar: The European Platform for Dutch Education.Google Scholar
García, C
(1992) Responses to a request by native and non-native English speakers: Deference vs. cameraderie. Multilingua 11.4: 387-406. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Hakulinen, A
(1987) Avoiding personal reference in Finnish. In J. Verschueren & M. Bertucelli-Papi (eds.), The pragmatic perspective. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 141-153.  BoP CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Hakulinen, A. et al.
forthcoming) Iso suomen kielioppi(‘A reference grammar of Finnish’).
Harder, P
(1980) Discourse as self-expression. On the reduced personality of the second-language learner. Applied Linguistics 1.3: 262-270. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Holmes, J
(1990) Hedges and boosters in women's and men's speech. Language and Communication 10.3: 185-205. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
House, J
(1996) Developing pragmatic fluency in English as a foreign language. Routines and metapragmatic awareness. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 18.2: 225-252. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Hyland, K
(1996) Writing without conviction? Hedging in science research articles. Applied Linguistics 17.4: 433-454. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Kasper, G
(1979) Communication strategies: Modality reduction. The Interlanguage Studies Bulletin - Utrecht 4.2: 266-283.  BoPGoogle Scholar
(2001) Classroom research on interlanguage pragmatics. In K. Rose & G. Kasper (eds.), Pragmatics in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 33-60. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Kasper, G., and K. Rose
(2001) Pragmatics in language teaching. In K. Rose & G. Kasper (eds.), Pragmatics in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-9. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Kramsch, C
(1986) From language proficiency to interactional competence. The Modern Language Journal 70.4: 366-372. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Krueger, M., and F. Ryan
(eds.) (1993) Language and content. Discipline- and content-based approaches to language study. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath.Google Scholar
Lemke, J.L
(1990) Talking science. Language, learning, and values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
Nikula, T
(1996) Pragmatic force modifiers. A study in interlanguage pragmatics. Studia Philologica Jyväskyläensia 39. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Nikula, T., and D. Marsh
(1997) Vieraskielisen opetuksen tavoitteet ja toteuttaminen (‘Content and language integrated teaching: From aims to implementation’). Helsinki: National Board of Education.Google Scholar
Nystrand, M., and A. Gamoran
(2001)  Questions in time: Investigating the structure and dynamics of unfolding classroom discourse . CELA Research Report No. 14005. http://​cela​.albany​.edu.​/nystrand015​/main​.html
Östman, J-O
(1981) You know: A discourse-functional approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
(1986) Pragmatics as implicitness: An analysis of question particles in Solf Swedish, with implications for the study of passive clauses and the language of persuasion. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Berkeley.
(1995) Pragmatic particles twenty years after. In B. Wårvik, S-K. Tanskanen & R. Hiltunen (eds.), Organization in discourse. Proceedings from the Turku conference. Anglicana Turkuensia 14: 95-108.Google Scholar
Overstreet, M., and G. Yule
(1999) Fostering pragmatic awareness. Applied Language Learning 10.1 & 2: 1-13.Google Scholar
Schourup, L
(2002) Rethinking well . Journal of Pragmatics 33.7: 1025-1060. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Silverstein, M
(1993) Metaparagmatic discourse and metapragmatic function. In J.A. Lucy (ed.), Reflexive language. Reported speech and metapragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 33-58. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Snow, M.A., and D.M. Brinton
(eds.) (1997) The content-based classroom: Perspectives on integrating language and content. White Plains, NY: Longman.Google Scholar
Swain, M
(1996) Integrating language and content in immersion classrooms: Research perspectives. The Canadian Modern Language Review 52.4: 529-548. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Takala, S., D. Marsh, and T. Nikula
(1998) Vieraskielinen opetus Suomessa (‘Content and language integrated teaching in Finland’). In S. Takala & K. Sajavaara (eds.), Kielikoulutus Suomessa(‘Language education in Finland’). Jyväskylä: Centre for Applied Language Studies, pp. 139-170.Google Scholar
Tomlinson, B
(1994) Pragmatic awareness activities. Language Awareness 3.3 & 4: 119-129. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Trosborg, A
(1987) Apology strategies in natives/non-natives. Journal of Pragmatics 11.2: 147-167. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Verschueren, J
(1995) Metapragmatics. In J. Verschueren, J-O. Östman & J. Blommaert (eds.), Handbook of pragmatics, manual. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 367-371. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
(1999) Understanding pragmatics. London: Arnold.  BoPGoogle Scholar
(2000) Notes on the role of metapragmatic awareness in language use. Pragmatics 10.4: 439-456.  BoP CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Zuengler, J., and D.M. Brinton
(1997) Linguistic form, pragmatic function: Relevant research from content-based instruction. In M.A. Snow & D.M. Brinton (eds.), The content-based classroom: Perspectives on integrating language and content. White Plains, NY: Longman, pp. 263-273.Google Scholar