Second language acquisition : the need for explicit pragmatic instruction in beginning-level language classes.


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Conventional classroom instruction leaves a void in the formation of communicative competence among language learners. This communicative competence deficiency can in part be attributed to learners’ deficient pragmatic abilities. Due to insufficient attention and/or poor teacher preparation, language classrooms lack incorporation of significant pragmatic instruction, leaving students with inadequate understanding of the language function. While students might understand the forms of the language, they need instruction and consciousness-raising to truly acquire sociolinguistic abilities. The process of acquiring pragmatics should be encouraged from early on; even in natural settings, development of speech acts takes some time (Achiba; BardoviHarlig). Therefore, pragmatic instruction must be included from beginning level classes. Specifically, speech acts such as greetings and compliments are suitable for the grammar knowledge of novice learners.



Spanish. Pragmatics. Second language acquisition. Greetings. Compliments.