Theoretical, empirical, and practical interest in pragmatic competence and development for second language (L2) learners has resulted in a large body of literature on teaching L2 pragmatics. This body of literature has diverged into two major domains: (a) a group of experimental studies directly testing the efficacy of various instructional methods in pragmatics learning and (b) research that explores optimal instructional practice and resources for pragmatic development in formal classroom settings. This article reviews literature in these two domains and aims at providing a collective view of the available options for pragmatics teaching and the ways that pragmatic development can best be promoted in the classroom. In the area of instructional intervention, this article reviews studies under the common theoretical second language acquisition paradigms of explicit versus implicit instruction, input processing instruction, and skill acquisition and practice. In the area of classroom practice and resources, three domains of research and pedagogical practices are reviewed: material development and teacher education, learner strategies and autonomous learning, and incidental pragmatics learning in the classroom. Finally, this article discusses unique challenges and opportunities that have been embraced by pragmatics teaching in the current era of poststructuralism and multiculturalism.
(Online publication September 02 2011)
Naoko Taguchi is an associate professor in the Modern Languages Department at Carnegie Mellon University where she teaches courses on SLA, pragmatics, and Japanese language and culture. As a Fulbright scholar, she completed her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University, and she is the recipient of the 2004 MLJ-ACTFL Emma Birkmaier Dissertation Award. She edited the volume Pragmatic competence with Mouton de Gruyter and is co-editing the volume Technology in interlanguage pragmatics research and teaching with John Benjamins. Her research monograph, Context, individual differences, and pragmatic development, is forthcoming from Multilingual Matters. Her publications appeared in Modern Language Journal, Applied Linguistics, Language Learning, TESOL Quarterly, and Studies in Second Language Acquisition, among others. She is currently on the editorial board for Japanese SLA.