Although the divergence itself is not definitely problematic, “there is abundant evidence that divergence can cause pragmatic failure…” (Kasper, 1998:197), and pragmatic failure constitutes great threat to intercultural communication (Thomas,1983;Tannen,1984;Wolfson, 1989;Bardovi-Harlig & Hartford,1993;Scollon & Scollon,2000;etc.) A number of studies have proved that “children are taught interactional skills in their L1 and do not simply ‘absorb’ their knowledge on the basis of exposure alone.” (Overfield, 1996: 14).
Individual differences in integrative motivation, sociocultural identity, or grammatical competence
As noticing and attention are the initial condition for input to become intake (Schmidt, 1990), measures need to be taken to raise learners’ sensitivity to pragmatic rules. To facilitate learners’ noticing of pragmatic rules, which are by themselves not salient, explicit presentation of pragmatic rules is necessary. Based on the control processing hypothesis (Bialystok, 1993), L2 pragmatics instruction should begin with activating learners’ repertoire of pragmatic knowledge. Thus, it can be a better choice for the metapragmatic discussion to start with L1 pragmatics, and explicit presentation of L2 pragmatic rules to start with comparison and contrast of L1 and L2 pragmatics. As output can trigger noticing and offer opportunities for hypothesis testing and automatization of pragmatic rules, classroom teaching of speech acts is supposed to include ample practice of target pragmatic features. Role-plays, communicative tasks, or written tasks (e.g. e-mail writing) might be available choices. TL data must be authentic, representative and applicable in real communication. Transcripts of authentic conversation, audiocassettes, videocassettes or television might be wise choices.
The EXP group learners’ employment proportion of DSs over ‘safe’situations in the pretest is 43.5% less than that of the NE group, but in the posttest the gap is just 14.39%. That is, the gap has shrunk by 29.11%.The CON group learners’ posttest employment of requests also became more concentrated over ‘safe’ situations than that in the pretest. The gap of their performance from the NE norm in the posttest is 20.89% smaller than the gap in the pretest. That is, the EXP group learners has made great progress towards the NE usage pattern of direct strategies over situations, and their progress is larger than that achieved by the CON group.
In contrast to the great gaps between the EXP group’s and the NE group’s employment proportion of AP and PEP in the pretest (21.27% and 24.39% respectively), the two groups’ employments of these two strategies in the posttest show no deviance, with the EXP group learners’ employment proportion of AP and PEP being 36.44% and 27.12% respectively, and the NE groups’ employment proportion of AP and PEP being 38.30% and 27.66% respectively. The gap between the EXP group’s and the NE group’s employment proportion of WP has shrunk from 13.75% to 8.82%, and the gap between the two groups’ employment of POP has shrunk from 10.64% to 5.57%. As to the CON group, despite certain progress towards the NE norm in the employment of the PEP strategy, the CON group’s employments of the other three strategies show no remarkable changes towards the NE norm.
In the pretest, the EXP and the CON group learners show no significant difference in employing the WP PEP and POP strategies, however, in the posttest, the two groups’ performances demonstrate significant difference in the employment of these three strategies. Considering that the two groups have similar backgrounds and got exposed to the same English normal teaching treatment, the significant changes were most probably caused by the additional experimental treatment on the EXP group learners. In the pretest, the EXP group learners’ employment of all the four preparatory strategies were significantly deviant from the NE norm, whereas the EXP group and the NE group’s posttest responses show insignificant difference in all the four examined items. As to the CON group, its pretest employment of the four types of questions were significantly deviant from the NE norm in the usage of WP, PEP and POP; in the posttest, their usage of WP and POP remain significantly different from the NE norm despite the progress in the usage of PEP. The results of paired samples t-tests give a strong support the effectiveness of explicit instruction.
1.Result of the paired samples t-test supports the significant difference in EXP group’s pretest and posttest usage of bi-clausal requests. Moreover, the independent samples t-tests support the significant difference between the EXP and the CON group’s employment of the bi-clausal requests in the posttest. Since there is no significant difference between the two learner groups’ pretest performance,it seems reasonable to conclude that the difference is caused by the treatment; and as the comparison of the EXP group’s and the NE group’s posttest performance shows no significant difference, it seems safe to assume that the changes in the EXP group’s pretest and posttest performance is what has been expected. 2.Learners’ usage of PF mitigators didn't’t show significant deviance from the NE norm, so that part of statistics are not listed here. 3. The difference in the EXP group learners' pre- and post treatment usage of mitigators is close to the significance level. But the independent samples t-tests offer stronger evidence for the effectiveness of the treatment.In the pretest, the EXP group’s employments of NF mitigators are insignificantly different from those of the CON group’s, but in the posttest, the two learner groups' employments of the NF mitigators are very significantly different from each other. It seems to suggest that the explicit teaching treatment brought some effects. Moreover, in the pretest, the EXP group’s usage of NF mitigators is significantly different from the NE norm, but their posttest employments show insignificant difference from the NE norm.
The results reflected in the tables suggest very limited effectiveness of experimental teaching in encouraging the EXP group learners to follow the NE norm in using DRFs. The EXP group learners’ pretest employment of DRFs is significantly less than that of the NE group. Their posttest employments of DRFs appears to show some changes towards the NE norm and becomes slightly higher (at an insignificant level) than that of the NE group. However, their employment of DN is significantly less than that of the NE group in both the pretest and the posttest, and their employment of NA, which is just slightly higher than that of NE group in the pretest, becomes significantly higher in the posttest. It associates that learners are somewhat reluctant to use DNs even in ‘safe’ cases; thus,to solve the conflicts of their awareness of increasing the use of DRFs and their psychological resistance to saying ‘no’ directly, the EXP group learners have found their way out by increasing the usage of NAs. Moreover, the comparison of the EXP group’s and the CON group’s posttest usage of direct refusals show insignificant difference, which also suggests the lack of effects of the treatment in the aspect of encouraging the usage of direct refusals.
The results show that in the pretest, the EXP group’s average usage of avoidance and non-substantive acceptance are significantly different from the employment of the NE group, and the difference between the EXP group’s and the NE group’s usage of alternative is close to the significance level, but in the posttest, the significance values of the differences in these two groups’ employment of all the three items are much higher than the significance level. By contrast, comparison of the CON group’s and the NE group’s pretest and posttest performance show fewer changes. The difference between the two groups’ pretest and posttest usage of non-substantive acceptance are both significant, and the difference between the groups’ employment of avoidance are both close to the significance level.
In the pretest the EXP group learners’ average usage of reason is higher than the NE group’s mean by about 0.4 point, but the t-test suggests the difference is not significant; in the posttest, the EXP group’s usage of reason remain higher than the NE group’s by about 0.6 point. The value of the significance of difference, though still lower than the significance level, is already close to the significance level. It seems that the teaching efforts to guide learners to reduce the usage of reason did not bring about the expected effects. 2. But comparison with the CON group’s pretest and posttest usage of reason offers a weak evidence for the effectiveness of the teaching treatment. Paired samples t-tests suggest that the increase of the usage of reason by the CON group is at a very significant level, while the increase of the usage of reason by the EXP group is not at a significant level. Assuming the rationale of some researchers’ (e.g. Cenoz and Valencia, 1996; Yu,1999) argument that the ‘waffle’ phenomenon is a typical feature of interlanguage, then the approach of explicit teaching seems to have soften the tendency, though not have been successful in precluding the tendency.
In the pretest, the EXP group learners’ average employment of gratitude and positive opinion appear to be higher than those of NE group, but at an insignificant level. In the posttest, the usage of these two adjuncts by the EXP group are significantly higher than those of the NE group. It seems that the explicit teaching treatment have few effects on learners’ reduction of cases of unnecessary employment. Moreover, the comparison of the EXP group’s and the CON group’s posttest employment of these two adjuncts show insignificant difference. That is, the EXP group’s performance in this aspect is not significantly better.
Comparison of the two subgroups’ pretest and posttest performance suggests that the increase size of the HM subgroup’s employment of ‘Safe’ DSs, Non-H perspective requests, bi-clausal requests is more or less larger than that achieved by the LM subgroup. And the HM subgroup’s employments of DRFs are both more frequent than the LM subgroups choices. The paired samples t-tests of the two subgroup’s overtime changes suggest that w hile the overtime changes towards the NE norm made by the HM subgroup are significant in three aspects, the changes towards the NE norm made by the LM subgroup are significant in two aspects. Such results seem to learners with lower integrative motivation are likely to make less progress under the same explicit teaching condition.
The goal of L2 pragmatics instruction is not to impose TL cultural values and beliefs on learners, but make them equipped with TL sociopragmatic knowledge and make them competent to obey the TL norm if they choose to. Learners should be allowed for certain slight cases of violation on the condition that they are aware of the TL expression but feel the TL usage somewhat offensive and intentionally choose to use a more indirect representation formula. The point is that the incongruent usage is unlikely to cause any miscommunication.
Effects of explicit instruction on efl learners' pragmatic competence development
明示教学对提高外语学习者语用能力的作用及局限性 研究Effects of Explicit Instruction on EFL learners’ Pragmatic Competence Development By: Zhao Yurong From: Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology On: May,18th, 2007
I. Background of the present study 1. Pragmatic competence and interlanguage competence Pragmatic competence ---one of the essential elements of communicative competence. In Bachman’s (1990) model, communicative competence is composed of organizational competence (which refers to knowledge of linguistic units and textual rules) and pragmatic competence (which refers to knowledge and ability to interpret and perform illocutionary acts corresponding to the social and contextual factors) Interlanguage pragmatic competence---the developing state of an L2/FL learners’ pragmatic competence.
Importance of TL pragmatic competence A big number of researches, such as Thomas (1983), Tannen (1984), Wolfson (1989), Bardovi-Harlig & Hartford (1993), Scollon & Scollon (2000), etc., have demonstrated the importance of TL pragmatic competence in intercultural communication. In fact, to some extent, it is even more important than the TL organizational competence. The fact is simply that while native speakers often forgive syntactic and lexical errors, they typically interpret pragmatic failure as arrogance, impatience, rudeness, and so on. Therefore, in order to prevent missteps in intercultural communication, L2 learners have to develop the TL pragmatic competence on the basis of improving their overall TL proficiency and accuracy. Accordingly, researchers and teachers need to explore how nonnative learners acquire and develop this type of competence.
3.Rational of explicit teaching Divergence in L2 learners’ REMEDY: pragmatic competence Explicit instruction Potential danger for of pragmaticsintercultural communication Inefficient development Noticing The role of focused under the normal teaching instruction in L1 hypothesis condition pragmatics acquisition (Ellis, 1992;Hill,1997) “Noticing is the necessary and sufficient condition for converting input to intake” (Schmidt, 1990: 129), or “The attentional threshold for noticing is the same as the threshold for learning” (Schmidt, 1993:35). And simple exposure to the TL pragmatics was insufficient for learners’ noticing of L2 pragmatic features (Schmidt, 1993).
4. Previous experimental studies Experimental studies on the effects of explicit instruction of pragmatics--incongruent resultsA bigger part of studies support the effectiveness of the explicit approach (e.g. Billmyer, 1990; Olshtain & Cohen, 1990; Morrow, 1995; Takahashi, 2001; Bouton, 1994, 2001; Liddicoat & Crozet, 2001; Wishnoff, 2000; etc.) But other studies reported that no significant effects of the explicit instruction could be found (e.g.Locastro,1997; Kubota,1995; Overfield,1996;Pearson,2001; etc.) .
Compare and contrast: 1) Takahashi, 2001 (intermediate/advanced learners; bi-clausal requests; detailed metapragmatic information given in the handouts) vs. Pearson, 2001(low proficiency; gratitude, apology, directive; metapragmatic discussion) 2) Morrow, 1995 (prescribed speech act formulas; various types of performance activities; learner factors are controlled ) vs. Overfield, 1996 (extralinguistic features discussion; role-play; uncontrolled learner factors, especially, the experience of traveling abroad) Tentative interpretation: Differences in teaching designs; Influences of learner factors Investigations into the relationship between individual factors and pragmatic competence development associate the possible intervention of learner factors in the the instructional process of pragmatics Integrative Motivation: Schmidt, 1983; Niezgoda and Rover, 2001 Sociocultural Identity: Locastro, 1998, 2001; Siegal, 1996 Grammatical competence: Bardovi-Harlig and Dornyei,1998; Koike, 1996
II. Research questions and hypotheses (1) This study investigates in the context of explicit teaching IF and To What Extent nonnative learners can improve their pragmatic performance; and meanwhile, IF and TO What Extent learner factors can exert some influences on the outcome of the explicit teaching. Make difference in learners’ pre- and post-treatment performance? Bring more benefits for learners’Research Questions improvement in TL pragmatic competence than normal teaching? Learners’ individual differences have effects on learners’ progress under the same explicit teaching condition?
II. Research questions and hypotheses (2) (i) Explicit instruction of pragmatics does make difference in nonnative learners’ pragmatic performance;HY (ii) Explicit instruction can better facilitate nonnative learners’P pragmatic competence development than normal teaching approach;OT (iii) FL learners’ lower integrative motivation and lower-leveled identity for TL sociocultural norm may impede learners’H investment in pragmatics learning, and thus shadow the effectsE of pragmatics teaching;S (iv) Grammatical competence is a necessary, though not aE sufficient condition for learners’ pragmatic competenceS development. Learners’ lower grammatical competence might hinder learners from getting benefits of pragmatics instruction.
III. Explicit Teaching of Requests and Refusals: Methodological Issues Principles for explicit teaching of pragmatics A Pilot Investigation Modified taxonomy Findings—possible of requests and refusals learning obstacles
1. Principles for explicit teaching of Pragmatics two-dimensional Theoretical Noticing hypothesis output hypothesis model hypothesisunderpinnings Principle of consciousness-raising Principlesfor explicit Principle of explicit input teaching of Principle of activating acquired knowledgepragmatics Principle of practice Principle of teaching data’s authenticity
2. Pilot Investigation (1)General Introduction: a comparative study Time: July, 2004 Participants: 49 undergraduates in Tsinghua university 19 native English speakers. Data collection: DCT questionnaires, an English version, and a Chinese version Elicited data: 17 copies of effective NE data 30 copies of effective interlanguage data 19 copies of effective NC dataModified taxonomy of requests and refusals A: Realization strategies of the head act Classical scheme: three macro categories, nine micro categories (Blum-Kulka et al, 1989: 277-280) Modified scheme: three macro categories, eleven micro categories+opting out preparatory strategy –>WP, AP, PEP, POP strong hints, mild hints-- > hints) B. Mitigation devices (Blum-Kulka et al, 1989: 281-288) Group the categories of mitigators into two macro categories: NF mitigators and PF mitigators
2. Pilot Investigation (2)C. Re-categorization of refusal semantic formulas Classical scheme: thirteen categories of refusal semantic formulas (Beebe et al,1990: 72) Modified scheme: nine categories of semantic formulas Direct refusals Direct denials; Negative ability/willingness Non-substantive acceptance Subjunctive supposition of acceptance (wish); and Acceptance that function as a refusal Future acceptance: Promise of future acceptance; Set condition for future acceptance Attempts to dissuade the interlocutors: Statement of principle or philosophy
2. Pilot Investigation (3) Based on the pilot investigation, the problematic areas for Chinese university- level EFL learners to learn English requests and refusals may involve the following items: 1) Contextual appropriateness in making direct requests; preparatory strategies to make CID requests; CID request perspectives; syntactic downgraders (mainly conditional clause); and internal mitigation devices, especially those addressing negative face. 2) Direct refusals; certain indirect refusals (reason, alternative, avoidance, non- substantial acceptance.); adjuncts (pause fillers, gratitude, and positive opinion). As to the possible causes, the influence of Chinese pragmatic conventions are responsible for a bigger part of differences, except the usage of WP, PF mitigators, reason, alternative, avoidance. The difficult points listed in the above were to be taken as the treatment focuses, and the aspects in which the L1 norms exert influences were to be included in the the discussions of the differences between L1 and L2 pragmatic norms during the treatment.
IV. Design of the Major Experiment (2)* Background information of the participant groups Group Age Male Female Length of Traveling Artistic Artistic English study abroad design history (major) (major) EXP 19.0 15 17 6.5 years none 15 17 CON 19.1 10 13 7.3 years none 23 0* A Cochran-Cox test on the experimental group (EXP) and the control group (CON) learners’ achievements (Mean: EXP 99.93, CON 102.6; SD: EXP, 17.6, CON, 10.4) in the entrance examination of English showed that there was no significant difference in English proficiency between the two groups (t’=2.67<t’0.01/2, 3.009).Treatment design [Time span: three months; eleven 20-minute periods] Experimental teaching material *Film segments from Brave Heart, A Few Good Men, American President, and Raising Helen. *Model dialogues recorded by native speakers based on the depicted contextual information (20 request model dialogues and 24 refusal model dialogues). * Multiple-choice exercise and metapragmatic judgment exercise devised on the basis of Chinese researchers’ studies on pragmatic errors (He & Yan, 1986; Jia, 1997; Cai, 2003; Chen, 2003; Zhang, 2000, etc. )
DS direct strategy CID conventionally indirect strategy NCID non-conventionally indirect strategy DCT discourse completion task EXP group experimental group CON group control group AP ability preparatory WP willingness preparatory PEP permission preparatory POP possibility preparatory NF mitigator negative face preserving mitigator PF mitigator positive face preserving mitigator DRF direct refusal DN direct denial NA negative ability/willingness statement
V. Findings Learners’ performance of requests Learners’ performance of refusals Written self-report and structured interview Influence of learners’ integrative motivation Influence of learners’ sociocultural identityInfluence of learners’ grammatical competence
Learners’ performance of requests A. Situational distribution of DSs (1) 100.00% 80.00% 60.00% Safe Sit. 40.00% Risky Sit. 20.00% 0.00% e CO re NE e EX st st CO st pr pr po p po po NE P N EX P N
Learners’ performance of requests A. Situational distribution of DSs (2) Moreover, the results of the independent samples t-tests of the cross-group differences in the employment of DSs over ‘risky’ situations also suggest the greater progress made by the EXP group learners. Pretest Posttest EXP vs.CON EXP vs. NE CON vs. NE EXP vs. CON EXP vs. NE CON vs. NE t=-1.748 t= 3.015 t= 4.746 t= -2.010 t= 1.041 t=3.012 df= 53 df= 46 df=37 p= .049 p=0.303 p=.005 df=53 df= 43.369 df=29.475 Finding: Theses facts suggestp= .000 P=.086 p=0.004 that although the normal teaching (if the course book is a well-designed one) can bring certain benefits to learners, the explicit teaching can be significantly more effective.
B. Employment of preparatory strategies (1) 70.00% 60.00% WP 50.00% 40.00% AP 30.00% PEP 20.00% 10.00% POP 0.00% EX e NE e EX ost CO e CO ost st pr pr pr po p p NE N P P NFindings: 1) Remarkable overtime difference in the EXP group learners’ pre-and post-treatment employment of the preparatory strategies;2) Greater progress made by the EXP group than the CON group.
B. Employment of preparatory strategies (2) Independent samples t-tests EXP vs. CON EXP vs. NE CON vs. NE Pretest Posttest Pretest Posttest Pretest Posttest AP, p=.022 AP, p=.517 AP, p=.001 AP, p=.661 AP, p=.672 AP, p=.882 WP, p=.233 WP, p=.035 WP, p=.005 WP, p=.144 WP, p=.001 WP, p=.006 PEP, p=.625 PEP, p=.028 PEP, p=.000 PEP, p=.536 PEP, p=.000 PEP, p=.236 POP, p=.402 POP, p=.020 POP, p=.000 POP, p=.637 POP, p=.000 POP, p=.027Results of the paired samples t-test of the EXP group learners’ employment cases of thepreparatory strategies AP1-AP2 p=.000 ; WP1-WP2 p=.039; PEP1-PEP2 p=.004 ; POP1-POP2 p=.020Findings: Significant improvement; significantly more benefits
C. Employment proportion of request perspectives (1) Perspec- H1 S1 IM1 H&S1 H2 S2 IM2 H&S2 -tives NE 58.2% 35.3% 4.7% 1.8% 59.6% 21.3% 10.6% 8.5% EXP 94% 6% 0 0 67.8% 27.1% 5.1% 0 CON 92.3% 7.7% 0 0 86.8% 13.2% 0 0 Analysis: 1) Before the treatment both learner groups highly depend on hearer-oriented requests and employ drastically less speaker- oriented requests and both learner groups didnt make any requests from inclusive or impersonal perspectives. 2) In the posttest, however, the EXP group’s employment of hearer-oriented requests and speaker oriented requests were at a proportion similar to the NE norms, and the employment of impersonal oriented requests can be found in the learners’ posttest performance, though no presence of inclusive- oriented requests can be detected. 3) In contrast, the CON group’s progress towards the NE norm is not so remarkable. Their employment of hearer-oriented requests in the posttest remains at a very big proportion, and their employment of speaker- oriented requests remains much less than the NE norm. And they still fail to use impersonal oriented requests and inclusive oriented requests.
C. Employment of request perspectives (2)Results of the independent samples t-tests of the differences in the aspect of the average employment cases EXP vs. NE CON vs. NE Pretest Posttest Pretest Posttest H, p=. 000 H, p=. 088 H, p=. 000 H, p=. 015 S, p=. 000 S, p=. 171 S,p=.000 S,p=.299 IM,p=.020 IM,p=.434 IM,p=.020 IM,p=.020 H&S,p=.163 H&S,p=.041 H&S,p=.163 H&S,p=.041Results of the paired samples t-tests of the differences in the EXP group learners’ pre-and post- treatment employments of request perspectives H1-H2, p=.042; S1-S2, p=.000; IM1-IM2, p=.002 Findings: Significant improvement; significantly more benefits
D.Employment of bi-clausal requests and NF mitigators Bi-clausal requests NF mitigators Mean Pretest Posttest Mean Pretest Posttest NE 1.0000 .8750 NE 1.2353 .6875 EXP .2188 1.4688 EXP .7500 1.0625 CON 8.696E-02 .3043 CON .5217 .2174 Paired samples t-test Paired samples t-test BIC1-BIC2 p=.000 NF1-NF2 p=.056 Independent samples t-tests Independent samples t-tests EXP pre vs. CON pre p=.255 EXP pre vs. CON pre p=.177 EXP post vs. CON post p=.000 EXP post vs. CON post p=.004 EXP post vs. NE post p=.106 EXP pre vs. NE pre p=.038 CON post vs. NE post p=.043 EXP post vs. NE post p=.356
Learners’ performance of refusals A. Average employment of direct refusals and t-tests of the means Group DRF1 DN1 NA1 DRF2 DN2 NA2 NE 2.8235 1.4706 1.3529 1.6875 .8750 .8125 EXP 1.7188 .2188 1.5000 2.0938 .1563 1.9375 CON 1.8261 .5217 1.3043 2.3043 8.696E-02 2.2174 EXP pre vs. NE pre EXP post vs. NE post EXP post vs. CON post DRF, p=.014 DRF, p=.236 DRF, p=.516 DN, p= .000 DN, p=.000 DN, p=.456 NA, p= .671 NA, p=.001 NA, p=.396
B. Employment of indirect refusals and the results of t-tests Group Alt1 Avoid1 Non-A1 Alt2 Avoid2 Non-A2 NE 9.2% 8.2% 3.1% 33% 5.3% 4.3% EXP 4% 1.1% 0 31% 4.3% 4.8% CON 3.8% 2.3% 0 24.3% 1.5% 0 Formulas EXP pre EXP post CON pre CON post vs. NE pre vs. NE post vs. NE pre vs. NE post Alternative p=.080 p= .764 p=.143 p=.503 Avoidance p= .002 p=.800 p= .054 p=.074 Non- p=.014 p=.869 p= .037 p=.010 substantive acceptance
C.Usage of semantic formula of reason Means Results of t-tests Mean Pretest Posttest Independent samples t-tests NE 3.5294 3.8125 EXP pre vs. NE pre p=.151 EXP 3.9688 4.4375 EXP post vs. NE post p=.067 CON 3.3913 4.9565 CON pre vs. NE pre p=.675 CON post vs. NE post p=.003 Paired samples t-tests EXP pre vs. EXP post p=.053 CON pre vs. CON post p=.000
D. Usage of adjuncts Gratitude Positive opinion Overall distribution Overall distribution Pretest Posttest Pretest Posttest NE 23.7% 23.4% NE 19.4% 16% EXP 28.2% 40.1% EXP 31.6% 32.6% CON 16.7% 39.7% CON 26.7% 29.4% Results of t-tests Results of t-tests EXP pre vs. NE pre p=.550 EXP pre vs. NE pre p=.215 EXP post vs. NE post p=.009 EXP post vs. NE post p=.013 EXP post vs. CON Post p=.685 EXP post vs. CON Post p=.888
Written Self-report and Structured interview Self -report 1) Some learners have a wrong belief in the indirectness encoded in want statement expressions, which is possibly due to the influence of Chinese culture. 2) The learners are somewhat reluctant to follow the native norm of using the direct denials in ‘safe’ cases because they are afraid that the direct denial would hurt their friends’ feelings; some learners could intentionally choose an ‘inter-norm’ between L1 culture and L2 culture. 3) Learners seem to have a tendency of using adjuncts to modify the refusals when they feel unsure of the necessity. They argued for the Chinese traditional belief in “no one will blame a person who is excessively polite”. Structured Interview The interview reveals that most learners have a preference for Chinese cultural norm, but meanwhile, they are willing to follow English cultural norm when communicating with others in English. So, perhaps, in performing speech acts, they just consciously or unconsciously follow an inter-norm.
Influence of learners’ integrative motivation ‘Safe’ Non-H Bi-clausal Direct Test & Group DSs request perspective refusal Pretest LM (15) 40.5% 10.9% 2.7% 26.7% HM (15) 48.6% 7.1% 0.8% 32.2% Posttest LM (15) 65.8% (+25.3%) 20.2% (+9.8%) 23.4% (+20.7%) 32.2% HM (15) 77% (+28.4%) 23.3% 28.6% (+27.8%) 37.8% (+16.2%)Results of paired samples t-tests HM pre vs. HM post LM pre vs. LM post DSA1-DSA2 p=.003 DSA1-DSA2 p=.000 NONH1-NONH2 p=.036 NONH1-NONH2 p=.105 BIC1-BIC2 p=.001 BIC1-BIC2 p=.010 DRF1-DRF2 p=.597 DRF1-DRF2 p=.229
Influence of learners’ sociocultural identity Subgroup DN1 NA1 DRF1 DN2 NA2 DRF2 LI 3.5% 24.1% 27.6% 2.2% 26.9% 29% HI 4.9% 32.1% 37% 4.6% 38.6% 43.2% Findings: 1) On the one hand, the HI subgroup learners are more ready to accept the NE norm in employing direct refusals; 2) On the other hand, the HI subgroup learners also show reluctance to choose direct denials from the two available choices and depend predominantly on the alternative, negative ability or willingness to perform direct refusals. Interpretation: Possibly, the underlying cause is that the HI subgroup learners can be still subject to the influence of L1 culture, and thus, to solve the conflicts of two cultural conventions, they would prefer an ‘inter-norm’.
Influence of learners’ grammatical competence Subgroup AP& WP1 PEP&POP1 BIC1 AP& WP2 PEP&POP2 BIC2 LG .7500 6.618E-02 . .4216 .1667 .2157 2.206E-0 2 HG .7583 .1000 3.333E-0 .2750 .2889 .2778 2 Results of paired samples t-test HG pre vs. HG post LG pre vs. LG postAP&WP1 vs. AP&WP2 p=.000 p=.000PEP & POP1 vs. PEP&POP2 p=.002 p=.060BIC1vs.BIC2 p=.000 p=.006
VI Conclusion and implications (1) Answers to the research questions The approach of explicit teaching does bring significant benefits for learner’s progress towards the NE norm, but its effectiveness seems to be restricted in teaching pragmatic features related with sociopragmatics. The experimental treatment can bring more benefits to learners than the normal teaching condition despite the fact the explicit treatment cannot bring all the expected effects in the EXP group learners’ performance. Learners’ lower integrative motivation and their L1 cultural beliefs can have certain constraints over learner’ progress towards the native speakers’ pragmatic norm and accordingly affect the outcome of explicit teaching to a certain degree; learners with lower grammatical competence are likely to get less benefits from the explicit teaching of pragmatics.
VI Conclusion and implications (2) Tentative conclusions: The present experiment of explicit teaching approach designed on the basis of the teaching principles is successful for a bigger part but not in every aspect in facilitating learners’ TL pragmatic competence development. 1) Regarding the increase of pragmalinguistic means to achieve higher degreed indirectness and politeness, the explicit approach brought remarkable benefits for learners’ pragmatic progress. 2) Explicit teaching of sociopragmatics seem to be effective in teaching ‘politeness’, but not so effective in teaching appropriateness, or, native-like usage. 3) It seems that the limitations of the explicit approach revealed in this experiment were more often caused by the intervening factors than the approach itself.
VI Conclusion and implications (3)Implications A consolidated theoretical construct Modified taxonomy of requests and refusals Interlanguage pragmatics researches Native speakers’ norm? Influences of learner factors Integration of pragmatics instruction into normal teaching L2 instruction Explicit teaching principles Goal of L2 pragmatics instruction
VII.Limitations and suggestions Limitations 1) The population size is rather small. 2) There are some drawbacks in the design of the DCT questionnaires and the employment of two sets of baseline data. 3) Due to the restriction of time, less sufficient practice was administered of some TL pragmatic usage in subtle aspects. 4) Because of the failure in finding a native speaker as a co-rater, the comprehensive evaluation of learners’ pragmatic performance was not done. Suggestions 1) To get a clear picture of the role of instruction or individual factors in the process of pragmatic competence development, investigations of a big population of versified background and different proficiency are expected. 2) The present study strongly recommends Chinese interlanguage pragmatics researchers to go beyond the model of comparative study and conduct experimental studies to investigate the developmental process of Chinese EFL learners’ pragmatic competence.
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