Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages
This article focuses on the strategies that learners employ in an effort to ensure that the
input that they process is pragmatically comprehensible to them. Likewise, attention is
given to the strategies that learners can make use of so that their output is comprehensible
pragmatically to their interlocutors. This entails taking a close look at specific examples of
what comprehensibility of language at the level of intercultural pragmatics actually means in
terms of intercultural pragmatics. In looking at both the comprehension and production of
pragmatic material, the strategies that might be called on in order to avoid pragmatic failure
are considered. Focus is first given to what it might take strategically in order to effectively
comprehend input pragmatically, whether the input is through language, through gestures,
or through silence. Then focus is given to strategies for diminishing threats to
comprehensible output, such as negative transfer of norms from the L1 or another language,
limited L2 grammar ability, overgeneralization of perceived L2 pragmatic norms, the effect
of instruction or instructional materials, and resistance to perceived L2 norms. The ultimate
concern is to identify strategies that might assist learners in their efforts to have their
conversational partners correctly interpret the intended pragmatics in their communications,
and on the role that ESL teachers can play in facilitating this process.
Cohen, Andrew D..
Learner strategies for performing intercultural pragmatics.
Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
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