Effect Of Explicit Metapragmatic Instruction On Speech English Language Essay

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Bouton (1996) notes that the development of communicative competence should be the goal of language teaching. He proposes three major directions that researchers can take in order to further contribute to the theory of communicative competence: (1) the refinement of the study of speech acts as they occur in different cultures, (2) an investigation to determine the extent to which explicit instruction can increase the rate at which nonnative speakers develop different factors of their pragmatic competence, and (3) the contribution pragmatics can make to the presentation of different functions of a language in textbooks designed for second language learners. This study makes contribution in the second area, namely, effect of instruction on pragmatic competence.

The aim of the present research is to show the possibility of teaching pragmatics in an EFL setting with the assumption that this problem can be overcome by giving the student the tools to make the processes of pragmatic decision-making explicit. It is claimed that helping students to make the process of pragmatic decision making explicit will help in successful communication and appropriate use of the second language and will hopefully promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.

This study is theoretically grounded in the area of Pragmatics, Speech Act Theory, Second Language Acquisition Theory, and Interlanguage Pragmatics (ILP).

Interlanguage Pragmatics is defined as the study of 'learners' use and acquisition of linguistic action patterns in a second language (Bardovi-Harlig, 1996; Kasper, 1999; Rose, 2000).

Although pragmatic performance studies make up a relatively large amount of literature on interlanguage pragmatic, the literature on "interlanguage pragmatic development" lags far behind (Kasper, 1999, Kasper & Rose, 1999). As Schmidt (1993) puts it, "there has been little discussion of how pragmatic abilities are acquired in a second language" (p. 21).

Rose (2000) mentions that there have been some cross-sectional studies (e.g., Siegal, 1994, 1996; Ellis, 1992; Bardovi-Harlig & Hartford, 1993) and a few longitudinal studies done recently which have investigated the effects of instruction on pragmatic development over a period of time (Bouton, 1994; Billmayer, 1990, House 1996). Schmidt (1993) for example has explored the role of "conscious awareness" in the acquisition of pragmatic competence. He concludes that the necessary condition for pragmatic learning to happen is attention to pragmatic information to be acquired.

Kasper (1999) distinguishes between "observational" and "interventionist" studies of pragmatic ability within L2 classrooms. Observational studies focus primarily in classroom processes, either without a view to learning outcomes or with learning outcomes being analyzed as emerging in and through classroom interaction. Often but not always, the observed classrooms are authentic in the sense of not being specifically arranged for research purposes. Interventionist studies, on the other hand, examine the effect of a particular instructional treatment on students' acquisition of the targeted pragmatic feature.

(META pragmatic) According to Kasper (2001), opportunities for learning L2 pragmatics in foreign language setting, compared to second language environment, are much more restricted. Interventional studies (House, 1996; Wildner-Bassett, 1984, 1986) support that by metapragmatic instruction and discussion, students can make significant gains in pragmatic ability in FL classrooms. However more research needs to be done to shed light on the kind of instructional measures that are most effective for EFL contexts and other related issues to developmental pragmatics in impoverished L2 contexts.

Relying upon Long's (1996) and some other second language acquisition theorists, Kasper (1999) holds that in purely meaning-oriented L2 use, learners may not detect relevant input features, and that for achieving learners' noticing, input should be made salient through "input enhancement." It is believed that input enhancement will raise the learners' consciousness about the target feature. Input enhancement is defined by Fukyua and Clark (1999) as an implicit instructional technique that provides no metapragmatic information. However, Takahashi (2001) proposes a much broader view of input enhancement. She distinguishes three different degrees and types of input enhancement: explicit teaching, featuring metapragmatic explanation about form-function relationships of the target structures; form-comparison, in which students compare their own speech acts realizations with those of native speakers; and form-search, in which students identify the target strategies in provided scenarios.

Most of the interventionist developmental studies with a focus on "input enhancement" have a component proposing that the target pragmatic feature be described, explained, or discussed and made as the object of metapragmatic treatment. According to Kasper, metapragmatic instruction might be combined with metapragmatic discussion with the active participation of students in various forms of teacher-fronted-format, peer work, small groups, role-plays, semi-structured interviews, introspective feedback, and metapragmatic assessment tasks. Some studies (e.g., House, 1996; Tateyama et al., 1997; Pearson, 1998) have shed light on the issue of metapragmatic instruction and compared it with other forms of instruction, like "implicit teaching," and "practice conditions."

Kasper and Rose (2001) argue that effects of instruction on interlanguage pragmatic development, especially in the L2 classroom, have been explored "far less." They go on and add that classroom research has only played a minor role in interlanguage pragmatics thus far. That is, different aspects of learning or teaching in L2 classroom is still awaiting for further research. Finally, Kasper (1999) calls for classroom research on pragmatics that combines process and produce perspectives.

In response to such calls by Kasper (1999) and Kasper and Rose (2001) this study explores the effect of explicit metapragmatic instruction on the speech act comprehension of advanced Iranian EFL students.

Formal instruction on the speech act…

Use of language is so closely and uniquely tied to the culture and often rules of speaking vary across languages. According to these implicit cultural rules, we constantly alter our language use depending on the situation and the interlocutor.

For example, not only are compliments and compliment responses linguistically different, but when and where compliments are used, who gives compliments, who receives them, and what is complimented on vary across cultures. With such complexity, sociocultural or pragmatic use of language is a challenging area for language learners. Without varying language use according to the situation, a second language speaker could totally fail to communicate their intentions, even with a good grasp of grammar and lexical items. Although faulty grammar or mispronunciation is usually tolerated, pragmatic failure is unlikely to be excused. Wrong use of the language results in a negative interpretation of the second language speaker as arrogant, impatient, unfriendly, distant, and so forth, and it often leads to ethnic stereotypes.

At the same time pragmatics, or language use in its context, is one of the most complex and thus challenging areas for instructors to teach in a language classroom. Is pragmatics teachable in the classroom, and is it learnable for the students? A growing number of interventional studies in interlanguage pragmatics has investigated effects of formal instruction on pragmatics. Do learners benefit from such instruction? And if indeed they do, which teaching methods are more effective? Rose and Kasper (2001) discuss overall advantages of instructed group over uninstructed group among past interventional studies, and the effectiveness of formal instruction on pragmatics seems to have been established. Some of the teaching techniques involve: conscious learning and noticing (Schmidt, 1993), awareness-raising and observational tasks (Hinkel, 1994; Kasper, 1997). Some studies compare effectiveness of instructional techniques, such as implicit and explicit approaches. Although learners improved in pragmatic ability with either approach, the explicit instruction generally appeared to be more effective than the implicit approach (Kasper, 1997).

Rose and Kwai- fun (2001) examine the effects of inductive and deductive instruction on learners' performance in compliments and compliment responses. The findings indicated an improvement in the utilization of compliment formulas by learners instructed with both approaches, while only the deductive group approximated native norms in the use of response strategies. They conclude that inductive and deductive instruction might both assist in pragmalinguistic improvement, although only the deductive approach may lead to sociopragmatic development. Although pragmatic rules of language can be taught in the language classroom, they are difficult to articulate or generalize even for teachers, both native and nonnative. As language teachers often notice and some literature suggests (e.g., Bardovi-Harlig, Harford, Mahan-Taylor, Morgan, & Reynolds, 1991; Boxer & Pickering, 1995), few ESL/EFL textbooks reflect natural use of the language. However, some pragmatic or cultural aspects of language have been discovered through empirical studies on speech acts. This paper provides linguistic and sociocultural descriptions of the speech act of compliments and compliment responses in American English, and how these can be taught in an English as a Second Language classroom. Based on empirical data on compliments and compliment responses in American English in literature, a set of materials was created and taught. The ways in which adult intermediate ESL learners actually responded to such instruction will be described. The immediate and delayed effects of classroom instruction on the speech act in that particular classroom will also be briefly reported in this paper. Since there have been few longitudinal studies examining effects of such formal instruction over time (e.g., Billmyer, 1990; Kubota, 1995; Lyster, 1994; Morrow, 1996), this study is intended to contribute to the existing body of research in interlanguage pragmatics.

Literature Review

Since the classroom instruction given in this study is based on empirical speech act research, relevant literature will be reviewed in this section. Compliments and responses to compliments are among the most investigated speech acts, along with apologies, requests, and refusals. Compliments not only express sincere admiration of positive qualities, but they also replace greetings, thanks, or apologies, and minimize face-threatening acts, such as criticism, scolding, or requests (Brown & Levinson, 1987; Holmes, 1988, and Wolfson, 1983, 1989). Complimenting is a tool of establishing friendship that creates ties of solidarity in U.S. culture. It also is an important social ….. mitonam az inja shoro be neveshtane suggestion va tarifesh konam


This study focuses on interlanguage pragmatics (ILP) from an acquisitional perspective. More specifically, it investigates the effects of instruction on the development of L2 pragmatic knowledge by learners of English as a second language. Though, as Kasper and Schmidt (1996) point out, universals of language pragmatics may facilitate the development of interlanguage pragmatics (ILP), it has been observed that L2 learners display a noticeably different L2 pragmatic system than the native speakers of the L2, both in production and comprehension (Bardovi-Harlig, 2001; Kasper, 1997). There is evidence that this is true even among advanced L2 learners. One possible explanation for that is that learners, on the one hand, may either hesitate to transfer the L1 strategies that may be universal or at least common to L2, or, on the other hand, transfer strategies, assuming them to be universal, thus transferable, when actually it is not the case (Kasper & Schmidt, 1996, p. 155). In conclusion, instruction on L2 pragmatics is necessary at every level of learners' proficiency. The good news is that, studies that have attempted to teach pragmatic features of the L2, Kasper (1997), Kasper and Rose (1999), and Kasper (2001aa; 2001bb), have concluded that L2 pragmatics is teachable.

Interventional ILP Studies

A great amount of Instructed Second Language Acquisition research of the quasi-

experimental and experimental effects of instruction type has appeared in the past decade (Doughty, in press). However, the number of studies which have investigated instructed L2 pragmatic acquisition and interlanguage pragmatic development is still limited (Kasper 2001a, 2001b). Also limited is the scope of pragmatic features investigated so far, as can be seen in Table 1 [for a complete review of these studies, refer to Kasper (1997), Kasper (2001a & 2001b), and Rose & Kasper (2001)]. Table 1

The majority of these studies have yielded findings which favor explicit approaches

to the teaching of L2 pragmatics. In a recent quantitative synthesis and meta-analysis of studies on the effects of instruction on various linguistic features conducted between the years of 1980 and 1998, Norris and Ortega (2000) reported that explicit instruction proved to be more effective among the 49 studies included in their analysis. Though only two studies, Bouton (1994) and Kubota (1995), out of the 49 studies included in their pool, investigated the effects of explicit instruction on L2 pragmatics, Norris and Ortega have shown that in general focused L2 instruction results in large gains over the course of the intervention, both comparing performances from pre-tests to posttests and between treatment and control groups' performances on outcome measures. They have also shown that L2 instruction seems durable and that explicit instruction procedures are more facilitative than implicit ones.

However, as Norris and Ortega (2000, p. 501) also point out, the interpretation of the cumulative findings for explicit/implicit instructional treatments should be tempered by several methodological observations. Testing of learning outcomes usually favors explicit treatments by asking learners to engage in explicit memory tasks and/or in discrete, decontextualized L2 use; the explicit treatments are typically more intense and varied than the implicit ones; and, implicit treatments may require longer-post intervention observation periods for non-linear learning curves to be detected (p. 501). (Doughty, in press) also discusses the research biases in favor of explicit types of treatment, which, according to her, has constituted a threat to the construct validity of the L2 instructional treatments and measures reviewed in Norris and Ortega. Bardovi-Harlig (1999) points out that, though studies on the effects of instruction on ILP have also revealed that explicit instruction may be facilitative for L2 pragmatic development, the most appropriate and effective ways to deliver the pragmatic information and the manner in which learners integrate such information into a developing interlanguage remain empirical questions.

This study takes the methodological issues in the previous paragraph into consideration, more specifically, the ones regarding outcome measures and construct validity, and aims at providing further evidence of the how instructed L2 learners may be helped regarding their developing L2 pragmatic ability. More specifically, I intend to investigate the effects of focused instruction on ESL learners' refusal strategies during role-play performance.

The effects of instruction on learners' production of appropriate and accurate suggestions

During this period, an explicit group was exposed to metapragmatic information on suggestions for 12 h; an implicit group participated in pragmalinguistic input enhancement and recast activities; a control group never received equivalent instruction. (no)))


Even without a stock of target pragmatic knowledge, as claimed by Kasper (2001), second and foreign language learners can successfully perform under two circumstances: when some universal pragmatic knowledge operates (e.g., indirect ways of expressing pragmatic intent; politeness phenomena) or when both pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic knowledge can be positively transferred from the Wrst language to the target language. Despite the opportunities to take advantage of these nonnative speakers' assets, learners may not know how to use what they already know (Kasper, 2001). In fact, Bardovi-Harlig (2001) provides evidence that learners diVer considerably from native-speakers in their perception and production of speech acts. In this sense, both authors advocate the need for instructional intervention for interlanguage pragmatics (ILP) in both second and foreign language classrooms.

On the basis of this proposition, research on instructed ILP has increased in the last decade (for reviews, see Kasper, 2001; Kasper and Rose, 2002; Martínez-Flor et al., 2003; Rose and Kasper, 2001). One group of empirical studies has attested the teachability of various pragmatic features, such as conversational implicature, pragmatic routines, discourse strategies, politeness in requests, downgraders, interactional norms, as well as various speech acts (Billmyer, 1990; Bouton, 1994; Eslami-Rasekh et al., 2004; Fukuya, 1998; Kondo, 2001, 2004; Kubota, 1995; Liddicoat and Crozet, 2001; LoCastro, 1997; Lyster, 1994; Morrow, 1995; Olshtain and Cohen, 1990; Rose and Ng, 2001; Safont, 2003, 2004, 2005; Salazar, 2003; Trosborg, 2003; Wildner-Bassett, 1994; WishnoV, 2000; Yoshimi, 2001). Following a Focus on Forms (FonFS) approach, the explicit treatment in this type of investigation has provided metapragmatic information through description, explanation and discussion of a target linguistic form, frequently in a comparison with a placebo condition (viz. no instruction) or with native-speaker base-line data. The other group of studies has investigated the eVects of pedagogical approaches on pragmatic development, typically in a comparison between explicit and implicit instruction (House, 1996; House and Kasper, 1981b; Pearson, 2001; Takahashi, 2001; Tateyama, 2001; Tateyama et al., 1997). As these studies have demonstrated (with the exception of Tateyama, 2001), the explicit instruction outperformed the implicit one. In contrast to the explicit treatment outlined above, implicit conditions in these studies have constituted learners' simple exposure to input alone (i.e., incidental learning) or a combination of such input with an output practice (e.g., oral and written exercises) of a target form without any metapragmatic information.

Unlike these prevalent deWnitions of implicit instruction, only a few empirical studies (Fukuya and Clark, 2001; Fukuya and Zhang, 2002; Fukuya et al., 1998) have operationalised it by adopting diVerent techniques from the Focus on Form (FonF) paradigm. Fukuya et al. (1998) set out to explore whether FonF works for teaching sociopragmatics. Later, although Fukuya and Clark (2001) failed to demonstrate the relative eYcacy of the explicit instruction and pragmalinguistic input enhancement of mitigators in requests, it paved the way for further work. Equally important, Fukuya and Zhang (2002) brought the eVects of pragmalinguistic recasts into the light. The last study demonstrated that Chinese learners of English in a pragmalinguistic-recast condition signiWcantly outperformed a control group (viz., no instruction on the target forms) in their production of pragmatically appropriate and linguistically accurate requests. Indeed, there is a continuing need to investigate whether and how FonF can be implemented in the pragmatic realm.

Following this line of inquiry, the present study investigated the eVects of explicit and implicit instruction, in which we operationalised the implicit condition via the dual methodology of input enhancement and recast in the pragmatic realm. We employed this combined methodology because it has been questioned whether use of input enhancement alone is eVective enough to induce positive learning eVects. Izumi (2002) recommended research targeting a combination of instructional techniques instead of a single technique, after being convinced by the beneWts of visual enhancement in combination with comprehension aids described in Doughty (1991).

With a focus on pragmatic appropriateness and linguistic accuracy, the present study targeted suggestions - a speech act that, to our knowledge, has never been considered in any previous studies (see, nevertheless, Koike and Pearson's study on suggestions in this issue).


Taking the results of the above-mentioned pragmatics studies into consideration, we formulated the following research question:

Research question: Does learners' production of pragmatically appropriate and linguistically accurate suggestions improve after explicit/implicit instruction?

We investigated this research question by looking at the following two aspects of learners' improvement, which led us to pose the two hypotheses below:

Hypothesis 1. Both explicit and implicit groups will improve their production of pragmatically appropriate and linguistically accurate suggestions in the post-test over the pre-test, but a control group will not.

Hypothesis 2. Both explicit and implicit groups will improve their production of pragmatically appropriate and linguistically accurate suggestions signiWcantly more than a control group in the post-test.

Suggestions: What should ESL students know?


With an increasing awareness of the ''communicative value'' of language (Widdowson, 1978, p. 11) and a concern for learners' language needs, more and more English-as-a-second- language (ESL) textbooks try to make connections between language functions and forms. For each targeted language function, for example, how to express opinions or how to agree or disagree, a group of linguistic forms are presented in textbooks through conversations, exercises, or listening practice. Apparently, text authors are those who make decisions about which forms should be taught to perform certain language functions. There are some questions, however, as to how these decisions are made and whether they are informed by empirical research. Biber et al. (2002) have commented on the lack of availability of empirical linguistic descriptions and language professionals' over-reliance on ''intuitions and anecdotal evidence'' of how language is used. Furthermore, as they pointed out, ''intuitions about language use often turn out to be wrong'' (Biber et al., 2002, p. 10).

The discrepancies between researchers' analyses of naturally occurring conversations and the language of ESL textbooks have been reported in several studies (e.g., Carter and McCarthy, 1995; Koester, 2002; Scotton and Bernsten, 1988). One purpose of the present study is to focus on suggestions and describe how they are made in real-life interactions, in other words, what language forms are used to perform the function of making suggestions in different contexts. A second purpose is to inform ESL materials developers so that they can make more informed decisions about selecting language forms for the speech act of making suggestions when developing instructional resources. With these goals in mind, suggestions in the spoken data from the TOEFL 2000 Spoken and Written Academic Language Corpus (Biber et al., 2002), (which represent authentic language use in real life) are analyzed. The analysis draws on two specific contexts: interactions during office hours and during student study groups. In addition, six comprehensive ESL textbook series, three published in the 1980s, and three more recently published (1997, 1998, and 2001), are reviewed to show what forms were actually selected by textbook authors for the function of making suggestions and to evaluate how successfully these textbooks reflected real-life language use (see Appendix A for the list of textbooks).

The speech act of suggestions in L2 pragmatics

Pragmatics, according to Crystal (1985), ''is the study of language from the point of view of users, especially of the choices they make, the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction and the effects their use of language has on other participants in the act of communication'' (p. 240). Pragmatic or functional use of language, such as suggestions, invitations, requests, apologies, refusals, and agreements, are essential components of language learners' ''communicative competence'' (Hymes, 1972).

Performing speech acts involves both socio-cultural and sociolinguistic knowledge (Cohen, 1996). Socio-cultural knowledge determines when to perform a speech act and which one is appropriate in a given circumstance and sociolinguistic knowledge determines the actual linguistic realization of each speech act appropriate to the particular situation. Of particular relevance to the present study is the second component of speech act performance, which some authors would call pragmalinguistic knowledge (e.g., Thomas, 1983; Bardovi-Harlig, 1999; Kasper and Rose, 2002). Pragmalinguistic knowledge refers to the knowledge about available strategic and linguistic resources for communicating interpersonal meanings. As Kasper (1997) puts it, ''such resources include pragmatic strategies like directness and indirectness, routines, and a large range of linguistic forms which can intensify or soften communicative acts'' (p. 1).

The pragmatic performance of second language (L2) learners often seems to fall short of ideal expectations. Even the most competent learners sometimes appear to have problems with L2 pragmatics in real-world encounters. For example, Bardovi-Harlig and Hartford (1990, 1993) and Bardovi-Harlig (1996) reported the use of different speech acts by native speakers (NSs) and nonnative speakers (NNSs) in authentic academic advising sessions. They found that NSs produced more suggestions but NNSs produced more rejections per advising session. NNSs tended to expect suggestions from their advisor about what classes they should take and as a result, more rejections by the students occurred when they had an idea that differed from what their advisor suggested. NSs, however, showed more initiative in making suggestions and thus managed to avoid most of the contexts for rejections. Even when they did reject their advisor's course suggestions, NSs provided alternatives such as ''how about I take ... instead,'' which was not found in the NNSs' data. Apart from the different speech acts they adopted for the same function, even for the same speech acts, different forms were used. NSs were able to cast their suggestions in tentative terms by using mitigating forms such as ''I was thinking...'' or ''I have an idea... I don't know how it would work out, but....'' In contrast, NNSs tended to formulate their suggestions in much more assertive ways, as in ''I will take language testing'' or ''I've just decided on taking the language structure'' (Bardovi-Harlig, 1996, p. 22). NNSs' choices and formulations of speech acts can lead to serious miscommunication and compromise their goals. As indicated by Bardovi-Harlig and Hartford (1990), when NNSs said something inappropriate pragmatically, they were less successful in getting their advisor's consent for the courses they preferred.

Some speech acts, such as requests, refusals, compliments, apologies, greetings, complaints, and expressions of gratitude, have been extensively investigated in the field of interlanguage or cross-cultural pragmatics (e.g., Blum-Kulka et al., 1989; Cohen et al., 1986; Eisenstein and Bodman, 1986; Trosborg, 1987; Wolfson, 1981). The speech act of suggestions, however, has not been as widely studied (cf. Schmidt et al., 1995).

She found that utterances used to request conveyed more deference than utterances used to suggest. Banerjee and Carrell (1988) reported that nonnative speakers were significantly less likely to make suggestions in slightly embarrassing and potentially embarrassing situations than native speakers. They also found that nonnative speakers might unintentionally appear to be impolite or at least less polite when making suggestions. Based on their findings, Banerjee and Carrell called on teachers ''to sensitize learners to the fine shades of meaning as they learn to use various syntactic structures'' (p. 346) and recommended that pragmatics be integrated into other aspects of language teaching, for example, along with modals, question forms, conditionals, and imperatives.

Recently, two more studies on the speech act of suggestions in interlanguage development have been conducted. Bell (1998) examined the production of three speech acts - requests, suggestions, and disagreements - by a group of high-beginning level Korean ESL learners. Compared to requests and suggestions, these students demonstrated an increase in the level of politeness in their expression of disagreements, but their disagreements were still too direct and unmitigated.

Matsumura (2001) found that Japanese ESL students used direct speech acts in giving advice and suggestions even though indirectness would have been expected by native speakers in specific speech settings. Although Japanese communicative style is commonly considered to be indirect and polite, many Japanese ESL students in Matsumura's study used direct speech acts, such as You must... and You should... in response to an instructor's question ''Please tell me what I could do in order to make this class more interesting to you all'' (p. 637). Consequently, their speech was considered inappropriate and they were judged as impolite or rude.

In sum, the L2 pragmatics literature on suggestions is quite limited. This small body of studies, however, indicates that English learners have difficulty formulating sociolinguistically appropriate suggestions. Their suggestions are often direct, unmitigated, less polite than NSs, or even rude. The findings of these studies raise questions about how English learners acquire their knowledge of suggestions and what they have actually been taught.

The gap between ESL textbooks and target language use

The unsatisfactory results of ESL learners' ability to perform speech acts more generally have led researchers to consider what learners have actually been taught in classrooms and textbooks. The relationship between the actual linguistic realization of certain speech acts and the presentation of these linguistic forms in ESL textbooks has been the focus of several studies……

Developing pragmatic awareness of suggestions in

the EFL classroom:

A focus on instructional effects

Alicia MartínezFlor and Eva Alcón Soler

In the Grammar Translation and Cognitive Code methods, language instruction was based on the assumption that perception and awareness of language forms were best achieved by means of explicit instruction. In contrast, Natural and Communicative approaches favoured implicit learning and suggested that grammar instruction should be integrated into meaningful communication. On the other hand, over the last twenty years, different second language acquisition theories have shown an interest in explaining how second languages are acquired in instructional contexts. Those theories, such as the Monitor Model (Krashen, 1985) or the InteractionHypothesis (Long, 1996), address the role of instruction in acquiring a second/foreign language (L2). Moreover, in contrast to Krashen's non-interface position (Krashen, 1985), and due to analyses of learners in grammar-free immersion L2 programmes (Lightbown, Spada and White, 1993), empirical investigations have been designed to assess the effectiveness of L2 instruction. From this perspective, Norris and Ortega's (2000) meta-analysis of studies on the effect of instruction on learning shows the positive and durable effect of instruction, as well as the advantage of explicit over implicit types of instruction. Results of this meta-analysis also seem to suggest that, regardless of whether an explicit or implicit approach is adopted, instruction needs to ensure that learners focus on language form. Such attention to language has been explored on the premise that attention precedes language learning and as part of the debate of the role of awareness in the process of language learning. In order to contribute to this line of research and examine different types of instruction, the aim of this paper is to focus on the instructional effects of two types of teaching conditions, namely those of explicit and implicit treatments, on learners' pragmatic awareness of the particular speech act of suggestions.

Theoretical Background

In the field of interlanguage pragmatics (ILP), Schmidt's (1993) Noticing Hypothesis is relevant to gaining a further understanding of the role of pragmatic awareness in the classroom. According to Schmidt (1993), attention to linguistic forms, functional meanings, and the pertinent contextual features are required for the learning of L2 pragmatics. Schmidt (1995, 2001) also suggests that since many features of L2 input are likely to be infrequent or non-salient, intentionally focused attention is a necessity for successful language learning. From this perspective, while Schmidt (1993) proposes a consciousness-raising approach, which involves paying conscious attention to relevant forms, their pragmalinguistic functions and the sociopragmatic constraints these particular forms involve, other studies have examined the role of input enhancement in developing L2 pragmatic competence. In this regard, Sharwood Smith (1991, 1993) suggests that input enhancement techniques, such as stress and intonation in teacher talk or colour enhancement in printed texts, can be effective ways of directing learners' attention to form without explicit teaching. Following Sharwood Smith's definition of input enhancement, empirical investigations provide evidence that elaborated levels of attention-drawing activities are more helpful than exposure to positive evidence. For instance, in Takahashi (2001), different degrees of input enhancement were set up to measure Japanese EFL learners' learning of target request forms. The author found that, although explicit teaching was the most effective instructional condition, several learners under implicit input conditions also noticed the target request forms and used themin the post-test. Both Schmidt's (1993, 1995, 2001)Noticing Hypothesis and the subsequent research motivated by this work in relation to morphosyntactic features (Rosa and O'Neill, 1999; Leow, 2000; Rosa and Leow, 2004) suggest that selective attention and awareness of language facilitate the process of language learning. However, in the realm of pragmatics in language teaching, the debate focuses on the way selective attention and awareness of pragmatic issues can be activated, an issue which has often been viewed in terms of the effect of instruction on pragmatic learning. Similarly to research conducted into the effect of instruction at the morphosyntactic level (see Norris and Ortega, 2000 for a review), ILP research has explored instructional effects on the development of learners' pragmatic competence. From this perspective, research conducted in foreign language contexts suggests that instruction is both necessary and effective (Olshtain and Cohen, 1990; Morrow, 1995; Safont, 2005; see also the collection of papers in Rose and Kasper, 2001 and Martínez-Flor Usó-Juan and Fernández Guerra, 49 RCLA • CJAL 10.1 2003). More specifically, ILP research has explored the effects of instruction on learners' development of L2 pragmatic competence within the framework of explicit versus implicit learning. For instance, results of the studies reported in House and Kasper (1981a), House (1996), Rose and Ng Kwai-Fun (2001), and Takahashi (2001) seem to indicate that explicit metapragmatic instruction appears to be more effective than implicit teaching. However, the operationalisation of an explicit versus an implicit approach is relevant to a further understanding of the effectiveness of different teaching approaches in the pragmatic realm. As suggested by DeKeyser (2003), explicit teaching involves working with the rules of language, which can be done deductively or inductively. While in the former case explanations of the rules of languages are provided, in the latter case learners are asked to examine examples from a text and to formulate the rules of the target language. In contrast, when there is no focus on the rules of language, the approach is described as implicit. DeKeyser (2003) also states that the combination of implicit and inductive is clear in cases where children acquire the first language without being conscious of this process. However, he acknowledges that the combination of implicit and deductive learning is not so obvious. The difficulty of establishing clear differences between explicit and implicit in the deductive and inductive dimensions also applies to the teaching of pragmatics in the classroom, especially in the realm of implicit teaching. The distinction between explicit and implicit teaching has also been addressed by Doughty (2003). According to her, explicit teaching involves directing learners' attention towards the target forms with the aim of discussing those forms. In contrast, an implicit pedagogical approach aims to attract the learner's attention while avoiding any type of metalinguistic explanation and minimising the interruption of the communicative situation. Thus, as Doughty (2003, p. 265) states, in all types of explicit instruction rules are explained to learners, whereas in implicit instruction there is no overt reference to rules or forms. From this perspective, a few studies have examined the effect of implicit instruction for pragmatic learning using different implicit techniques. Taking into account that higher levels of awareness can be achieved by manipulating input, the studies conducted by Fukuya, Reeve, Gisi and Christianson (1998) and Fukuya and Clark (2001) aim to show that learners' intake of pragmatic target forms can be enhanced, even in implicit conditions. On the one hand, Fukuya et al. (1998) implemented recasts as implicit feedback on learners' production of requests. The authors employed an interaction enhancement technique consisting of showing a sad face to indicate a sociopragmatic error followed by repetition of the student's inappropriate utterance with a rising intonation. Results of the study did not support the hypothesis that this implicit feedback would be more efficient in comparison to the explicit group, which received explicit instruction on the sociopragmatic factors that affected Pragmatic awareness of suggestions Martínez-Flor and Alcón Soler appropriateness of requests in different situations. On the other hand, the study conducted by Fukuya and Clark (2001) used input enhancement techniques to draw learners' attention to the target features. In this study, English as a Second Language learners were randomly assigned to one of three groups, namely focus on forms, focus on form, and control. While explicit instruction on the sociopragmatic features affecting mitigation of requests was provided to learners in the explicit treatment group, typographical enhancement of the mitigators appeared in the version presented to the implicit group. Findings from the three groups' performance on listening comprehension and pragmatic recognition did not reveal any significant differences in learners' pragmatic ability. The authors claimed that a different operationalisation of the implicit input enhancement technique may have resulted in differences as far as the potential of saliency is concerned. Izumi's (2002) suggestion of using a combination of implicit techniques to help learners notice the target features could be added to their explanation. Following Izumi's (2002) suggestion, the present study makes use of a combination of two implicit techniques to analyse their effect on learners' pragmatic awareness of suggestions. In addition, explicit instruction on preselected target forms was carried out to determine whether instruction was effective in a continuum of explicit and implicit conditions (DeCoo, 1996).1 In so doing, we also aimed to find out whether more implicit conditions, which seem to have been ineffective in previously researched teaching contexts (House, 1996; Fukuya and Clark, 2001; Takahashi, 2001), are effective in a culturally and linguistically different teaching environment such as the one presented in this study: a Spanish university classroom where English is compulsory. To this end, the following research questions were investigated:

• Does learners' pragmatic awareness of suggestions improve after instruction?

• Which type of instruction (i.e., explicit or implicit) is more effective to

11.1.1 Pragmatic Competence and Pragmatic Instructio

Studies of the development of foreign language (FL) knowledge have tended to focus more on the acquisition of phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic forms than on the development of pragmatic ability (Kasper and Schmidt 1996). Evidence of this emphasis is the fact that FL learners may master the vocabulary and grammar of the target language without having a comparable control over the pragmatic uses of the language. This amounts to saying that FL learners may know several ways of thanking, complaining or requesting without being sure under what circumstances it is appropriate to use one form or another. As we have just mentioned, studies centred on speech act ability have not dealt with the development of this process. However, pragmatic ability is part of a learner's communicative competence, and it has received attention in the proposed models of communicative competence (Canale 1983; Bachman 1990; Celce-Murcia et al. 1995). In 1983 Canale proposed a model of communicative competence which consisted of four components: grammatical competence (the knowledge of the language code), sociolinguistic competence (the appropriate application of vocabulary, politeness, etc.), discourse competence (the ability to combine language structures into different types of cohesive texts) and strategic competence (the knowledge of communicative strategies to overcome communicative breakdowns). This model was highly influential, and it has been used as a starting point for many subsequent studies on the topic.

Bachman (1990) divided language knowledge into two main categories, which were in turn subdivided into subcategories. The first category was termed organisational knowledge, which included grammatical and textual knowledge. The second category was pragmatic knowledge, including. E. Alcón Soler and M.P. Safont Jordà (eds.), Intercultural Language Use and Language Learning, 207-222. © 2007 Springer.