The Praxis of Interlanguage Pragmatics Instruction in an EFL Context

Atieh Farashaiyan, Kim Hua Tan, Paramasivam Muthusamy, Rahman Sahragard


This research investigated the implementation of inter-language pragmatics instruction which is less explored in the research literature of instructional pragmatics in EFL contexts. Specifically, it examined the extent to which instructors of private EFL institutes implement interlanguage pragmatic instruction in their classrooms in Iran. A mixed-method research design was employed in this study. Two hundred and thirty eight instructors participated in this study to collect the questionnaire data and 67 classes were involved in the observation. Questionnaire and observation checklists made up the quantitative instruments for data collection while observation field notes provided the qualitative data.  The quantitative data was subjected to descriptive statistics through the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 21 software and the qualitative data was analyzed based on Martinez-Flor and Uso-Juan’s 6Rs instructional model. Findings from both the quantitative and qualitative data showed that Iranian EFL instructors rarely implemented and practiced the features of inter-language pragmatics in their classes in comparison with other language areas.  The study suggests the inclusion of adequate pragmatic information not only in the instructors’ guidebooks but also in learners’ EFL textbooks and teacher training courses. The quality of EFL teaching can then be further enhanced at the higher learning institutions in EFL contexts.


Keywords:  Praxis; Interlanguage pragmatic instruction; private EFL institutes; mixed-methods approach, EFL context

Full Text:



Alcon Soler, E. (2005). Does instruction work for learning pragmatics in the EFL context? System. Vol. 33(3), 417-435.

Allami, H. & Naeimi, A. (2011). A cross-linguistic study of refusals: An analysis of pragmatic competence development in Iranian EFL learners. Journal of Pragmatics. Vol. 43, 385-406.

Al-, Momani, H., Jaradat, A., Al-Khawaldeh, N. & Bani-khair, B. (2017). Expressing gratitude in an EFL context: The case of Jordanian learners. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature. Vol. 6(4), 190-198.

Al-Zubeiry, H. Y. (2015). Intercultural miscommunication in the production of communicative patterns by Arab EFL learners. International Journal of English Linguistics. Vol. 3(5), 69-77.

Alikhani, M. (2016). Role-play and Iranian male and female EFL learners’ pragmatic competence. International Journal of EFL. Vol. 1(2), 83-93.

Amiri, M. & Javanshir, T. (2016). The effect of instruction type and pushed output tasks on young Iranian EFL learners’ pragmatic awareness. Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods. Vol. 7(4), 202-221.

Atay, D., Kurt, G., Camlibel, Z., Ersin, P. & Kaslioglu, O. (2009). The role of intercultural competence in foreign language teaching. Inonu University Journal of the Faculty of Education. Vol. 10(3), 123-135.

Barekat, B. & Mehri, M. (2013). Investigating the effect of metalinguistic feedback in L2 pragmatic instruction. International Journal of Linguistics. Vol. 5 (2), 197-208.

Cohen, A.D. (2013). Strategies for learning and performing L2 speech acts. Intercultural Pragmatics. Vol. 2(3), 275-301.

Cook, H. (2012). Why can’t learners of JFL distinguish polite form from impolite speech styles? In Kenneth Rose (Ed.), Pragmatics in Language Teaching (pp. 80-102). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Upper Saddle River: New Jersey.

Crystal, D. (1997). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cunningham, J. (2016). Request modification in synchronous computer-mediated communication: The role of focused instruction. The Modern Language Journal. Vol. 100(2), 484-507.

Davis, K. A. & Henze, R. C. (1998). Applying ethnographic perspectives to issues in cross-cultural pragmatics. Journal of Pragmatics. Vol. 30(4),


Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research Methods in Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Duff, P. A. (2009). Second language socialization as sociocultural theory: Insights and issues. Language Teaching. Vol. 40, 309-319.

Farahian, M., Rezaee, M. & Gholami, A. (2014). Does direct instruction develop pragmatic competence? Teaching refusals to EFL learners of English. Journal of Language Teaching and Research. Vol. 3(4), 814-821.

Farashaiyan, A. & Tan, K.H. (2012). A cross-cultural comparative study of gratitude strategies between Iranian and Malaysian postgraduate students. Asian Social Science. Vol. 8(7), 139-148.

Farhady,H., Sajadi Hezaveh, F. & Hedayati, H. (2015). Reflections on foreign language Education in Iran. TESL-E. Vol. 13(4), 1-18.

Farrokhi, F. & Atashian, S. (2012). The Role of Refusal Instruction in Pragmatic Development. World Journal of Education. Vol. 1(4), 85-93.

Fraenkel, J. R. & Wallen, N. E. (2009). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Garcia-Fuentes, C. & McDonough, K. (2016). The effect of explicit instruction and task repetition on ESL students’ use of politeness strategies during disagreements. The Language Learning Journal. Vol.

(2), 1-13.

Ghaedrahmat, M., Alavinia, P. & Biria, R. (2016). The effect of explicit vs. implicit instruction of mastering the speech act of thanking among Iranian male and female EFL learners. Latin American Journal of Content and Language Integrated Learning. Vol. 9(2), 401-425.

Gharibeh, S., Mirzaee, M. & Yaghoubi-Notash, M. (2016). The role of instruction in the development of EFL learners’ pragmatic competence. The Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics. Vol. 3(2), 173-184.

Glaser, K. (2016). News from the pragmatic classroom: Contrasting the inductive and the deductive approach in the teaching of pragmatic competence. Intercultural pragmatics. Vol. 13(4), 45-67.

Hamouda, A. (2014). The effect of explicit instruction on developing Saudi EFL learners’ pragmatic competence in refusal formulas. Research Journal of English Language and Literature. Vol. 2(1), 138-160.

Jiang, X. (2009). Suggestions: What should ESL students know? System. Vol. 34, 36-54.

Kasper, G. (1996). Developmental issues in interlanguage pragmatics. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. Vol. 18, 149-169.

Kasper, G. & Rose, K. (1999). Pragmatics and second language acquisition. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. Vol. 19, 81-104.

Kasper, G. & Rose, K. R. (2002). Pragmatic Development in a Second Language. USA: Blackwell Publishing.

Krejcie, R. V. & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement. Vol. 30(3), 607-610.

Li, R. & Raja Rozina Raja Suleiman. (2017). Language Proficiency and the Speech Act of Compliment of Chinese EFL Learners. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies. Vol. 23(1), 60-74.

Liu, J. (2014). Measuring interlanguage pragmatic knowledge of EFL learners. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Martinez-Flor, A. (2016). Teaching apology formulas at the discourse level: Are instructional effects maintained over time? ELIA. Vol. 16, 13-48.

Martinez-Flor, A. & Fukaya, Y. J. (2015). The effects of instruction on learners’ production of appropriate and accurate suggestions. System. Vol. 33(3), 463-480.

Martinez-Flor, A. & Uso-Juan, E. (2012). A comprehensive pedagogical framework to develop pragmatics in the foreign language classroom. The 6Rs approach. Applied language Learning. Vol. 16, 39-64.

Mckay, S.L. & Bokhorst-Heng, W.D. (2016). International English in its Sociolinguistic Contexts. New York: Routledge.

Mohammad Yahya Al-rousan, Norsimah Mat Awal & Khazriyati Salehuddin. (2016). Compliment Responses among Male and Female Jordanian University Students. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies. Vol. 16(1), 19-34.

Morris, C. W. (1938). Foundations of the Theory of Signs. USA: University of Chicago Press.

Nguyen, M. T. T., Pham, H.T. & Pham, T. M. (2017). The effects of input enhancement and recasts on the development of second language pragmatic competence. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching.

Vol. 11(1), 22-36.

Ochs, E. (1996). Linguistic resources for socializing humanity. In John J. Gumperz & Stephen L. Levinson (Ed.), Rethinking Linguistic Relativity (pp. 407-437). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ochs, E. & Schieffelin, B.B. (1986). Language acquisition and socialization: Three developmental stories and their implications. In R.A. Shwedar & R.A. Levine (Ed.), Culture Theory: Essays on Mind, Self, and Emotion (pp. 276-320). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pennycook, A. (2015). The future of Englishes: One, many or none? In A krirkpatrick (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of World Englishes (edu.) (pp. 673-687). London: Routledge.

Rafieyan, V., Sharafi-Nejad, M. & Siew-Eng, L. (2014). Effect of Pragmatic Instruction on Sustainable Development of Pragmatic awareness. Journal of Studies in Education. Vol. 4(1), 206-218.

Rafieyan, V. (2016). Effect of ‘focus on form’ versus ‘focus on forms’ pragmatic instruction on development of pragmatic comprehension and production. Journal of Education and Practice. Vol. 7(20), 41-48.

Rashidi, N. & Ramezani, S. (2015). On the Impact of the Role-Play Technique on the Development of FL Learners’ Pragmatic Competence before and after formal Instruction. International Symposium on Language and Communication: Research Trends and Challenges. 183-196.

Rose, K. R. (2005). On the effects of instruction in second language pragmatics. System. Vol. 33(3), 385-399.

Rose, K. R. & Kasper, G. (ed.). (2001). Pragmatics in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rueda, Y. T. (2013). Developing pragmatic competence in a foreign language. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal. Vol. 8, 169-182.

Salemi, A., Rabiee, M. & Ketabi, S. (2015). The Effects of Explicit/Implicit Instruction and Feedback on the Development of Persian EFL Learners’ Pragmatic Competence in Suggestion Structures. Journal of Language Teaching & Research. Vol. 3(1), 188-199.

Sharifian, F. (2015). Globalisation and developing metacultural competence in learning English as an International Language. Multilingual Education. Vol. 3(7), 45-67.

Simin, S., Eslami-Rasekh, Z., Eslami-Rasekh, A. & Ketabi, S. (2015). The effect of explicit teaching of apologies on Persian EFL learners’ performance. International Journal of Research Studies in Language Learning. Vol. 3(4), 71-84.

Schmidt, R. (1993). Consciousness, learning and interlanguage pragmatics. In Gabriele Kasper & Soshana Blum-Kulka (ed.). Interlanguage Pragmatics (pp. 21-42). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schmidt, R. (2001). Attention. In Peter Robinson (Ed.). Cognition and Second Language Instruction (pp. 3-32). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Taguchi, N. (2012). Comprehending What Is Implied: The Analysis of Accuracy and Speed. Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Applied Linguistics. Arlington, UA.

Taguchi, N. & Kim, Y. (2016). Collaborative dialogue in learning pragmatics: pragmatic-related episodes as an opportunity for learning request-making. The Language Learning Journal. Vol. 37(3), 416-437.

Tchoutezo, E. (2010). Instruction and Development of Second Language Acquisition Pragmatics: An Investigation Into Sociolinguistic Communicative Competence. Alliant International University: USA

Wen, Zh. & Jun, D. (2017). The effects of explicit metapragmatic instruction on Chinese English language learners’ acquisition of compliment responses. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics. Vol. 40(2), 41-60.

Yang, L. (2017). The effects of L2 proficiency on pragmatics instruction: A web-based approach to teaching Chinese expressions of gratitude. L2 Journal. Vol. 9(1), 62-83.

Zuengler, J. & Cole, K. M. (2005). Language socialization and L2 learning. In Eli Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning (pp. 301-316). Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Zuskin, R. D. (2015). Assessing L2 sociolinguistic competence: In search of support from pragmatic theories. Pragmatics and Language Learning. Vol. 4, 166-182.



  • There are currently no refbacks.




eISSN : 2550-2247

ISSN : 0128-5157