Dabbling in the Murky Waters of Pragmatics

Let's have some fun! Today we're going to go beyond the topics of feedback, metalinguistic knowledge, and effective group work to talk about pragmatics. Taguchi (2011) defines pragmatic competence as "the ability to communicate and interpret meaning in social interactions" (p. 289). According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the study of pragmatics is concerned with contextual  language use in social …

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What role does group work actually play in language learning?

By Melissa J. Enns Spoken language production has been a recurring theme in recent posts on oral corrective feedback and in guest contributor Jihoon Kim's examination of off-task behaviour. Each of these posts has touched on the topic of pair or group work. Perhaps many of us have never stopped to consider why we use pair/group work or …

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Giving Corrective Feedback on Spoken Language Production

By Melissa J. Enns Recently, guest contributor Yerim Lee shared an insightful post on giving effective written feedback (you can read it here). Today, I'd like to continue in that vein and discuss verbal corrective feedback. Written feedback has its challenges, but it also has the benefit of premeditation; we can take time to put some …

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Metalinguistic Knowledge: More Layers

By Melissa J. Enns In my recent post about metalinguistic knowledge, I introduced the concept and made a case for its relevance for language teachers and learners. I suggested that at least some metalinguistic instruction is beneficial to learners. Now, I will expand on that claim and the concept of metalinguistic knowledge, while suggesting some …

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