The role of Pragmatics in Second Language Acquisition

Term Paper, 2019

13 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Abstract or Introduction

This term paper will provide an overview of the field of pragmatics and its relation to second language acquisition (SLA). According to second language researchers, second language pragmatics has been neglected but is slowly turning into a growing area in the field of SLA. The study of pragmatics is now seen as a substantial contribution to language acquisition and therefore, fostering the pragmatic competence of learners has become an important factor in the second language classroom. Its increased importance is due to the perception that pragmatic competence is necessary for the purpose of not only understanding the target language, but also of being understood in the target language, which shows its beneficial impact on communication and consequently on SLA.

The structure of this term paper is as follows: the first part will consist of the definition of the terms ‘Pragmatics’ and ‘Second Language Acquisition’ and will illustrate each concept in order to demonstrate what exactly will be dealt with in this term paper. Afterwards, pragmatics will be viewed in relation to Second Language Acquisition to point out its importance for communicating successfully. Furthermore, the question whether pragmatic competence can be taught will be discussed. The fourth chapter will then deal with Krashen’s input hypothesis, Long’s interaction hypothesis and Swain’s output hypothesis, each of which will be analysed in a pragmatic context as approaches that foster pragmatic knowledge. The subsequent chapter will on the other hand present Chomsky’s universal grammar approach as an approach that makes it hard to practice pragmatic knowledge. The conclusion will summarize the findings and examine the advantages of pragmatics to point out its impact on communication as well as its role in second language acquisition.


The role of Pragmatics in Second Language Acquisition
University of Cologne  (English Department)
Introduction to Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
pragmatics, second, language, acquisition
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Anonymous, 2019, The role of Pragmatics in Second Language Acquisition, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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