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Nguyễn, T. T. M., Pham, M. T., & Cao, T. H. (2013). The effects of explicit metapragmatic instruction on EFL learners’ performance of constructive criticisms in an academic setting. In T. Greer, D. Tatsuki & C. Roever (Eds.), Pragmatics and language learning volume 13 (pp. 213–244). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai‘i, National Foreign Language Resource Center.
Previous research has shown that second language learners can experience considerable difficulty when giving constructive criticism to peers in instructional settings (see Nguyen, 2005). The current study examines whether metapragmatic instruction facilitates the learning of this speech act set. The study is conducted in an attempt to address the need for further research on L2 pragmatic instruction (see Rose, 2005) and expand the range of speech acts under investigation, which is currently restricted to a small set of well-defined acts and excludes more complex speech act sets such as constructive criticism. Thirty Vietnamese high-intermediate level learners of English as a foreign language were recruited for the comparison and treatment conditions. Over a 15 week semester, the treatment group received explicit instruction in constructive criticism in English while the comparison group did not receive any equivalent instruction. As pre- and post-tests, learners participated in oral peer-feedback sessions where they provided constructive criticism on peers’ actual written assignments. The treatment group also completed a post-test discourse completion task for the purpose of triangulation and wrote a one-page essay to reflect on what they had learned. Findings show positive instructional effects on learners’ pragmatic performance and raise issues about task effects on measuring L2 pragmatic performance.
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