Fall 2019 Speaker Series - November 6

Event Date: 
11/06/2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Language commons, New Cabell Hall

Speaker: Naoko Taguchi, Professor in the Modern Languages Department at Carnegie Mellon University

Title: Learning How to Learn Pragmatics: Cultivating Self-Directed Learning Strategies for Pragmatics

Learning pragmatics involves understanding a relationship among linguistic forms and their functional possibilities, and contextual elements that determine the form–function relationship (Taguchi, 2019). Although the importance of pragmatics is widely recognized in second language (L2) teaching, curriculums and instructional materials are seldom pragmatics-focused. While grammar and vocabulary appear systematically in course syllabi, pragmatics is usually addressed randomly as questions arise, often in conjunction with cultural topics. Lack of systematic instruction on pragmatic features, along with limited range of communicative situations and functions in classroom discourse and textbooks, has led to a general consensus that a language classroom is limited in opportunities for pragmatic development (Tatsuki, 2019). To address this limitation, this presentation will discuss strategy training as a model of pragmatics pedagogy. Learning strategies involve self-generated actions taken by L2 learners to make their learning more efficient, productive, and transferable to new settings (Oxford, 1990, 2011). We can teach students how to use learning strategies efficiently, helping them gain autonomy and control of their own learning process. Adopting Oxford’s (2011) strategic self-regulation model,

I will first present a framework of strategy instruction for pragmatics with concrete tactics and guidelines. Then, I will present my recent study that investigated the efficacy of strategy instruction in promoting L2 Chinese and Japanese learners’ awareness of pragmatics phenomena in real-life situations. I will conclude my presentation with future directions for cultivating strategic pragmatics learning.


Taguchi, N. (2019). Chapter 1. SLA and pragmatics: An overview. In N. Taguchi (ed.), The Routledge handbook of SLA and pragmatics (pp.1–14). New York: Routledge.

Tatsuki, D. (2019). Instructional material development in L2 pragmatics. In N. Taguchi (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of SLA and pragmatics (pp. 322–337). New York: Routledge.

About the Speaker:

Naoko Taguchi is Professor in the Modern Languages Department at Carnegie Mellon University, where she teaches graduate-level courses in second language acquisition and undergraduate-level courses in Japanese language and culture. Her research interests include pragmatics, intercultural competence, technology assisted learning, and English-medium education. Her recent books include The Routledge Handbook of SLA and Pragmatics (Routledge, 2019), Second Language Pragmatics: From Theory to Research (with Jonathan Culpeper and Alison Mackey; Routledge, 2018), Second Language Pragmatics (with Carsten Roever; Oxford University Press, 2017), and Developing Interactional Competence in a Japanese Study Abroad Context (2015, Multilingual Matters). She is the co-editor of a new journal, Applied Pragmatics (John Benjamins).