The Effect of Instruction on the Improvement of Pragmatic Knowledge of EFL Students
Despite the importance of pragmatics, the study of the acquisition of pragmatic competence seems to be an area of research that has been somewhat neglected. To broaden the scope of interlanguage pragmatics, this study was conducted to compare the effect of implicit versus explicit instruction in the development of pragmatic competence of EFL learners. To fulfill the purpose of the study, sixty intermediate learners of English were chosen from two language institutes and were randomly assigned to two experimental groups. The materials for the instruction were dialogues in which the speech act of 'apology' had been presented. The experimental group (1) received implicit instruction. The instructor read the dialogues and asked the learners to repeat them. The experimental group (2) received explicit instruction through explanation, list of apologies and five semantic formulae of 'apology'. Data were collected by means of a pretest and posttest administered before and after the training period that lasted thirteen sessions. Results of the two experimental groups denoted the positive effects of two kinds of instructions, although the explicit instruction group outperformed the implicit instruction group. In addition, this study adds to the small, but growing, body of research on interlanguage pragmatic development in foreign language.