Journal article

The development of ESL proficiency and pragmatic performance

Carsten Roever, Saad Al-Gahtani

ELT Journal | OXFORD UNIV PRESS | Published : 2015


ESL learners can find it challenging to use English in a way that is pragmatically appropriate to the situation and interlocutor. In this article, we explore the impact of increased proficiency on learners' pragmatic performance. ESL learners in Australia at four proficiency levels completed three role plays, and we analysed how the learners formulated their requests. We found that the expansion of learners' linguistic repertoire with increased proficiency also led to a wider variety of request formats. Where beginner learners used imperatives and 'want-statements', lower-intermediate learners added the modal 'can', upper-intermediate learners introduced 'could', and advanced learners used m..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding this Research Group (No. RG-1435-038).