About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 3746
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

PRAGMATIC COMPETENCE IN EFL: AN ANALYSIS OF LEARNERS’ WRITINGS WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM

M.D. Garcia Pastor

University of Valencia, School of Education (SPAIN)
The present paper reports the findings of a study on EFL students’ written productions, with a focus on the use of discourse markers in these texts. This study is part of a larger project on the teaching and learning of writing at different educational levels, more specifically, primary, secondary and college education, and in different languages, i.e., Spanish, Catalan and English. Discourse markers constitute a window to look at a communicator’s ideas and their organization in a text (cf. Halliday & Hasan, 1989; Schiffrin, 1987; etc.), so that one can get to discourse content in conjunction with the author’s style of reasoning (Campbell, 1992), i.e., the logical process a speaker/writer follows to link his or her intent to argue in the different propositions building his/her argument with his/her claim. In the case of EFL writers, discourse markers can thus provide information on the learners’ pragmatic competence in the target language, as regards writing and the rhetorical conventions underlying the production of specific genres (cf. Leki, 1992). In this paper, pragmatic competence refers in general to conscious knowledge of distinct linguistic, relational and socio-cultural assumptions operating across contexts and informing determinate linguistic choices in a given language. With the aim of accounting for the pragmatic competence of EFL learners by exploring their use of discourse markers at different stages in their educational process, written productions of EFL primary, secondary and college students were collected for this study. Discourse analysis with the aid of specialised software for qualitative research (cf. Johnston, 2006) was followed as the method of data analysis (cf. Brown and Yule, 1983; Schiffrin et al., 2003; etc). In general, the results of this research reveal differences in the use of certain discourse markers that point to specific features characterising the pragmatic competence of the students participating in this study in different stages of their learning process. On the other hand, similarities in the use of these linguistic elements were also found across educational stages, which indicate commonalities in learners’ writing competence in EFL overall. All in all, the findings of this study may modestly contribute to raise teachers’ awareness of their students’ needs in written communication in the target language.
@InProceedings{GARCIAPASTOR2009PRA,
author = {Garcia Pastor, M.D.},
title = {PRAGMATIC COMPETENCE IN EFL: AN ANALYSIS OF LEARNERS’ WRITINGS WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {3746}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.D. Garcia Pastor
TI - PRAGMATIC COMPETENCE IN EFL: AN ANALYSIS OF LEARNERS’ WRITINGS WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 3746
EP - 3746
ER -
M.D. Garcia Pastor (2009) PRAGMATIC COMPETENCE IN EFL: AN ANALYSIS OF LEARNERS’ WRITINGS WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM, ICERI2009 Proceedings, p. 3746.
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