The aim of this essay is to explore and to illustrate the complementarity of intercultural pragmatics and socio-cultural approaches to developmental research in foreign language settings, including both the telecollaborative classroom and residence abroad. Drawing on socio-cultural theory and language socialization research, we review the complex nature of pragmatic competence and the role that participation in a range of interactive discourse settings may play in its development. The issue of address form use (tu vs. vous in French; and du vs. Sie in German) is taken as a particularly revealing example of the complexity involved in developing second language (L2) pragmatic ability. We examine precise ways in which participation in a variety of interactive intercultural discourses serves to enhance learners' awareness and use of address form choice. We present case studies of learning in two settings: 1) electronically mediated interaction in the telecollaborative language classroom, where peer-to-peer conversation between classes at home and abroad serves to broaden the discourse options of instructed learning; and 2) language learning in residence abroad, where learners may - or may not - engage in a variety of interactive discourse practices. If multivalent participation is a crucial condition for the development of L2 pragmatic competence, the profession should continue to examine the contexts of learning environments in these terms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language