Socio-cultural perspectives on pragmatic development in foreign language learning: Microgenetic case studies from telecollaboration and residence abroad

Celeste Kinginger, Julie A. Belz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-421
Number of pages53
JournalIntercultural Pragmatics
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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