Spanish and Portuguese | Hispanic Colloquium
S495 | 4827 | Prof. Cécar Félix-Brasdefer

HISP-S 495  Hispanic Colloquium    (3 credits)
Variable Title:  The Role of Instruction in Learning Second
Language Pragmatics

Prerequisite:  HISP-S 326 or equivalent

Pragmatics is “the study of language from the point of view of
users, especially of the choices they make, the constraints they
encounter in using language in social interaction and the effects
their use of language has on other participants in the act of
communication (Crystal 1997, p. 301). When learning a second
language, learners need to develop the ability to appropriately
communicate different actions such as requesting, apologizing, or
refusing, as well as other conversational practices such as the
proper use of discourse markers (actually, well, anyway, I mean) or
the sequential structure of openings or closings in the target
language. This knowledge requires both a grammatical and a pragmatic
knowledge of the target language.

The aim of this course is to examine the role of instruction in
pragmatics when learning to communicate in a second language. This
course has three main goals: i. to review the research on
instruction in second language pragmatics (implicit/explicit
instruction); ii. to examine the issue of pragmatic development as a
result of pedagogical intervention over simple exposure of the
target language in the classroom; and, iii. to review current models
for teaching various aspects of pragmatics at the discourse level
from beginning to advanced levels. Some key topics that will be
discussed include: the pragmatic input available in the classroom
and in language textbooks, the role of pragmatic consciousness-
raising, pragmatic input in both second (host environment) and
foreign language contexts, research-based pedagogical implications
for incorporating pragmatics into the syllabus/classroom, universal
pragmatic knowledge, and the role of pragmatic instruction prior to
and during study abroad.

Class format includes discussion of class readings, short critical
essays, and a final paper that examines the effectiveness of
instruction of one aspect of second language pragmatics. Course
expectations will be adjusted for undergraduate and graduate

HISP-S 495    #4827    12:00P-2:05P    MWR   BH208
Prof. César Félix-Brasdefer

Note:  This HISP-S 495 class meets jointly with HISP-S 695.