Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig is Associate Professor of TESOL and applied linguistics at Indiana University. Her research and teaching interests include second language acquisition, interlanguage pragmatics, and teacher education. Hew work on the acquisition of pragmatic competence has appeared in Language Learning, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, and edited collections.
Do Language Learners Recognize Pragmatic Violations? Pragmatic Versus Grammatical Awareness in Instructed L2 Learning*
Article first published online: 4 JAN 2012
1998 TESOL International Association
Volume 32, Issue 2, pages 233–259, Summer 1998
How to Cite
BARDOVI-HARLIG, K. and DÖRNYEI, Z. (1998), Do Language Learners Recognize Pragmatic Violations? Pragmatic Versus Grammatical Awareness in Instructed L2 Learning. TESOL Quarterly, 32: 233–259. doi: 10.2307/3587583
Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics and the 31st Annual TESOL Convention (Orlando, FL, 1997).
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 4 JAN 2012
L2 learners often develop grammatical competence in the absence of concomitant pragmatic competence (Bardovi-Harlig & Hartford, 1990, 1993). In an attempt to better understand how this developmental stage arises, this study explores the extent to which instructed L2 learners of English are aware of differences in learners' and target-language production in grammar, which addresses the accuracy of utterances, and pragmatics, which addresses the appropriateness of utterances given specific situations, speakers, and content. We used a videotape with 20 scenarios to test 543 learners and their teachers (N = 53) in two countries (Hungary and the U.S.) as well as a secondary sample of 112 EFL speakers in Italy. The results show that whereas EFL learners and their teachers consistently identified and ranked grammatical errors as more serious than pragmatic errors, ESL learners and their teachers showed the opposite pattern, ranking pragmatic errors as more serious than grammatical errors. We discuss the possible causes of this pattern and its implications for teaching.