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Defining and Operationalizing the Construct of Pragmatic Competence: Review and Recommendations ELL

Timpe-Laughlin, Veronika; Wain, Jennifer; Schmidgall, Jonathan
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Pragmalinguistics, Pragmatic Competence, Workplace English, English Language Learning (ELL), Sociopragmatics, Construct


The commonly identified constitutive components were then reconceptualized into a proposed construct of pragmatic competence. The challenges of operationalizing pragmatic competence in both instruction and assessment are discussed. The second part of the paper constitutes a domain analysis of pragmatics in the language use domain “workplace.” First, the literature is reviewed for communicative tasks and activities that feature prominently in different workplace settings across various English-speaking countries. Then, we suggest and exemplify different model task types that can be employed in the context of learning and assessment materials that aim to foster pragmatic-functional awareness in both English as a foreign language (EFL)/English as a second language (ESL) learners and first language (L1) speakers alike.

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