Effect of Cultural Distance on Pragmatic Comprehension and Production

Vahid Rafieyan

Abstract


National cultural distance is considered to be a strong predictor of language learners’ pragmatic competence. To test the actual effect of national cultural distance on pragmatic competence holistically and comprehension and production aspects of pragmatic competence discretely, the current study was conducted on two groups of undergraduate student of English: 24 German students considered culturally close to Britons as target language community and 28 South Korean students considered culturally distant from Britons. A 24-item pragmatic comprehension test developed by Taguchi (2007, 2008) was used to measure language learners’ pragmatic comprehension ability. A discourse completion task developed by Bardovi-Harlig (2009) was also used to measure language learners’ pragmatic production ability. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed the significant positive effect of national cultural distance on pragmatic competence holistically and comprehension and production aspects of pragmatic competence discretely. The pedagogical implications of the findings suggested incorporating target language pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic features into class instruction and providing abundant opportunities for language learners to be exposed to pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic features of the target language.

Keywords: Cultural Distance, Pragmatic Competence, Pragmatic Comprehension, Pragmatic Production


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References


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