Relationship between Language Learners’ Attitudes toward Cultural Instruction and Pragmatic Comprehension and Production

Vahid Rafieyan


Development of target language pragmatic competence in language learners requires not only provision of cultural features of target language community in language classes but also language learner’s willingness to learn and use those cultural features. To investigate the relationship between language learners’ attitudes toward cultural instruction and their gains in comprehension and production aspects of pragmatic competence, the current study was conducted on 50 undergraduate Japanese students of English education at a university in Japan. The adapted version of the attitude questionnaire developed by Albirini (2009) was used to measure language learners’ attitudes toward cultural instruction. A 24-item pragmatic comprehension test developed by Taguchi (2007, 2008) was used to measure language learners’ pragmatic comprehension ability. Finally, a 32-item discourse completion task developed by Bardovi-Harlig (2009) was used to measure language learners’ pragmatic production ability. The analysis of Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient (r) revealed a strong positive relationship between attitude toward cultural instruction and pragmatic comprehension ability as well as attitude toward cultural instruction and pragmatic production ability. The pedagogical implications of the findings suggested incorporation of interesting cultural features of the target language community in language classes and presenting them in interesting ways to attract language learners’ attention and interest.

Keywords: Attitude, Cultural Instruction, Pragmatic Comprehension, Pragmatic Production

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