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A Strategy Study on Cross-cultural Pragmatic Failure in Senior High School English Classroom

Author: KongChao
Tutor: ZuoZuo
School: Shandong Normal University
Course: Education
Keywords: pragmatic failure cultural differences Senior high school English teaching pragmatic competence cultivation
CLC: G633.41
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 81
Quote: 0
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Abstract


As a communicative tool, language can be used to gain information and to establish andmaintain good interpersonal relationships. Hence language learners must have the ability touse language properly on different occasions as well as understanding basic grammar rulesand memorizing enough words. Nowadays many problems occur in English teaching, ofwhich pragmatic failure is one of the most prominent. Pragmatic failure was first proposed byJenny Thomas. According to him, speakers don’t talk properly and their expressions don’tcomply with western culture and habits and their conversations can’t go smoothly.The author has performed an in-depth study on the aims of the language teaching andmade a questionnaire survey on pragmatic competence of middle school students in thecross-cultural communications. In the meantime the author analyses the causes of pragmaticfailures and put forward initiatory teaching strategies. The author adopts different teachingstrategies in two classes. Traditional teaching methods are used in one class and in the otherclass students are asked to touch more western cultures and habits and be engaged incross-cultural communications. The data of Pre-test and post-test is compared and analyzed totest the results of culture teaching. Based on the practical teaching, the author also proposesstrategies on how to foster students’ cross-cultural awareness and pragmatic competence.In the first part the author introduces the backgrounds, aims and the importance of thestudy. Chapter One is the literature review of the study of pragmatic failure and the authorbriefly introduces the main studies of scholars at home and abroad. Chapter two serves as thetheoretical foundation, in which the author first deals with the notion of Chomsky’s languagecompetence and Hymes’ communicative competence. Then the definitions of pragmaticfailure, pragmatic principles and context theory are also discussed.To investigate how well Chinese students have developed their pragmatic competenceand what pragmatic failures Chinese students of English are prone to invite in cross-culturalcommunication, a research investigation in the form of a questionnaire was conducted in thehigh school students’ classrooms in Chapter Three. The results show that there is a great gapbetween knowledge and language performance. The author puts forward some teachingmeasures to improve their pragmatic competence. One class is labeled as controlled class and the other as experimental class. Different strategies are given to the two classes. Pre-test andpost-test are given to the students to collect data.In chapter Four the author compares and analyzes the data of Pre-test and post-test andsummarizes the effects of initiatory teaching strategies on the students. In the light of specificforms of cross-cultural pragmatic failures, the author proposes strategies on how to fosterstudents’ cross-cultural awareness and pragmatic competence.The last part serves as the conclusion of the study. It summarizes the main idea of thethesis and it shows the prospects of the research. It also presents the author’s puzzles aboutthe content and techniques of cultural teaching in ELT and his hope of future researchers’better work in this field.

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CLC: > Culture, science,education, sports > Education > Secondary education > Subjects teaching methods, teaching aids > Foreign language > English
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