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Issues in Applied Linguistics

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Pedagogical Intervention and the Development of Pragmatic Competence in Learning Spanish as a Foreign Language


Using a quasi-experimental design, this study investigated the extent to which peda- gogical intervention facilitated the development of pragmatic competence of fifth-semester learners of Spanish as a foreign language when performing refusals. The design included 2 learner groups. Pragmatic development was observed during 1 semester. The learner data were compared to data from L1 English and L1 Spanish. The experimental group was exposed to explicit instruction on refusals. Posttest 1 results showed that the experimental group changed from a preference for direct to indirect refusals, whereas the control group did not. Higher frequency and a wider variety of indirect strategies were also observed. Posttest 2 results showed that most pragmatic features highlighted during the treatment were retained.

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