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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effects of L2 Proficiency on Pragmatics Instruction: A Web-Based Approach to Teaching Chinese Expressions of Gratitude

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This study investigated whether the effects of pragmatics instruction delivered via a self-access website in a Chinese as a foreign language learning environment vary according to learners’ language proficiency. The website provided learners with explicit instruction in how to express gratitude appropriately in Chinese and offered them pragmatic consciousness-raising activities for practice. Two groups of learners who differed in Chinese proficiency received the instruction over five weeks. The results showed that all learners produced more appropriate expressions of gratitude and used more varied thanking strategies in the posttest, but higher-level learners benefited more from the instruction in both pragmatic awareness and production. In their reflective e-journals, learners reported the promising possibilities of using websites as a tool for teaching pragmatics in foreign language contexts.


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