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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sociocultural Theory and a Pragma-linguistic Pedagogical Intervention

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L2 pragmatic instruction in grammar and writing is an area of second language acquisition that is underutilized by many teachers. This paper follows the process of one teacher as the instruction of the pragmatic speech act of requesting is integrated into a low-level grammar class. First, an argument is made for the importance of including explicit pragmatic instruction in an ESL classroom. Then, a recent pedagogical model based on Sociocultural Theory is utilized as a basis for the development of new materials and adaptation of existing materials. Also, the theoretical frameworks of both speech act theory of requesting and politeness theory are examined to inform the materials presented to the students. Finally, the teacher reflects on this process and gives recommendations for others who would integrate pragmatic instruction into their classroom.

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