Towards Increased Classroom Assessment of Pragmatic Ability

Document Type: Original Article

Author

University of Minnesota, USA.

Abstract

The article provides a rationale for assessing second language (L2) pragmatics in the classroom and then looks at tasks to assess comprehension of speech acts. Next we look at various ways to collect students’ pragmatic production, such as through oral role-play, written discourse as if spoken, multiple-choice, or short-answer responses. Then six strategies for more effective assessment of pragmatics are presented, such as how to make the speech act situations realistic and how to rate for key aspects. The assumption made in the article is that classroom teachers may be avoiding the assessment of pragmatics, especially nonnative teachers who feel that they themselves are incapable of judging what constitutes correct behavior.

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