Interlanguage Pragmatics, Communicative Competence, Nigeria’s L2 Classrooms

Amaechi Uneke Enyi, Chiekpezie Edwin Orji

Abstract


In Nigeria, much attention has been given to the teaching and learning of grammatical forms and sound sequences with emphasis on their accuracy and correctness (linguistic competence). This has reflected in the selection of course syllabi, curriculum, instructional materials and methods in our classrooms. A lot studies have been carried out by scholars on the non-native speakers’ use and acquisition of linguistic action patterns in a second language. Though such studies, dubbed interlanguage pragmatics, have all been carried out in Europe and America with focus on speakers of English as a Foreign language (EFL). This area of enquiry has not been adequately explored in Africa in general or Nigerian L2 learners of English as the focus. Thus, little or seldom attention has been given to pragmatics and appropriateness in language use (Communicative competence). This study is therefore, a consciousness - raising effort to highlight the relevance and advantages of teaching pragmatics and the development of pragmatics awareness in our classrooms. This is against the backdrop of the fact that the linguistic competence of most learners of English as a second language is not usually at par with their pragmatic competence. This study foregrounds the need for L2 learners of English to develop a concomitant degree of pragmatic awareness in the use of the language. They must learn how to combine form, meaning, force and context. They need, for example, to learn how to say what they want to say with the required formality or politeness, directness or indirectness, e t c, as required by a given situation or sometimes, to even keep quiet and still communicate intention. The study, domesticating the findings of some current researches in instructed pragmatics, discussed and suggested some classroom activities that could be adopted as part of the methods of teaching pragmatics, and by so doing, highlighted the enormous advantages and usefulness of teaching pragmatics and acquiring pragmatic competence in Nigeria’s L2 classrooms.

Keywords


Interlanguage Pragmatics, Communicative Competence, Nigeria’s L2 Classrooms

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.8n.4p.19

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