Incorporating Pragmatic Instruction for ELLs

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ETAP 623 Fall 2020 (Zhang) | Marissa Zuccardo's Portfolio Page
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Overview and Purpose

Pragmatics4.jpg

Course Topic and Purpose

For English as a Second/Foreign Language learners (ESL/EFL), an instructor will come across three main challenges that are prevalent within the field of language education:

  1. Students who are learning ESL and face various challenges such as racial bias and discrimination, poor curriculum design for ESL learners, lack of support, etc.
  2. ESL and EFL learners who struggle to stay engaged with material and remain motivated to acquire the language.
  3. English Language Learners might have high grammatical and linguistic command of the language, but lack the ability to properly socialize in English.

The topic of this course will focus on the how to remedy the third issue on that list by focusing on the following:

  1. Strategies to better support ELLs in building pragmatic competence and socialization skills
  2. In the process, engage students and help them build motivation to actively learn and such proficiency.

Learning Outcomes

Educators will learn about the benefits of both implicit and explicit pragmatics instruction, as well as methods to incorporate said instruction into their language curriculum. These methods are based on research and literature from experts in both ESL/ELL and other language fields.

By the end of this mini-course, instructors will be able to:

  • Understand pragmatic instruction types and develop ways to incorporate them into their curriculum
  • Be able to engage and motivate students in their classes to develop their socialization skills.
  • Gain valuable knowledge to help students gain pragmatic competence
  • Foster and scaffold ELLs' pragmatic competence by relating the new language to their native language
  • Know about resources to further educate themselves on pragmatic instruction in the future

Learner Analysis

Learners will include language educators (especially English language educators) of all grade levels (K-12, Adult, Post-secondary, etc.). The learners must have prior/basic experience in course/curriculum development and language instruction. Learners also will have the knowledge and skill set to conduct further research in the future and remain up-to-date with best teaching practices for both pragmatics instruction and learner engagement.

Course Goals and Objectives

Course Goals
  1. To provide educators with the background knowledge and methods they need in order to determine for themselves how they will teach pragmatics in their classroom
  2. Provide educators with ways to motivate and engage students in the process.
Course Objectives
  • The participant will choose to further educate themselves on pragmatic instruction in the future in order to better instruct their students.
  • The participant will demonstrate their understanding of pragmatic instruction and their ability to:
    • Develop pragmatic instruction activities
    • Motivate and engage students
    • Scaffold students’ competence
Performance Objectives
  • Qualitatively demonstrate their ability to a) develop pragmatic instruction activities, b) motivate and engage students, and c) scaffold students’ competence through mini lesson plan design assessments
  • Demonstrate their understanding of pragmatic instruction through self reflexive learning journals
  • Create a list of outside/additional resources that they can use in the future to further educate themselves/reference for lesson planning.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page. Below are the course objectives for each unit.

Unit 1: Introduction to Pragmatics In Language Education
  • Using the mini-lecture, the participant will discuss their preliminary understanding of pragmatic instruction and how it relates to their language education knowledge and experience through a K-W-L (know-want-learn) learning journal.
  • The participant will demonstrate their ability and motivation to further educate themselves on pragmatics instruction by navigating the internet to find outside resources and adding sources to a comprehensive final list.
Unit 2: Pragmatic Instruction (Implicit and Explicit): Studies and Teaching Examples
  • Using the mini-lecture, the participant will create a table of the benefits/cons of explicit and implicit pragmatic instruction using examples to demonstrate their knowledge of the unit.
  • The participant will discuss their currently preferred method of instruction based on the findings of the studies and connecting it with their own experience through a K-W-L learning journal.
  • The participant will demonstrate their ability and motivation to further educate themselves on pragmatics instruction by navigating the internet to find outside resources and adding sources to a comprehensive final list.
Unit 3: Developing Activities to Scaffold and Engage Students
  • Using the mini-lecture and other resources, the participant will begin to develop pragmatic instruction activities designed to:
    • Improve pragmatic competence
    • Motivate and engage students
    • Scaffold students by taking their L1s and cultural backgrounds into account.
  • The participant will discuss ideas for their final lesson plan based on knowledge acquired from the unit and prior language education knowledge and experience in a self-reflexive learning journal.
  • The participant will demonstrate their ability and motivation to further educate themselves on pragmatics instruction by navigating the internet to find outside resources and adding sources to a comprehensive final list.
Unit 4: Tying it All Together: Create a Lesson Plan
  • The participant will create a final lesson plan example focused on pragmatic instruction strategies of their choice.
  • The participant will demonstrate their understanding of pragmatic and how it relates to their language education knowledge and experience through a justification/explanation of their created lesson plan.
  • The participant will demonstrate their ability and motivation to further educate themselves on pragmatics instruction by navigating the internet to find outside resources and adding sources to a comprehensive final list.
Unit 5: Final Unit - Self Reflection and Conclusion
  • The participant will demonstrate through a K-W-L learning journal the following:
    • How their understanding of pragmatics instruction evolved
    • Activities and techniques they’ve learnt about and developed that they will use in the future courses.
    • Information they would like to learn in the future.
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References and Resources

  1. Bardovi-Harlig, K. (1996). Pragmatics and Language Teaching: Bringing Pragmatics and Pedagogy Together. Pragmatics and Language Learning,7, 21-39. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED400702.
  2. Crystal, D. (March, 2008). Two Thousand Million? English Today, Volume No .24 (Issue 1). Retrieved from http://ill.sit.edu/illiad/illiad.dll?SessionID=D141939695E&Action=10&Form=69&Value=9969
  3. Kasper, Gabriele (Editor). (1993). Interlanguage Pragmatics. Cary, NC: Oxford University Press, Incorporated. http://site.ebrary.com.reference.sit.edu:2048/lib/worldlearningsit/Doc?id=10086827&ppg=10