Can Language Learners Develop Their Pragmatic Competence with ...

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  • Title: Can Language Learners Develop Their Pragmatic Competence with Self-study Modules?
  • Author(s): Nina Daskalovska
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies
  • Journal Title: Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal
  • Keywords: Pragmatic Competence, Request Strategies, Self-study Modules, Discourse Completion Tasks
  • Volume: 11
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 1835-9795 (Print)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Daskalovska, Nina . 2018. "Can Language Learners Develop Their Pragmatic Competence with Self-study Modules?." Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal 11 (4): 15-34. doi:10.18848/1835-9795/CGP/v11i04/15-34.
  • Extent: 20 pages


The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of explicit learning of request strategies by using self-study modules. The participants in this study were fifty-two Macedonian students of English language and literature at B2 level. Their proficiency was determined by means of a general language proficiency test. The instrument for measuring the participants’ knowledge of request strategies before and after the treatment was a Discourse Completion Test (DCT) that consisted of six scenarios. The treatment comprised self-study modules for developing learners’ pragmatic competence, which contained materials that were taken from the internet and were placed in two folders: Lessons and Conversations. The Lessons folder contained texts, videos, and tests with links that the participants could access at their own time and spend as much time on them as they needed. The Conversations folder contained ten topics with several dialogs for each of them. The results of the DCTs after the treatment show that the participants used a greater variety of request strategies, most of which were conventionally indirect strategies. Moreover, they used the politeness marker “please” much more frequently than before the treatment. There was also a significant increase in the use of lexical/phrasal downgraders such as consultative devices, hedges, and downtowners. In relation to syntactic modifications, the participants used the past tense much more frequently after the treatment. The use of external modifications did not show a clear pattern.