Pragmatics for Language Educators : A Sociolinguistic Perspective book cover
1st Edition

Pragmatics for Language Educators
A Sociolinguistic Perspective

ISBN 9780415801164
Published August 29, 2011 by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

Making pragmatics accessible to a wide range of students and instructors without dumbing down the content of the field, this text for language professionals:

  • raises awareness and increases knowledge and understanding of how human beings use language in real situations to engage in social action
  • fosters the ability to think critically about language data and use
  • helps readers develop the ability to "do pragmatics"

The book features careful explanations of topics and concepts that are often difficult for uninitiated readers, a wealth of examples, mostly of natural speech from collected data sources, and attention to the needs of readers who are non-native speakers of English, with non-Western perspectives offered when possible. Suggested Readings, Tasks, Discussion Questions, and Data Analysis sections involve readers in extending and applying what they are reading. The exercises push readers to recall and synthesize the content, elicit relevant personal experiences and other sources of information, and engage in changing their own interactional strategies. The activities go beyond a predictable framework to invite readers to carry out real life observations and experiment to make doing pragmatics a nonjudgmental everyday practice.

Table of Contents



List of transcription conventions

I. What is pragmatics?

1. Defining the territory

2. Principles of pragmatic meaning

3. Sociolinguistic theories of pragmatic meaning

II. Core areas of pragmatics

4. Cross-cultural pragmatics

5. Interlanguage pragmatics

6. Politeness

7. Interactional construction of identity

8. Institutional Talk

9. Language, gender, and power

10. Classroom pragmatic development

III. Research in sociopragmatics

11. Guidelines for small sociopragmatics projects

12. Ideas for research projects in socipragmatics

IV. Conclusion

13. Pragmatic competence in our diverse world

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Virginia LoCastro has worked in the United States, Canada, Japan, Slovakia, and Mexico as a teacher and researcher in the fields of sociolinguistics and language education, most recently as Associate Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Academic Spoken English and Academic Written English Programs, University of Florida, and has published widely on ESL/EFL pedagogy and teacher development.


"This useful textbook offers readers a dynamic approach to understanding how people use language in real-life social situations. The author's goal is "to help both novices and experienced researchers ...expand their awareness of the social aspects of language in use" (p. xi)." ― Arnulfo G. Ramirez, The Modern Language Journal