Pragmatics for Language Educators

A Sociolinguistic Perspective

By Virginia LoCastro

© 2011 – Routledge

334 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415801164
pub: 2011-08-29
US Dollars$59.95
Hardback: 9780415801157
pub: 2011-08-29
US Dollars$175.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

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.


"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

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / English as a Second Language
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General