Influence of fellow L2 learners on pragmatic development during study abroad

Timothy Hassall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This is an initial exploratory study of how study-abroad learners influence each other's pragmatic development in naturalistic settings. It focuses on a cohort of 12 Australian learners of Indonesian during a short summer course and uses a multimethod approach, including a pretest/posttest instrument, diary entries, and regular interviews. Findings revealed a variety of influences on each other's development. Learners noticed pragmatic features in talk produced by fellow learners that was addressed to native speakers of the target language. They also sometimes noticed features in talk by native speakers that was addressed to their fellow learners, or in talk between fellow learners. They reflected on the relevant features and often modified their knowledge about them. The learners also talked with each other about the pragmatics of the L2 in various ways, such as through explicit discussion, correction of each other's performance, or the telling of personal anecdotes. That talk too prompted the learners to reflect on pragmatic features and modify their knowledge about them. The learners also planned complex pragmatic action together and performed it together, which can affect pragmatic development in myriad ways. To sum up, the study changes our perceptions of how learners learn pragmatics during study abroad by showing how time spent with fellow learners can stimulate that learning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)415-442
    JournalIntercultural Pragmatics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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