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International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching

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The Influence of Explicit, Implicit, and Contrastive Lexical Approaches on Pragmatic Competence: The Case of Iranian EFL Learners

Meisam Ziafar
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  • Department of English Language Teaching, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran (the Islamic Republic of)
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Published Online: 2018-06-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2016-0018


Research literature suggests the positive role of lexical chunks and translation in teaching and learning pragmatics (Ketko, H. 2000. Importance of multi-word chunks in facilitating communicative competence and its pedagogic implications. The Language Teacher 24(12). 5–11; Rose, K. R. 1999. Teachers and students learning about requests in Hong Kong. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Culture in second language teaching and learning, 167–180. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.). Accordingly, the present study aimed at investigating the influence of contrastive lexical approach (CLA), in comparison with explicit and implicit approaches, on Iranian EFL learners’ pragmatic competence. Sixty-three participants were randomly assigned to three treatment groups and received dissimilar instructional treatments for ten 30-minute sessions. A pretest-posttest equivalent-groups research design was carried out and pretest scores were used as the covariate in a one-way ANCOVA data analysis. CLA showed no significant advantage over the other two methods. Previous studies have often combined a contrastive method with explicit teaching. Confounding variables in this way may have made interpretation of results problematic. In the present research explicit and contrastive instructions were kept separate and no significant difference was found between the three treatments, although all instruction types enhanced the language learners’ pragmatic competence. As a result, a pragmatic teaching course is recommended which incorporates the useful teaching techniques and practices of these three approaches to teaching pragmatic competence.

Keywords: lexical chunks; contrastive lexical approach; explicit teaching; implicit teaching; pragmatic competence


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Published Online: 2018-06-22

Citation Information: International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, ISSN (Online) 1613-4141, ISSN (Print) 0019-042X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2016-0018.

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