Globalization and second language pragmatics research: A perspective from intercultural competence

Globalization has brought about a transformation in traditional practices of second language (L2) pragmatics research, most notably in the areas of lingua franca communication, bilingual/multilingual pragmatics, and intercultural competence (Taguchi & Roever, 2017). These areas represent the current globalization trends in a larger field of Applied Linguistics, and concurrently their impact has started to be revealed in L2 pragmatics research. This presentation focused on the area of intercultural competence and its influence in L2 pragmatics. With globalization, the goal of language learning has shifted from approximating native speaker norms to becoming an intercultural speaker who is sensitive to other cultures and aware of his/her own cultural position to mediate across linguistic and cultural boundaries (Byram, 2012; Wilkinson, 2012). In this presentation, Dr. Taguchi first discussed definitions, theoretical models, and key characteristics of intercultural competence. Then, she proposed a relationship between intercultural competence and pragmatic competence by drawing on the common construct of adaptability. This relationship was illustrated by her most recent study (Taguchi, Xiao, & Li, 2016), which examined the contribution of intercultural competence and social contact to the development of pragmatic knowledge among American students studying Chinese in a study abroad program in Beijing. Dr. Taguchi concluded her presentations with directions for future research. A lively Q&A session followed.
Prof. Naoko Taguchi
Modern Languages Department
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, U.S.A.

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