Teaching Pragmatics: Nonnative-speaker Teachers’ Knowledge, Beliefs and Reported Practices

Keywords: teaching pragmatics, culture, teachers' knowledge, nonnative-speaking teacher


Teachers’ backgrounds, knowledge, experiences and beliefs play a decisive role in what and how they teach, and research on teacher cognition indicates that teachers’ knowledge plays an important part in guiding their classroom teaching (Basturkmen, 2012). At the same time, the inclusion of pragmatics in teacher development and training courses and the integration of language and culture in the foreign language learning curriculum have been seen as a necessity by a number of authors (e.g., Basturkmen & Nguyen, 2017; Byram, 2014; Ishihara, 2011, 2014). Yet, the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the L2 pragmatics and cultural awareness may not come automatically to all L2 teachers, and without adequate teacher education and/or sufficient exposure to the target L2 culture, it is not surprising that some language teachers feel uncomfortable about being a source for target language pragmatics (Cohen, 2016). Through the use of semi-structured interviews, this qualitative study aims to explore how Greek-speaking, non-native speaker teachers handle the teaching of target language pragmatics and culture, and, more specifically, to investigate their professional knowledge, beliefs, and reported practices in relation to the teaching of pragmatics and culture in their EFL classroom.

Author Biographies

Christine Savvidou, University of Nicosia

Christine Savvidou is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nicosia and has a doctorate in Teacher Education from the University of Nottingham, UK. Her research focuses on teacher education, professional development and, professional knowledge and identity in second language teaching. A member of several professional associations, she is an active researcher and has published her work in books and international refereed journals such as Technology, Pedagogy and Education, Intercultural Education and others. She is currently researching online teaching methodologies.

Maria Economidou-Kogetsidis, University of Nicosia

Maria Economidou-Kogetsidis is Associate Professor at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. She holds a doctorate in Applied Linguistics and Interlanguage Pragmatics from the University of Nottingham, UK. Her research areas are cross-cultural communication, interlanguage and intercultural pragmatics, sociopragmatics, pragmalinguistics and politeness. Her publications have appeared in the Journal of Pragmatics,Intercultural PragmaticsELT JournalJournal of Politeness Research, Multilingua and others. Her current research focuses on the pragmatic performance of Greek Cypriot learners of English and on email requests.