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Globalization and L2 pragmatics: Implications for research and teaching
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Abstract

Corresponding to globalization, applied linguists are compelled to re-evaluate traditional assumptions about language learning and teaching. Kramsch (2014) contends that the modernist tenets of our profession—the concepts of nation-states, stable grammar, and distinct boundaries between native and foreign languages—have to go through ‘deep changes’. Responding to Kramsch’s call, this colloquium illustrates how globalization has transformed conventional ways of researching and teaching L2 pragmatics. We attempt this in several areas. First, the emergence of English as a lingua franca (ELF) as a global phenomenon has led us re-evaluate established assumptions about norms of interaction and language competence (Seidlhofer, 2011; Jenkins, 2015). Because English is mainly used among nonnative speakers in intercultural communication in the current era, communicative competence needs to be determined based on how speakers can skillfully navigate communicative demands by using strategies while maintaining their identities. Adopting this view to pragmatics, we have acquired methods to analyze intercultural pragmatics in both face-to-face and cyber space communication by focusing on how speakers co-construct and negotiate pragmatic meanings using available resources. We have also moved away from the traditional practice of using native speaker models and started exploring alternative instructional models under the lingua franca framework and digital technology. In addition to the lingua franca phenomena, globalization has led to a multilingual society where people grow up being exposed to several languages and develop a hybrid pragmatic competence by blending pragmatic systems of different languages. A growing population of heritage language learners and multilingual speakers is an example of this trend. Because the traditional framework of native vs. foreign language speakers is no longer useful when analyzing bilingual and multilingual pragmatics, researchers have started to explore ways to analyze multilingual influence on pragmatics behaviors. This colloquium will discuss these various research directions with empirical data and concrete pedagogical models.

Summary

Globalization has brought about a transformation in traditional practices of L2 pragmatics research, most notably on the topics of intercultural communication and multilingual pragmatics. Papers in this colloquium present empirical data and pedagogical models under these topics, and collectively discuss the present-state L2 pragmatics research in the era of globalization.

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