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The Effect of Instruction on Pragmatic Routines in Academic Discussion

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Language Teaching Research Volume 19, Number 3, ISSN 1362-1688


This study investigates the effect of instruction on the acquisition of pragmatic routines used in academic discussion, specifically expressions of agreement, disagreement, and clarification. Thirty-seven learners, including an experimental group of 26 students and a control group of 11 students, participated in the study. Five intact classes received instruction across four 50-minute lessons. Input consisted of authentic language samples extracted from the MICASE corpus; instruction included noticing and production activities. Evaluation in the form of a pretest/posttest was administered through a computer-delivered oral-production test, which allowed for free production in a researcher-controlled context. The task included 30 items, including 10 agreement, 10 disagreement, and 10 clarification scenarios. Two-tailed paired-sample t-tests revealed that production of both speech acts and targeted expressions increased significantly in the experimental condition, whereas the control group did not show significant change. The results show that instruction has a significant positive effect on the use of expressions as measured by oral production in conversation simulations. We attribute this positive outcome to two components, instruction and means of evaluation.


Bardovi-Harlig, K., Mossman, S. & Vellenga, H.E. (2015). The Effect of Instruction on Pragmatic Routines in Academic Discussion. Language Teaching Research, 19(3), 324-350. Retrieved August 16, 2022 from .

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