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INVESTIGATING THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEVELOPING PRAGMATIC COMPETENCE OF EFL STUDENTS: THE CASE OF St.

JOSEPH SCHOOL IN ADAMA

KORIE SHANKULIE ARSIE Adama Science and Technology University sanseetee@gmail.com or soolanee33@yahoo.com
ABSTRACT This paper investigates the challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatics in EFL context. Learners often find the area of language use difficult. Teachers are advised to explicitly teach pragmatic features of language and make use of authentic models of language to help learners practice using appropriate language in social contexts. In spite of this, information about pragmatic aspect of language and pragmatic-focused instruction is lacking in an EFL Ethiopian context. Textbooks and teachers are an integral part of language teaching in general in an EFL setting where there are no opportunities to learn the language informally outside the classroom. However, the textbooks almost never provide adequate pragmatic information for students to develop successfully their pragmatic competence. The findings indicated that there is a scarcity of pragmatic information contained in the English for Ethiopia 10th and 11th grades textbooks, and the variety of pragmatic information is limited. Most of the metalanguage explanations are simple; and there are no metapragmatic explanations at all. It is fairly possible to infer from the teachers response that well-designed teacher training and teaching materials should be in place for teachers to develop students pragmatic competence. Moreover, the teaching hours to cover the issue of pragmatics; thus, to properly manage each
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lesson may solve the current problem of teaching pragmatics in the classroom. The results of this study also showed that teachers seldom use pragmatic instruction in classrooms, and mostly students have to spend time by themselves developing pragmatic competence without explicit instruction. Overall, the pragmatics instruction is immature and needs to be developed, and teachers need professional training to be aware of how to teach pragmatics effectively. Although the learners self-perceived competence mean score was high, their MDCT result was low; and this confirmed that self-perceived competence and the actual performance never match. This is why according to Dewaele (2011) higher levels of self-perceived competence are linked to lower levels of communication which in fact has to be further investigated in our own context. The research was entirely qualitative except that some simple statistical calculations were used to compute the frequency, mean and percentage of the numerical data. The data were drawn from the content analysis of two student textbooks (grade 11 &12), responses of four teachers teaching grade 9-12 and self-perceived competence and pragmatic awareness test results of 183 students. The findings of this study have implications for teaching pragmatics to EFL learners, the development of pragmatic-focused materials, future research and well-designed teacher training. Key Words: Pragmatic competence, challenges and opportunities for developing pragmatics in EFL setting, textbook content analysis, self-perceived-competence, MDCT Introduction Learning a foreign language is regarded nowadays as an essential component in the curricula at different educational levels. In particular, learning the English language has become necessary given its widespread use throughout the world according to House and Kasper (see, MartinezFlor, 2004). However, in order to make learners become communicatively competent in the English language, there a shift from previous theoretical frameworks, which considered language as a formal system based on grammatical rules, towards a more communicative perspective (ibid). Alcaraz (see, Martinez-Flor, 2004) points out that the shift from language usage rule to language use rule was possible due to the advent of pragmatics as a specific area of study within linguistics that favored a focus on interactional and contextual factors of the target language (TL).

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As international and cross-cultural communication has become part of everyday life in Ethiopia, pragmatic competence should be an important asset to a person and thus, rehearsing pragmatic skills alongside other linguistic aspects should be one of the objectives of language teaching in formal education. In Ethiopia, formal instruction of English or the learning environment, most commonly comprises of a non-native language teacher, a fairly large classroom full of learners with very dissimilar aptitudes, and the teaching materials, which refer to anything that can be used to facilitate the learning of a language, such as textbooks, printouts, or grammar books. Teaching authentic language use, which resembles the way the language is used in the real world outside the classroom, in these circumstances is very challenging and the teaching materials should play an integral role in offering the students a model of real-life language use. Although language teachers have the right to develop their own materials, the most commonly used materials are only published textbooks. As Vellegna (2004) aptly points out, the textbook is often the very center of the curriculum and syllabus. In such cases, textbooks used should be carefully designed, to make sure that they are perfectly in line with the learning objectives and learners need. Basically, the chosen textbook should provide all the important linguistic inputs outlined for each stage of learning and life outside the school. However, studies have shown (for example Vellegna 2004, Peiying, 2007; 2008) that textbooks rarely provide enough information for learners to successfully acquire pragmatic competence. Similarly, knowledge about how conversations work and what the sociocultural norms and practices are in each communication culture is often inadequately presented in the textbook contents (Bardovi-Harling 2001:25). In order for students to learn how language really works, they need authentic materials of authentic communication situations. The demand for pragmatic input is particularly relevant when upper secondary school teaching materials are concerned, because at this level, students are expected to be quite proficient language users. In other words, at upper secondary school stage, they are at an advanced level and competent to understand the subtleties of English. Most students in upper secondary school study English as their compulsory language, that is, the language that has started in the lower stage of the comprehensive school and that is obligatory to all students.

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Practicing pragmatic abilities in a classroom requires student-centered interaction. The teaching materials should provide a relatively wide range of exercises designed to rehearse the sociopragmatic knowledge of students. In a similar vein, Kasper (1997) suggests the inclusion of activities such as role-play, simulation, and drama to engage students in different social roles and speech events. The activities in the textbooks provide valuable opportunities to practice the pragmatic and sociolinguistic skills that students need in their everyday interactions outside the classroom. Pragmatic competence can also be acquired through raising awareness on the pragmatic aspects of second/foreign language, and in this process, the metalanguage, that is, a language which is used to describe language (Lyons 1995: 7), can assist significantly. In teaching and learning of any language, metalanguage is essential, both in classroom interaction and within the teaching materials. In language instruction context, metalanguage helps the learners to understand the key elements of the target language and the major differences between the target language and the learners L1. Evidently, as the learners metalinguistic awareness increases, the level of language proficiency increases as well (Renou 2001: 261), and therefore the teaching materials should be rich in pragmatic metalanguage and teachers should also be aware of the significant role of learning pragmatics. In conclusion, this study has focused on challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatic competence. Besides, it was the intent of this research to evaluate teachers perception of the textbooks content in terms of their pragmatic content. Furthermore, it was the concern of this study to look at what teachers think are impediments for them to deliver pragmatic instructions in the EFL setting. Moreover, the students self-perceived competence and their ability to choose appropriate language based on a given context was the other concern of this research. Statement of the Problem Equipping Ethiopian students with communicative competence in order to help them communicate effectively in all walks of their lives and international communication is truly essential. English has been used as a medium of instruction from grade 7 or 9 upwards since long time ago, but problems in learning and teaching English have been observed ever since (Jarvis, as cited in Amlaku, 2010) had given his personal account of experiences and observations.
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Presently, says Amlaku for his part [teachers] at schools and employers in industries have been complaining about the low level English language competence of students and graduates, respectively (p.9). But what are the challenges that pull back language learners not to competently communicate when there is a need to do so? Although there have been studies about communicative language teaching in Ethiopian schools, the investigation on pragmatic information in English textbooks used in Ethiopia has not yet been conducted. Similarly, whether there exist any additional pragmatic features in teachers book as a resource for teachers has not been questioned. Likewise, whether English language teachers bring in outside materials to help learners develop pragmatic competence has not yet been investigated in the setting of the current research. There is paucity of pragmatic contents and their presentations are marginalized as compared to other language items. There are no courses offered to pre-service language teachers in the area of pragmatics as a result of which teachers do not complement textbooks with inputs to help learners acquire pragmatic competence. Although, it is vitally important to acquire communicative competence, there are no research emphases in the area of pragmatics in the present research area. The current research, therefore, looks into the challenges and opportunities in teaching pragmatics to language learners in the EFL context and the way forward to it. Objectives This study was aimed at: Analyzing English textbooks on the basis of thanking strategies, apologizing strategies, complimenting strategies, complaining strategies, refusing strategies, and requesting strategies presented in Aijmer (1996); and Ishihara and Cohen, (2007). Analyzing the discourse completion data collected from St. Joseph 10th and 11th grade students, Investigating the challenges teachers in EFL setting, particularly those in St. Joseph School, were facing in teaching pragmatic aspects of the English language,

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Considering these concerns, the aim of this study was two-fold: to deal with those theoretical approaches that inform the process of learning speech acts in particular contextual and cultural settings; and, secondly, to present a variety of methodological proposals, grounded on researchbased ideas, for the teaching of the major pragmatic features in foreign language classrooms. Research Questions This study attempted to answer the following questions: 1. To what extent do the students textbooks provide pragmatic information for learners to acquire pragmatic competence? 2. What are the challenges perceived by high school teachers to develop students pragmatic competence? 3. How do the teachers perceive students textbooks pragmatic contents-are they challenges or opportunities for them? 4. Do students choose appropriate language based on a provided situation/context? 5. To what extent do teachers consider other possibilities than the textbook, for teaching pragmatics in an EFL setting? Significance of the Study In this research an attempt was made to examine the socio-pragmatic aspect of the students textbook, the challenges faced by teachers and the availability of opportunities to teaching pragmatic competence to EFL learners. Generally, this research is expected to have the following significance: It can help syllabus designers to revise English language syllabuses to include substantial quantity of pragmatic features and the quality of their presentations in the textbooks. The research would also be worthwhile resource for teachers who are interested to develop their own teaching materials for teaching pragmatics/speech acts. The research would be helpful for textbook writers to consider including the substantial amounts of the pragmatic aspect of the English language in the English language textbooks and wishing to have an informed opinion on the pedagogical implications derived from research on pragmatics/speech act performance.

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It fills the research gap that exists in studying challenges and possibilities to teaching pragmatics in an EFL setting of Ethiopian context. Above all, the research would be of importance for the other researchers to look into the field attentively. Pragmatics Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics which studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning. It studies how the transmission of meaning depends not only on the linguistic knowledge (e.g. grammar, lexicon etc.) of the speaker and listener, but also on the context of the utterance, knowledge about the status of those involved, the inferred intent of the speaker (Kasper, 2004), and so on. In this respect, pragmatics explains how language users are able to overcome apparent ambiguity, since meaning relies on the manner, place, time etc. of an utterance (Cohn, 2008). The ability to understand another speaker's intended meaning is called pragmatic competence (Kasper, 1997). An utterance describing pragmatic function is described as metapragmatic (Verschueren, 2000). Pragmatic awareness is regarded as one of the most challenging aspects of language learning, and comes only through experience. Hence, learners of EFL context face challenges in understanding the interplay
of language, language users and their intentions, and the social context.

Challenges of Teaching Pragmatic Competence in EFL Setting In foreign language context teachers are non-native speakers of English language and they need to be well-prepared for teaching the pragmatic aspect of knowledge of language. In addition to this fact there are no sufficient, or no course, is offered to teachers either during pre-service or in-service education programs in the area of pragmatics. This situation is what El-Okda (2010) calls as paucity of pragmatic courses in both pre-service teacher education programs and in-service professional development (169). If the student teachers or those teachers that are handling the teaching of English language are provided with the pragmatic courses, [they] can help their students see the language in context, raise consciousness of the role of pragmatics, and explain the function pragmatics plays in specific communicative event (Brock and Nagasaka, 2005:20).

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The second pillar in developing the pragmatic competence of learners is ELT material. Language teaching materials need to frequently include pragmatic materials so as to help learners develop pragmatic competence, because teachers in EFL settings, where there are relatively few opportunities for students to use the language in communicative contexts (Brock and Nagasaka, 2005), will make use of textbooks as the major source of pragmatic knowledge. However, the attempt of including very few mini-dialogues for certain speech acts and that are contrived and de-contextualized does not help the learners develop their pragmatic competence or does not represent the reality outside the classroom (El-Okda, 2010:180). Let alone the external environment, many students do not know how to make polite requests in English in the classroom (Brock and Nagasaka, 2005:21). Teachers in most cases complain for the unmanageable class size. Large classes, limited contact hours and little opportunity for intercultural communication are some of the features of the EFL context that hinder pragmatic learning (Eslami-Rasekh et al., 2004; Rose, 1999).

Understanding teachers' perceptions and beliefs is important because teachers, heavily involved in various teaching and learning processes, are practitioners of educational principles and theories (Jia, Eslami & Burlbaw, cited in Eslami and Fatahi, 2008). Teachers have a primary role in determining what is needed or what would work best with their students. Findings from research on teachers' perceptions and beliefs indicate that these perceptions and beliefs not only have considerable influence on their instructional practices and classroom behavior but also are related to their students' achievement. In most cases teachers do not give attention to pragmatic/communicative functions in the classroom. Omaggio (see in Uso-Juan, and Martinez-Flor, 2008) gives the following three reasons for neglecting intercultural/pragmatic competence in the language class: 1. Teachers usually have an overcrowded curriculum to cover and lack the time to spend on teaching culture, which requires a lot of work; 2. Many teachers have a limited knowledge of the target culture and, therefore, afraid to teach it; 3. Teachers are often confused about what cultural aspects to cover (p.165).

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Possibilities/Opportunities for Teaching Pragmatics in EFL Classroom What opportunities are offered for pragmatic learning? The research works have made mention of such opportunities as: opportunities for pragmatic input: teacher talk (Kasper, 1997; Bardovi-Harlig and Hartford, 1996; Nikula, 2008), textbooks (Salazar, 2007; UsoJuan, 2007) and audiovisual material (Alcn, 2005; Fernndez Guerra, 2008; Martnez-Flor, 2008). Although typically an ESL environment is thought to be superior to an EFL environment for learning language, especially the pragmatics of a language, some studies show that this is a sweeping generalization and not necessarily true. According to Wallace (2011) Pragmatics can be successfully acquired in an EFL setting (p.274). Furthermore, some think that lack of exposure to the target language in an EFL setting hinders students development of pragmatics. In fact, researches show that well-designed textbooks and explicit pragmatics instruction can be more effective than implicit pragmatics instruction. Savignon (2006:10) discusses about shaping or designing language curriculum that entails five components out of which one is language for a purpose, or language experience. Language for a purpose or language experience is the use of language for real and immediate communicative goals. She argues that for not all learners are taking a new language for the same reasons, teachers should do the following in selecting language inputs: It is important for teachers to pay attention, when selecting and sequencing materials, to the specific communicative needs of the learners. Regardless of how distant or unspecific the communicative needs of the learners, every program with a goal of communicative competence should pay heed to opportunities for meaningful language use, opportunities to focus on meaning as well as form (pp. 11-12). The Role of Language Teachers Talk Teachers vary in their attitudes to teacher talk according to findings. Some of them accept that it is useful source of language input for all language levels, except from the more advanced ones. Others regard it as an important part of the early stages of learning, but
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believe it should be abandoned as soon as possible (Lynch as quoted in Adriana 2009:1). There are at least three main reasons that make teacher talk worth studying and improving. The reasons are as follows: a. People have recognized the vital link between comprehension and the progress made in the language classroom. b. Studies of classroom language have shown that certain aspects of teacher talk, such as the way we ask questions, influence the way learners use language. c. It is not easy for learners to understand what the teacher is currently trying to focus their attention on (ibid). Due to its importance, it is inevitable to make sure that the teacher talk fulfils certain criteria. First of all, it should be simplified, but not unnatural. It needs to exhibit a certain level of redundancy (words like let me see, in fact, well, etc.) and words, together with structures, should be repeated at regular intervals. The Role of Textbooks Textbooks are key component in most language programs. In some situations they serve as the basis for much of the language input learners receive and the language practice that occurs in the classroom. They may provide the basis for the content of the lessons, the balance of skills taught and the kinds of language practice the students take part in. In other situations, the textbook may serve primarily to supplement the teachers instruction. Bardovi-Harlig (2001) argues that since teachers talk cannot be considered as a pragmatically appropriate model for learners, textbooks with conversations are designed to be models for students, and yet they generally fall short of providing realistic input to learners (p. 25). She suggests that textbooks should be used cautiously: Any textbook should be used judiciously, since it cannot cater equally to the requirements of every classroom setting. In bilingual and multilingual situations, there are special limitations on the amount of English language teaching that can be done via the textbook. The textbook can present examples of common difficulties, but there are problems specific to different language groups which are left for the teacher to deal with. It is
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also likely that a textbook will outlast its relevance because of changes in the language policy of the community for which it was written (BardoviHarlig, 2001:24). Therefore, textbooks are always at the center of curriculum although there are some limitations attributed to them with regards to their pragmatic contents. The Role of Culture [Local and Target Culture] People may meet with various problems in intercultural communication. The knowledge of target languages culture is as important as its grammar or vocabulary. Perhaps more to the point, a lack of cross-cultural awareness can be a severe hindrance in the understanding of a message which is linguistically accurate or comprehensible. As a rule, people are much less tolerant of cultural bumps and cultural shocks than they are of grammatical mistakes and lexical insufficiency. Language is inseparable from culture. Thus, when learners learn a language, they learn about culture; and as they learn to use a new language, they learn to communicate with other individuals from a different culture. Magnifying the significance of target language culture in learning a foreign language, Jie (2010) opines: Through analyzing and comparing the anecdotes of pragmatic failure in cross-cultural communication from the aspects of lexicon, syntax and discourse, some pragmatic strategies are suggested in intercultural communication. To improve learners cultural awareness and

communicative competence, a cultural-linguistic approach in foreign language teaching should be adopted (p.1). A language cannot exist in vacuum. It has to express some objective function when utterances are made or some text is written. Regmi (2011:2) points out When we learn a new language, we need to adopt the culture of the target language to a certain extent because the cultural aspect comes amalgamated with the target language. However, what about the learners and their own culture? Regmi again has the following to say with regards to this question:

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The learners have their own set of cultural experiences and objectives of using a language. They have their own cultural amalgamation which has to be addressed during target language learning process to make it meaningful and relevant to the learners. We can assume that integration of local culture and context is inevitable while learning a target language (ibid). Thus, local context becomes inseparable from the use of language. This is because, students want to see cultural elements from both target language culture and local culture in foreign language classrooms as well as in language learning materials Devo and Yasemin (2010:4). Method of the Study This chapter deals with the processes involved in selecting the research design, instruments, and subjects of the study. Even though the investigation of the problem did not confine itself to a particular method, qualitative method has been taken up to a large extent. The main thesis of the study was an attempt to explore the challenges being faced by English language teachers to teach pragmatics to their students, and investigate the manifestation of contents of pragmatics/social language in the current EFL textbooks. For this purpose, therefore, a descriptive research method was chosen as it is used to specify or describe a phenomenon without conducting an experiment. Research Design The study was principally designed to be qualitative. Questionnaires, observations, discourse completion tests and content analysis seemed to be appropriate instruments to collect data for the study since objectively recorded teachers and students behaviors such as actions, utterances and verbal expression of their attitudes (opinions) towards the concept can be elements of descriptive studies (Mc Arthur 1983). Procedures of the Study This study consisted of the following methodological steps. First and foremost, the researcher conducted pretest- at this step the researcher has attempted to design some open ended discourse completion test questions in order to asses pragmatic awareness of the
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learners. After the current researchs groundwork was finished, formulating research questions, stating the motive behind the research, stating the limitation and delimitation of the study, stating the significance of the study followed. Following the scheme of the research, related discourses were reviewed. Next to reviewing related sources, research tools that were proper to the study were chosen and designed. After instruments for data collection were designed, determining sample size in question, and selecting an appropriate sample from the data on hand took place. Subsequently, before administering the tools, as it was part of the subjects of the present study, textbooks were selected, and unit of analysis were defined, contents for analysis were constructed and categorized; the contents were coded according to the established definition. Afterwards, the questionnaires were administered to the language teachers with the intension to elicit their perception of the pragmatic contents of the textbooks, their own awareness and teaching of the pragmatic aspect of language and impediments they were facing in teaching pragmatic aspect of the English language. Corresponding to this, questionnaires and discourse completion tests were distributed to the participant students to assess their perception of their own language ability and performance respectively. The questionnaires for the teachers were delivered on hand. Discourse completion tests were distributed to the sampled students in a classroom, in collaboration with the school teachers. All the questionnaire and test papers were collected back. On the whole, the collected data were descriptively analyzed, interpreted and conclusion were drawn. Content Analysis Sampling Process a. Sampling Units for Content Analysis Since it was difficult to observe all contents, the researcher was forced to sample from available content for coding pool. Units of analysis may differ from units of observation. Sample selection depends largely on unit of analysis. The researcher was well aware that he needed to be clear about unit of analysis before planning sampling strategy to avoid problems that may occur later. The sampling could involve stratified, purposive, systematic or random technique of selecting the representative population of the study. In the present study the researcher planned to pursue purposive sampling.

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Before sampling the representative data in relation to the central issues of the study, code sheets were designed to identify the presence or absence of any elements relevant to the focus of the study. The coding instructions and element definitions were written to ensure that specific concepts were highlighted and received a specific level of attention in the text before they would be coded as present. b. Data Coding Scheme for Content Analysis After the data collected for the study were categorized, the textbooks were coded for the above elements while entering the data into tables for analysis. Coding is the heart of content analysis. Coding is the process of converting raw data into a standardized form. Each additional entry of datum collected from the textbooks was registered under each code. Coding therefore is the technique to classify content in relation to a conceptual framework. Like in the current study, pragmatic elements can be categorized, general pragmatic information, language use rule, cultural context, physical context, approaches to sociopragmatics competence, social context, physical context, mode of instruction, etc. c. Procedure of Content Analysis of the Textbooks The process of content analysis begins during or after the data processing/entering. Thus the procedure consisted of formulating the research questions, collecting the data, categorizing the data based on the research questions, indentifying the connection between the data collected from the textbooks and that of the respondents and finally interpreting or assigning meaning to the data obtained. Participants The research subjects were grade 10th and 11th students at St. Joseph School. The total population of the study comprised of 339 students and 4 teachers. Out of the total population of the students, the researcher drew sound sample systematically based on the table of systematic random sampling; and the representative sample was 183. After the sample population was decided, the total population was divided by the sample population that resulted in every 1.85 student to be part of the sample. By rounding off the fractions the students names were arranged alphabetically and every 2nd student was included in the sample. Moreover, all (100%) teachers that were teaching English language to grade 10th

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and 11th students were also part of the research subjects. Questionnaires were distributed to all the participant teachers and students; and all of them had returned papers. In addition to this, all the students included in the sample were seated for the MDCT. Table 1:Data Representing the Research Participants Participants Males Females Total Students 102 81 183 % 55.73 44.25 99.98 Teachers 3 1 4 % 75 25 100

Procedures for Collecting Data Sampling of the participants In the present research the researcher employed two stage schemes of sampling: the first purposive sampling only focusing on high achiever students. This was to test the extent to which the learners were aware of pragmatic/functional aspect of the target language. Doing this in turn helped the researcher to proceed with the research work as designed with some minor modification when need arisen. During the first stage sampling, only 15 students were selected and tested. The second and final sampling was systematic random sampling so as to include all students: low, medium and high achievers even though the aim was not to distinguish between these groups of students. All teachers who are teaching 9th-12th grades were part of the research. Tools of Data Collection Questionnaire Primarily, sample questionnaires were designed and administered to teachers who were teaching English the same grade level at selected school. Feedbacks were obtained that there were no difficulties to comprehend the message of the questionnaire. Similar questionnaires with minor modifications were administered to elicit teachers perception of the students textbooks with regards to pragmatic content and their own pragmatic background knowledge.

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Whereas, questionnaire for the students were newly developed in addition to the discourse completions test that was completely changed from open ended format to multiple choice. The change was made to alleviate the difficulty that might occur in analyzing the data and MDCT is gaining its prominence to test learners pragmatic proficiency in EFL (Setouguchi, 2008:1). More than 99% of the questionnaires were close ended. The respondents were asked to put only a tick mark () in the column of their choice or that represents their perceptions of the rating scales. The rating scales range from one up to five where 1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=undecided 4=agree 5= strongly agree. In the data

analysis, the researcher has combined strongly disagree (1) and disagree (2), and strongly agree (5) and agree (4) together. Classroom Observation Classroom observation has always been considered as one of the tools for data collection in language acquisition researches, because it allows the study of a phenomenon or behavior at close range with many of the contextual variables present (Waxman, 2011). Thus, the researcher observed classrooms to ascertain the prevalent challenges to teach pragmatics in EFL classroom as indicated by the teachers. This is to say that the observation was mainly done to cross-check whether the problems forwarded by teachers exist or not. The researcher was physically present in the classrooms to observe how the teachers use the textbooks to develop pragmatic competence of learners through metapragmatic explanations of the language in point or use materials prepared by themselves for the same purpose to supplement the text books. Pertinent lessons were observed based on agreement with the teachers, especially, when there are oral presentations and speaking skills sessions. In each class teachers who took part in filing out the questionnaire were observed. In all the observations conducted, the researcher took the position where his presence did not disturb the class. In other words, the observation was made without intervention in any way. Teachers were requested to voluntarily cooperate with the researcher and the sections were chosen on random basis.

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Discourse Completion Test Discourse completion tests are used to elicit the pragmatic awareness of learners. Hence, the researcher employed DCT/MDCT to cross check what students replied in self-perceived competence questionnaires with what language they chose in MDCT. Besides the DCT/MDCT, some questions were added at the end of the test paper so that students can give what they believed as regards to the sources of their current knowledge of pragmatics. To test the difference in the learners awareness in the grammatical and pragmatic domains, the researcher developed a contextualized pragmatic and grammatical judgment task presented in a written format. The task was developed in five steps for pretest: (a) identifying and constructing the test scenarios, (b) testing the scenarios through a production (written) task, (c) selecting the targeted responses for the task, (d) piloting the judgment task in written format, and (e) retesting the revised scenarios (MDCT format). In the first step, 7 scenarios were constructed to elicit one of five speech acts: complaint, compliment, requests, apologies, and refusals. To ensure that learners interpreted the scenarios as requiring the targeted speech act, the researcher asked 15 (purposively selected) secondary School EFL students to carry out a standard discourse completion task (DCT). They were given a scenario and asked how they would react, as in Example 1. You are wearing a new shirt and a classmate looks at you and says: This shirt looks great on you! Blue is a great color for you. You answer: _____________________________________________________________ The study was open ended and exploratory in nature. It asked learners to report whatever they were thinking and then examines those reports to gain insights into what they know about pragmatics and how they acquire pragmatic knowledge and ability. Content Analysis The purpose of this research is first to investigate the impediments faced by language teachers to teach pragmatics and second to analyze aspects of the content of pragmatics manifested in the students textbooks and their classes to determine if certain elements (e.g., apology, compliments, complain, request, thanks, etc) are present. While content analysis, if
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used properly, can indicate the presence (or absence) and extent of elements that may be signs of quality or effectiveness, based on what previous studies or other literature have established about those elements. As Krippendorff (2004) indicates: Content analysis is potentially one of the most important research techniques in the social sciences. The content analyst views data as representations not of physical evidence but of texts, images, and expressions that are created to be seen, read, interpreted, and acted on for their meanings, and must therefore be analyzed with such uses in mind. Analyzing texts in the context of their uses distinguishes content analysis from other methods of inquiry. (p. xiii) Content analysis includes, for instance, comparing the frequency of single words, phrases, or things in a text, or the space dedicated to them in a piece of work. The purpose of the content analysis was to get the research data to a form that is easier to perceive, and thus to help in drawing the conclusions. The conclusions do not, however, pop up straight from the analyzed data, because content analysis can only give direction to theoretical discussion. According to writers, content analysis is a scientific way of making observations and collecting data from a document. Further precise definition of content analysis is provided by Krippendorff, (2004): Content analysis is a research technique for making replicable and valid inferences from texts (or other meaningful matter) to the context of their use (p.18). This definition of content analysis best suits the current study. In this definition it is deducible that content analysis is a research technique; which implies that content analysis involves specialized procedures. As a research technique, content analysis provides new insights by increasing the researchers understandings regarding the phenomena under study. Krippendroff, further argues that content analysis is a scientific tool (ibid); that is employed to collect and analyze data. For validity and reliability of the whole work, the researcher employed triangulation so as to not concentrating on just one source of information. He approached the topic from different

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points of view by combining qualitative data from discourse completion tests (DCTs), questionnaire for teachers and qualitative data from content analysis using checklists designed for the same purpose. He used theories and background knowledge from books and journals or articles that guide him to approach the topic in the right way. Procedures for Data Analysis In the process of data analysis the first step was organizing the data by research questions because organizing by research questions draws together all the relevant data for the exact issue of concern to the researcher and it preserves the coherence of the research. With respect to the content of the textbook, coding the content according to the established definitions, categorizing the data, counting the frequency of each code in the textbooks and tabulating was done. After the data were gathered from the textbooks, the students and the respective teachers, both qualitative and quantitative analyses were geared up. Content analysis and questionnaire were chief data gathering tools. Once the data obtained through textbook content analysis, questionnaires, discourse completion test and classroom observations were organized, the next step was description of the data. Thence, the meaning was given to the data. This stage involved explaining the findings and triangulation for veracity and validity (accuracy) of the data. The last stage of data analysis was reporting or drawing conclusion and looking for implications that were dealt with in the next chapter. RESULTS The research findings showed that based on the inventory made pertaining to the presence and absence of the pragmatic features in the students textbooks, there is a dearth of language use contents in the plethora of other linguistic features that almost constituted above 90% of the textbooks contents. It was also evident from the data analysis that the pragmatic elements that were only given a lip service were given insufficient metapragmatic and metalanguage explanations. Hence, it is one of the challenges to teaching pragmatics in Ethiopian EFL context. The other research result was that teachers did not bring in outside materials to complement the paucity of pragmatic contents of the English language textbooks so as to facilitate the opportunities for teaching and learning pragmatics in the classroom. Evidence for this was
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where 100% of the teachers responded unanimously that no teacher could be singled out for bringing in outside materials to instruct pragmatics in EFL setting where there are rare opportunities to learning pragmatics. Further research result was that the majority of the participant students scaled that most of the communicative acts or social functions of language that they were tested for are difficult. As a result of which most of them scored below average in MDCT. The classroom observation results were also consistent with what was detected from the textbooks inventory, teachers responses and that of students responses that there were no lessons or interactions directed to the development of pragmatic competence in the classrooms. Table 2.Communicative Acts in the Textbooks Communicative Acts

Examples or strategies or realization of strategies

Topic /types strategies

Compliments

appearance/possessions performance/skills/abilities personality traits Direct refusals Statement of regret Statement of positive opinion Excuse, reason, explanation Gratitude Statement of future acceptance Indefinite reply Statement of alternative Statement of empathy Good wish to hearer Thanking someone explicitly Expressing gratitude

e.g., You look absolutely beautiful!) (e.g., Your presentation was excellent.) (e.g., You are so sweet.) (e.g. No, I cant, I dont think I can) (e.g. Im sorry) (e.g. Id love to, I wish I could) (e.g. I have to study for the test) (e.g. Thank you) (e.g. Perhaps some other time) (e.g. Im not sure, I dont know) (e.g., How about the movies) (e.g. No offence to you) (e.g. Have a nice trip, Hope you have fun) (e.g. Thanks, thank you, thank you for, thank you very much, thanks a lot, fine thanks) (e.g. Im grateful)

x x x x x x x x x x

Thanking

Refusal

x
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Investigating the challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatics in an EFL Context, by Korie Shankulie, 2012. ASTU, Adama. Ethiopia <soolanee33@yahoo.com> or <sanseetee@gmail.com>

Book 2
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Book 1

Expressing the appreciation of the addressee Expressing the appreciation of the act Acknowledging a debt of gratitude Stressing ones gratitude Expressing emotion Suppressing ones own importance[self-denigration] Explicitly apologizing Offering/presenting ones apologies Acknowledging a debt of apology Expressing regret Demanding forgiveness Explicitly requesting the hearers forgiveness Giving an explanation or account Self-denigration or self reproach Minimizing responsibility Expressing emotion Acknowledging responsibility for the offending act Promising forbearance from a similar offending act Offering redress Asking about ability to do something[ability] Asking about the possibility of the desired act happening [consultation] Asking whether the hearer is willing to do or has an objection to do something[willingness] Expressing a wish that the agent should do something Requesting

(e.g. Thats kind of you, thats nice of you) (e.g. Thats lovely, its appreciated) (e.g. I owe a debt of gratitude to) (e.g. I must thank you) (e.g. Oh, thank you) (e.g. Im an ingrate, Im so careless) (e.g. I apologize) (e.g. I present my apologies)

x x x x x x x

x x x x x x x x

(e.g. I owe you an apology) (e.g. Im sorry, Im regretful ) (e.g. Pardon me, forgive me, excuse me) (e.g. I beg your pardon, ) (e.g. Im sorry The bus was late, its so unusual) (e.g. How stupid of me, how awful, I ought to know this) (e.g. I didnt mean to, I thought this was, ) (e.g. Oh, Im so sorry,) (e.g. Its my fault,) (e.g. I promise you that will never happen again) (e.g. Please let me pay for the damage I have done) (e.g. Can you come to the party? Can you help me? Can I talk to Mr. president? ) (e.g. Is it possible, would you mind,)

x x x x x x x x x

x x x x x x x x x x x x

Apologies

(e.g. Will you, would you(like), )

(e.g. I would like you to,)

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[want] Expressing a need or desire for goods [need] Stating that the hearer is under the obligation to do something [obligation] Stating that it is appropriate that the hearer performs the desired action Asking an idiomatic WH questions Hypothesis Appreciation Permission quest Naming the object requested Checking the availability[existence] Valuation-an utterance expressing the feelings of the Speaker about either the Addressee or the problem. Closing - An utterance made by the Speaker to conclude the complaint set. Threat- An utterance stating an action the Speaker might take, depending on the reaction of the Addressee. Remedy - An utterance calling for some corrective action. Justification of The Addressee - An utterance giving a reason or excuse for the Addressee's having committed the wrong or considering the effect on the Addressee. Justification of the speaker-An utterance explaining why the Speaker is making the complaint and the effects of the wrong on the Speaker. Act Statement- An utterance which states the problem directly.

(e.g. I want, I need,) (e.g. You must, you have to,)

x x

x x

(e.g. You should, )

(e.g. What about, how about, why dont you, why not) (e.g. If you would, perhaps you would.) (e.g. I would be grateful if you would do, I would be glad if ) (e.g. May I , let me) (e.g. The next slide please) (e.g. Is Mrthere) (e.g. e.g. 'It's really disgusting.')

x x x x x x x x x x x x

(e.g. OK, thanks. )

(e.g. e.g. "I, er..could take it higher than just talking to you." )

Complaining

(e.g. 'This is going to have to stop.') ( e.g. 'Is this time particularly difficult for you?" )

x x

x x

( e.g. "... because I... you're making me miss lectures by turning up late." )

(e.g. "This is the fourth time this month you've been really late!" )

22 | P a g e Investigating the challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatics in an EFL Context, by Korie Shankulie, 2012. ASTU, Adama. Ethiopia <soolanee33@yahoo.com> or <sanseetee@gmail.com>

Orientation - An utterance giving the Speaker's intent in initiating the complaint, but with no detail. Opener- An utterance initiating the speech act set but giving no information about the wrong. Explicit complaint

(e.g. 'I've been meaning to talk to you about the rubbish you've been leaving outside.' )

(e.g. "Listen, Jimmy." )

Request for ExplanationAn utterance calling for an explanation of the Addressee's behavior, Blame -An utterance finding fault with the Addressee or holding him/her responsible for the wrong,

(e.g. Youre not fair. Youre inconsiderate. One should not postpone this type of operation. Ive been waiting here for nearly an hour. You are always late. I expected different treatment from a physician like you.) (e.g. 'I mean, why do you do it?')

(e.g. 'You realize 'cause you're late again...')

Adapted from Aijmer 1996; Ishihara and Cohen, 2007 Most lessons are insubstantial and that there are no matapragmatic explanations provided. For example, we can see the following lesson presented in grade 10 students book under the title apologizing. How would you say sorry to someone? Look at the expressions: Sorry, I didnt mean to I am sorry but I apologize for I hope you will forgive me but I seem to have made a mistake. Im really sorry I am sorry for misunderstanding I hope you will understand (p. 62). Another lesson that has to do with compliments as presented in 10th English textbook on pages 85 and 91, has got similar problem. For example,
23 | P a g e Investigating the challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatics in an EFL Context, by Korie Shankulie, 2012. ASTU, Adama. Ethiopia <soolanee33@yahoo.com> or <sanseetee@gmail.com>

Mercy is a good person You are good at Maths (p.85). Tesfaw is so good at speaking English. Tesfaw is such a good English speaker (p.91). In the excerpt there is no clear instruction for the learners to further practice the language feature and there is no explicit metalanguage or metapragmatic explanation is given. Similarly, with the intention to say no or refusal to requests for sex, the following expressions are presented merely for the sake of presenting in 11th grade English language textbook. No metapragmatic explanation is provided. They are present only in name. I would really rather not If you dont mind, Ill say no to that. I dont want, if you dont mind. Im sorry, but Ive said no and Im not going to change my mind. Id prefer to/Id rather Why dont we instead? (p.103). Likewise, a topic about tourist complaint that is presented in grade 11th textbook page 128, must have left learners with unsolved puzzle. That is to say complaining being important feature of pragmatics, ample matapragmatic explanations and scenarios must have been provided. For the excerpt presented above no metalanguage and metapragmatic explanation has been given. No authentic context for practice and use is provided. No scenarios or situations were presented so that the learners will learn how the expressions are used in a real life like simulations. The objective states by the end of the lesson you will be able to learn to apologize to someone however there are no practice activities to assess learners behavior.

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Table 3.Frequency of Communicative Acts in Each Textbook Type of Communicative Acts Grade 10 textbook Grade 11 textbook

# of pages

# of pages

% of pragmatic pages

f Request Apology Compliments Complaints Refusing Thanking Total 74 13 10 4 4 105

f 48 3 11 1 7 2 72

17 5 3 3 3 31

327

9.5

9 1 2 1 1 2 16

251

6.4

The above table represents the quantity of pragmatic information contained in the student textbooks. In this case even phrase was counted so as to include the most possible data in the process of enumeration. As one can see from the table above, only few pages have gone for scantly explained and discussed pragmatic language features. Almost all pages or the lions share have gone for grammar, vocabulary, passages, and other language skills. This is somewhat paradox in that where the most important source of pragmatic aspect of language is said to be textbook, particularly in EFL setting and where there is meager opportunities for learners to develop their pragmatic competence, scantiness of such pragmatic contents in the textbooks can highly debilitate learners communicative competence. Table 4.Challenges related to students textbooks According to literatures textbooks can be either opportunity or challenge to teaching pragmatics in EFL context. What do St. Joseph school teachers think of textbooks pragmatic contents? Inadequate=1, fairly adequate=2 and adequate=3. Statements
Inadequate Adequate
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Fairly adequate

Teachers views about the pragmatic contents of their guide and students textbooks:

% of pragmatic pages

Total # of pages

Total # of pages

a/explanation of pragmatic aspects of English

b/activities that help learners learn to use language or pragmatics c/how to teach pragmatic aspects of English language

d/how to test pragmatic aspect of English language

N Mean % N Mean % N Mean % N Mean %

4 1 100 2 1.5 50 4 1 100 4 1 100

4 1 50 -

As shown in the table above, regarding the explanation of pragmatic aspects of English language presented in textbooks or their guide, the teachers responded unanimously (100% of them) that the contents are inadequate. Pertaining to the activities presented in the students textbook to help learners learn to use language, 50% of the teachers contended fairly adequate and the quarter part of them argued inadequate. While with regards to the method of teaching and testing pragmatic aspect of language, all the respondents with one voice said that the textbooks are inadequate. Table 5.Why teachers do not teach pragmatic aspect of English language? Ratings Strongly disagree 26 | P a g e Investigating the challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatics in an EFL Context, by Korie Shankulie, 2012. ASTU, Adama. Ethiopia <soolanee33@yahoo.com> or <sanseetee@gmail.com>

Strongly agree

Lack of extra time Limited knowledge of target culture and language Confusion with which aspect of pragmatics to cover Lack of training

N % N % N % N %

2 50 1 25 2 50

3 75 2 50 2 50 1 25

1 25 1 25

1 25 -

Disagree

Agree

Statements

Undecided

Insufficient materials Students language level Teachers language level Type of language assessment

N % N % N % N %

1 25 2 50 4 100 1 25

3 75 2 50 2 50

1 25

As shown in the table above, the three most common challenges the teachers reported that they are encountering in teaching pragmatics were lack of training as stipulated by BardoviHarlig and Mahan-Taylor, (2003:1) Pragmatics does not receive the attention in language teacher education programs that other area of language do, large class sizes and time allotment. Students language level and insufficient materials are the next most frequent difficulties for teachers to teach pragmatics. In a similar way, all subjects (100%) commented that teachers language level could be a factor that influenced pragmatic teaching. Finally, type of assessment, which in fact aimed at passing exam, has significant impact up on the pragmatic lessons according to the teachers response. This is as Kasper (2000), puts forward, Unless teachers also know about methods to evaluate students' progress in pragmatics, they may be reluctant to focus on pragmatics in their teaching. Table 6.General Perception of Teachers about Opportunities for Learning Pragmatics in EFL Context Agreement scales/raters Undecided Disagree 1 25 3 75 2 50 3 Strongly agree Agree Strongly disagree 1 25 1 25 1
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Statements Teachers talk in the classroom is importantto help learners acquire pragmatic knowledge The current English textbook discusses and identifies pragmatic areas of the students needs Methods and techniques of teaching CL and pragmatics are supposed to be different Teaching pragmatic competence is not as N % N % N % N

3 75 -

1 25 1 25 -

important as teaching communicative ability Teachers rarely bring in outside materials related to pragmatics Learning and teaching pragmatics from textbooks is impossible Textbooks are inadequate in presenting authentic pragmatic samples, but teachers can overcome shortcomings of textbooks Textbooks cannot be counted as reliable resources of pragmatic input

% N % N % N % N %

1 25 -

4 100 1 25 3 75 2 50

1 25 -

75 1 25 2 50

25 1 25 -

It is shown in the table above that the idea of teachers talk in the classroom to help learners be aware of language pragmatics was accepted by 75% of the participant, while 25% rejected it. Pertaining to the statement, Methods and techniques of teaching CL and pragmatics are supposed to be different, 25% of the teachers are in dilemma, and 50% of them, however disagree and the remaining 25% strongly disagreed with the statement. In reference to the item stated Teaching pragmatic competence is not as important as teaching communicative ability, 75% of the participant teachers responded that they disagree with the statement and the remaining 25% of them strongly disagree. With regards to the statement Teachers rarely bring in outside materials related to pragmatics, the respondents (100%) of them all together have witnessed they agree with the statement. What was surprising to the researcher was that in table 7 the teachers responded that they include pragmatic aspect of the English language in their daily lesson. The sixth item aimed at eliciting teachers perception about the possibility of learning and teaching pragmatics from the learners textbooks. 25% of them strongly agreed, agreed, undecided, disagree and strongly disagreed with the statement respectively. Classroom Discourse Observation Analysis of classroom discourse was difficult because the manifestation of pragmatic features in the classroom discourse was far short of existence as there was paucity of pragmatic elements in the students textbooks. The lesson consisted of mostly teacher fronted activities and individual work. This might be caused by the presence of the researcher that could be misunderstood by those teachers that were trying to show off their English standing in front of the classroom all the way through 45 minutes. During the
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teacher-fronted activities, the teachers addressed the class as a whole almost exclusively. When they addressed individual students, they did so in brief, using formulaic language relating to the contents of the lesson i.e. grammar and reading passages. None of the students asked a question during the presence of the researcher and they did not interact much with each other except for brief comments which were not audible. The paucity of interaction in English during non-teacher-fronted activities was somewhat common in the classes observed by the researcher it was impossible to determine whether the students used English with one another. This was because the researcher overheard some students diverting to Amharic and talking some other business when he was sitting by some students during classroom discourse observation. These observation tools were constructed in such a way that the observer only had to tick or cross from a list when something happened in the class, e.g. teacher uses board (), students answer individual questions (x). The researcher had followed the following stages for doing observations. First, the researcher decided the particular types of activities or behavior he wanted to observe. Second, prepared a checklist or a record form to complete as he did his observation, or as soon as possible afterwards. Thirdly, the researcher talked with the class teacher and got her/his permission; explained what he wanted to do and negotiated what the teacher would get in return, e.g. some feedback on the lessons effectiveness. Fourthly, he completed his observation and marked up his checklist, took some time to reflect on the observations and finally, analyzed the result and came up with the following results. Table 7. Classroom Observation Results Key: DCT =discourse completion test, ODCT=oral discourse completion test, MDCT=multiple choice discourse completion test or WDCT=written discourse completion test Items category Classroom Activities Subcategories 1. drills 2. translation 3. discussion 4. presentations 5.conscious raising activities 6.explicit instruction of pragmatics 7.awareness-raising activities Spotted Unspotted
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8.guided practice 9. game 10. role plays 11.DCT, ODCT, MDCT or WDCT 1. teacher to students Participant organization 2. student to students or student to the classroom 3.group work 4. individual work 1. form/grammar Content or explicit focus on language 2. discourse 3. usage 4. use/function: complaining, complimenting, refusing 1. written Materials used 2. audio 3. visual 4. stories 5. dialogues 6. scenarios/situations/authentic language samples or models 1. use of target language Communicative features 2. information gap 3. sustained speech 4. reaction to code or message 5. incorporation of preceding utterances 6. discourse initiation 7. relative restriction of linguistic form/semantic formula Key: DCT-discourse completion test, MDCT-multiple choice discourse completion test, WDCT-written discourse completion test. Classroom discourse and textbook use were observed because the classroom is the ideal place for teachers to help learners interpret language use. A classroom discussion of pragmatics is also a good place to explore prior impressions of speakers (Bardovi-Harlig and Mahan-Taylor, 2003:38). The aim of observing the classroom activities was to spotlight on turn-taking behavior of students and teachers, cross-cultural comparisons in the use of communicative acts, treatment of learners pragmatic errors, the nature of linguistic input provided by the

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teachers, style shifting in the classroom, direct or indirect influence of the teachers and techniques that are used to address pragmatics in the classrooms. As to the organization of the participants, the aim was to see whether the teacher working with the whole class and/or individual students, whether the students were divided into groups or were engaged in individual seat work, or if they were engaged in group work, how was it organized etc. because as indicated in many literatures group work is considered to be an important factor in the development of fluency skills and communicative skills. Observation results revealed that students were typically involved in whole-class instruction with rare interaction with their teacher or other students. Students were just watching or listening to the teachers. The teachers typically focused on the content of the task or assignment, responded to students' signals, communicated the task's procedures, and checked students' work. As it can be seen from the table, all of the teachers never use any scenarios or situations to activate students pragmatic awareness by explaining the meaning of different language functions or uses. Beside this they never use any role-play activities to observe students pragmatic competence or failure. This might be due to huge number of students that ranges from 62 to 65 in a classroom. The researcher never observed the teachers asking their students to collect pragmatics information from outside the classroom from TV, movies, magazines, novels, etc. that are either naturally occurring or closer to authentic language use. As far as the researchers classroom observation is concerned, no one of the teachers happened to include pragmatic topics such as refusing, thanking, apologizing, complaining, complimenting, in their lesson. With reference to materials used, the aim was to make a note of authentic/unauthentic materials that stimulate real-life communicative situations. Many advocates of the communicative approach have claimed that authentic materials are essential in order to prepare students for the kinds of discourse they will encounter outside the classroom. Nevertheless, no teacher was found to use any additional materials to help learners with the theme of lessons delivered, except textbook contents.

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Although some teachers claimed in the questionnaire that the pragmatic lesson they brought into the classroom from outside world was fairly adequate, no one of them found to have included pragmatics related issues; rather they were heavily depending on the contents of the textbooks all the way through while the researcher was observing their behavior in the classroom. To further find out about the contradictions, the researcher talked to those teachers informally after the classroom sessions as to why they were not bringing in outside materials. They responded that there were no materials that they could make use of for the same purposes and on the other hand they were bringing materials related to grammar and vocabulary teaching. Learners Self-perceived Communication Competence The self-perceived communicative competence (SPCC) rubrics was developed to find out about participants (students) perception of their own competence in different communication contexts and given different types of receivers. The scale was intended to let the respondents define their own communication competence. Since people make decisions with regard to communication (for example, whether they will even engage in it), it is their own perception that is important, and not that of an outside observer. It is important that readers of this measure recognize that this is not a measure of actual communication competence; it is a measure of perceived competence. Knowledge of communication strategies empowers individuals to communicate, express themselves, perform many different functions, and attain satisfactory outcome. It was just to test learners beliefs with respect to practicing English anytime anywhere so as to be able to use the language effectively. It is believed that practice makes perfect in all aspects of language including nonlinguistic features. In order to solicit how learners perceive their communicative competence, the following rubrics was designed and distributed to them before the discourse completion test was administered. Some items were taken from 11th grade English textbook (p. 42-43 and 88).The rubrics were made of five models of communicative competence along with description: sociocultural competence, discourse competence, strategic competence, grammatical competence, and pragmatic competence. The last one in fact took the lions share for the main reason that the researchs theme revolved around it. The likert scale was
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also part of the rubrics along with values attached to each description-strongly agree=5, agree = 4 neither agree nor disagree=3, disagree=2, and strongly disagree=1. The mean score were rounded to the nearest mathematical values. Table 8.Learners Self-perceived Sociolinguistic Competence Sociolinguistic Competence Items Rating Values
5 4 75 40.9 48 26.2 60 32.8 3 15 8.2 44 24. 25 13.7 2 19 10.4 20 10.9 8 4.4 1 10 5.5 16 8.7 1 .5 183 100 183 100 183 100 183 100 183 100 183 100 183 100 183 100 183 100 183 100 3.28 3.97 3.56 3.62 2.71 3.17 3. 4.23 3.51 3.86

Total

Mean Score

1 2

Speaking English can help me interact with native speakers. Studying English is important because it can help me make friends who speak English. Learning English is important because it will broaden my world view. If I speak English well, I can travel around the world without language barriers. I want to do well in English because I want to show my ability to my parents/ teachers/ friends. I want to improve my English because most of my friends speak English very well. I want to improve my English in order to understand foreign cultures. It is important to speak appropriate English in different social contexts. I think learning English will be more effective if we have group discussion with classmates during the class. Whenever I have communication breakdown in conversations with native speakers, I will try to use verbal or nonverbal messages to bridge the gap.

f % f % f % f % f % f % f % f % f % f %

64 34.9 55 30. 89 48.6

31
16.9 35 19.1 18 9.8 43 23.5 34 18.6 82 44.8 14 7.7

54
29.5 40 21.9 32 17.5 72 39.3 70 38.2 49 26.8 69 37.7

60
32.8 45 24.6 50 27.3 40 21.9 55 30 29 15.8 68 37.2

30
16.4 52 28.4 51 27.8 16 8.7 16 8.7 13 7.1 24 13

7
3.8 11 6 32 17.5 12 6.6 8 4.4 10 5.5 8 4.4

10

In relation to the first item, under the first criteria (sociolinguistic competence), 35% of the subjects replied that they strongly agree, 41% of them claimed that they agree, 8.2% of them were indifferent meaning they neither agree nor disagree, 10% of them responded
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that they disagree and the last 5.4% of them singled out the likert scale strongly disagree. The mean score of their response was 3.87=4 [agree]. Regarding the second statement studying English is important because it can help me make friends who speak English, 30% of the subjects strongly agreed with the statement, 26.2% selected agree, 24% of them neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement, 10.92% disagreed, and the remaining 8.74% opted for strongly disagree. Nevertheless, the grand mean of their responses was 3.55; and when rounded off to the nearest value it means agree. In other words most of the respondents agreed with the statement. Regarding the statement If I speak English well, I can travel around the world without language barriers, 16.9% have a strong belief, 29.5% replied they agree, 328% of them neither agreed nor disagreed,16.4% of them opted for the scale disagree and the

remaining 3.8%, have weak belief of the statement. The mean score for the responses was 3.37= (indifference). For the statement I want to improve my English in order to understand English speakers cultures 23.5% of the participants replied they strongly disagree, 39.3% responded they agree, 21.9% of them claimed they neither agree nor disagree and 6.6% of them pointed out they strongly disagree with the statement. In spite of this, the mean score of all likert scales resulted in 3.62=4, which implied that majority have agreed with the statement. The next statement was I think different social contexts may require me using different but appropriate English. As noted in the table above, 19% of the subjects strongly agreed, 38.3% agreed, 30% reserved from having a say (meaning they neither agreed nor disagreed), 8.7% disagreed and 4.3% of them strongly disagreed with the statement. However, the grand mean of their response was 3.56=4(agree). The next category was discourse competence. This item in fact was designed to see how learners rate their ability to produce coherent idea in written or spoken English or to see the extent to which learners perceived their discourse competence in using discourse markers to: o Initiate discourse, o Make a boundary in discourse (shift/partial shift in topic),
34 | P a g e Investigating the challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatics in an EFL Context, by Korie Shankulie, 2012. ASTU, Adama. Ethiopia <soolanee33@yahoo.com> or <sanseetee@gmail.com>

o Preface a response or a reaction, o Fill a gap or dallying tactic, o Hold the floor, o Effect an interaction or sharing between the speaker and the hearer, o Bracket the discourse either cataphorically or anaphorically, o Make either foregrounded or backgrounded information. Table 9. Learners Self-perceived Discourse Competence Discourse Competence 1 I usually practice many grammar drills in order to improve my English. I will ask myself to express my thoughts in a comprehensive and correct manner in English. I perceive that I can express my ideas naturally in spoken English. I will try to talk to native speakers to strengthen my spoken English. I perceive that I feel more comfortable to express my ideas in written English. I will read different grammar books written by different authors to improve my grammatical competence. Students are expected to be able to use extended utterances where appropriate Students need to have the ability to maintain coherent flow of language over several utterances f % f % f % f % f % f % f % f %
49 26.8 38 20.7 61 33.3 69 37.7 50 27.3 52 28.4 16 8.7 18 9.8 7 3.8 6 3
Tota l Mean Score

183 100 183 100

3.5

3.58

3 4 5 6

27 14.8 47 25.6 45 24.6 37 20.2

65 35.5 64 34.9 58 31.7 57 31.1 4

50 27.3 36 19.7 38 20.8 39 21.3

28 15.3 25 13.7 29 15.8 28 15.3

13 7 11 6 13 7 22 12

183 100 183 100 183 100 183 100

3.33

3.59

3.48

3.29

7 8

48 26.2 34 18.6

62 33.9 70 38.2

38 20.8 55 30

26 14.2 16 8.7

9 4.9 8 4.4

183 100 183 100

3.59

3.56

Under discourse competence, students reacted to statement, I will ask myself to express my thoughts in a comprehensive and correct manner in English in different ways. For instance, 20.7% of the subjects claimed that they strongly agree, 37.7% showed that they agree, 28.4% of them pointed out they neither agree nor disagree or they are in favor of no view, 9.8% o of them preferred disagree and the last 3% contended they strongly disagree with
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the statement. The sum total of their mean 3.95=4(agree), that is the majority of the students ask themselves to express their thoughts in a comprehensive and correct manner in English. Students were also asked, under discourse competence item 3 to rate their self-perceived competence as in the following statement. I perceive that I can express my ideas naturally in spoken English. This was intended to solicit views of the subjects about their own flow of idea when they try to speak in English. Accordingly, 14.75%, 35.5%, 27.3%, 15.3% and 7% of the subjects replied they strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree and strongly disagree respectively. The mean score showed that the majority of the respondents neither agree nor disagree with the statement. They were not sure as to whether their language naturally flows when they write or speak or not. Subsequent to the discourse competence, learners rated their self-perceived pragmatic competence. Like in the other cases, students rated their self-perceived competence in relation to the pragmatic competence as well. Their responses frequency and percentile as well as the mean score were presented in the separate table below. Table 9. Learners Self-perceived Pragmatic Competence Pragmatic Competence 1 I know what to say, when to say and how to say and rule of talking when talking with other people in English I pay special attention when I make requests I pay special attention to other people making requests I pay special attention to other people when I refuse I pay attention to other peoples feeling, status and age when I complain I know when I should use modal verbs such as can, could, would, or may when apologizing, requesting, refusing, thanking, inviting, suggesting ,etc. I know taking turns in conversation f % f % f % f % f % f %
24 13.1 47 25.6 47 25.6 36 19.6 52 28.4 60 32.8 60 32.7 69 37.7 65 35.5 63 34.4 67 36.6 71 38.7 64 34.9 38 20.7 45 24.5 54 29.5 44 24 34 18.5 17 9.2 21 11.4 17 9.2 16 8.7 14 7.6 8 4.3 18 9.8 8 4.3 9 4.9 14 7.6 6 3.2 10 5.4
Total

Mean Score

183 100 183 100 183 100 183

3.23

2 3

3.66

3.65

4 5 6

3.47

100
183 100 183 100 3.86 3.78

f %

44 24

77 42

44 24

11 6

7 3.8

183 100

3.75

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8 9

I know how to do rephrasing when misunderstood I have the skill as to how to use verbal and nonverbal signals I know how close to stand to someone when speaking I have the skills as to how to use facial expressions and eye contact I know the giving background information to unfamiliar listener will help I know speaking in a classroom is different from speaking on a playground I know how to address and talk to people whose age and status are different from mine

f % f % f % f % f % f % f %

27 14.8 15

68 37 60

59 32.2 71

20 10.9 24

9 4.9 13

183 100 183 100

3.42

3.19

32. 7

38. 7
49 26.7 47 25.6 60 32.8

13. 1
18 9.8 16 8.7 24 13.1

10

39 21.3 35 19 34 18.6

65 35.5 74 40.4 59 32.2

12 6.5 11 6 6 3.3

183 100 183 100 183 100

3.53

11

3.55

12

3.48

13

72 39.3 58 31.6

63 34.4 64 34.9

24 13.1 32 17.4

14 7.6 16 8.7

10 5.4 13 7

183 100 183 100

3.92

14

3.73

Under the pragmatic competence, various questions (items) were posed to the subjects so as to grasp the general pictures of their self-perceived competence. Language is not only a means of teaching but it is a means of learning as well. Therefore, opportunities should be given to students, particularly at the secondary schools levels, to relate school work to the skills required in employment and adult life. Concerning this, a statement that was posed to the subjects was whether they are aware of what to say when and how to say; and whether they think that they have sufficient knowledge about rules of turn taking when talking to others in English. Then, 13.1% replied that they strongly agree, 32.7% responded that they agree 34.9% of them contended they neither agree nor disagree, 9.2% of them claimed that they disagree and the rest 9.8% said that they strongly disagree with the statement. The mean score of their responses was 3.23, which means the majority of the respondents neither agree nor disagree with the statement. This implies that they neither know what to say, when to say, how to say nor rules of talking to other people in English. In the second statement under pragmatic competence which goes I pay special attention when I make requests, 25.6% of the subjects strongly agreed that they pay special attention when they make requests, while 37.7% preferred agree, 20.7% of them voted for
37 | P a g e Investigating the challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatics in an EFL Context, by Korie Shankulie, 2012. ASTU, Adama. Ethiopia <soolanee33@yahoo.com> or <sanseetee@gmail.com>

neither agree nor disagree, 11.4% of them indicated that they disagree, and 4.3% of them said that they strongly disagree with the statement that was posed to see their awareness about peoples social status, relation they have with me, power, age, etc. when they make requests. With respect to the statement I pay special attention to other peoples requests, those participants who replied strongly agree were about 25.6%, those who said agree were around 35.5%, those who replied neither agree nor disagree accounted for 24.5%, while 9.2% of them selected disagree and the 4.9% responded they strongly disagree with the statement. The mean score was 3.65 closer to likert scale agree. I pay special attention to other peoples status, age, sex, power, etc. when I refuse, was the fourth statement that was presented to the subjects. Consequently, 19.6% of them replied strongly agree 34.4% of them disagreed 29.5% of them said they neither disagree nor disagree whereas, 8.7% disagreed, and the remaining 7.6% of them selected strongly disagree. The mean score was 3.47 which means neither agree nor disagree. Concerning, the statement I pay attention to other peoples feeling, status and age when I complain, 28.4 of the participants responded strongly agree 36.6% of them agreed, while 24% of them said neither agree nor disagree, 7.6% of them replied disagree and the rest 3.2% of them strongly disagreed with the statement. The mean score of their responses was 3.78 which imply that the majority neither agree nor disagree with the statement. For some, milder example of impoliteness is that language speakers or EFL learners may not understand the differences of how and when to use such modals as can and could versus the conditional would; the latter of which carries a more imperative meaning than the two modals in respect to making requests (Jung in Dash, 2010). In connection to this I know when I should use modal verbs such as can, could, would, or may when apologizing, requesting, refusing, inviting, suggesting, etc. was one of the statements forwarded to the subjects. As a result, 32.78% of them said they strongly agree, 38.7% of them agreed, 18.5% of them neither agreed nor disagreed, 4.3% of them disagreed, and 5.4% of them strongly disagreed with the statement. The score of their mean was 3.86.

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The other item was I know how to take turns in English conversations. Related to this statement, 24% of the of the respondents replied strongly disagree, 42% of them said they agree, 24% of them indicated they neither agree nor disagree, 6% of them claimed they disagree, and 3.8% of them strongly disagreed. The mean score is 2.76 which implied disagreement. The other statement presented to the subjects was I know how to do rephrasing when misunderstood in English. Pertaining to this statement, 14.8% of them replied strongly agree, 37% responded agree, 32.2% of them answered neither agree nor disagree, while the rest 10.9% and 7% responded disagree and strongly disagree respectively. The mean score was 3.42 which imply the majority of the respondents neither agree nor disagree with the statement. Speech acts or communicative acts (Celce- Murcia, 2007) are also called social acts which can be judged as appropriate and/or inappropriate according to specific and secrete rules of communication in a given context, culture, or norm. These feature of language have also linguistic formula that interlocutors are expected to use based on a particular norm, culture, or general social context. It is commonly believed that the goal of language learning is communication. The goal of language teaching is therefore teaching students to communicate in the language they are learning so that they can use it successfully to perform a variety of functions. Learning will take place consciously if students perceive the need for it. That need or gap can be observed from these data in relation to various language functions. In the majority of the cases, participants rated those communicative acts (functions) such as invitations, refusal, requests, apologies, commands, compliments, complaints, and giving advices-as difficult. If students have only learned English to pass an examination, then the language they might have acquired is probably transitional and focused on that need for the test. As to why they have rated those communicative acts the way they have rated them, participants have forwarded the following justifications. Note that the words of the participants were typed exactly the way they were written down. because of the English language very hard language
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Because some of them are not giving tention in our society so we dont use them frequently. Thats why! b/c of my experience that when I mate foreign speakers those actions are very difficult to me sometime those kinds of action is faced when I go one step further in my life and those makes me stressed to reply on English giving advice is more difficult to me b/c I dont have much words to give advice or Im not naturally have more vocabulary Thanking someone is easy to me b/c I learnt starting from Grade 0 OR that is the easiest word from all other things Because I didnt got most of the chance to try them or practice them in real b/c it is so complicated because I amnt speaking always because I dont speak them frequntly I may be run out of vocabulary for complaints. b/c it need high skill in speaking except refuzing most actions are not hard to do actually, All of them are not much difficult for me because English is not mother tang language of mine and Im not native for English because when I say Apologies I feel that I make my self Inferior but if I Invite some one I am happy with that I must be polite so it is difficult for me to talk using polite words b/c I feel it is difficult it is difficult b/c you dont know which is difficult to people what it is easy for you to say things by your own- you think that it may make them fell bad for me giving advise is most difficult if its personal and thanking is not difficult for me b/c the expression that I indicate as a least difficult are more familiar for me and I used them always the most difficult one are not familiar for me

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Because sometimes I forget some words I dont have enough vocabularies to express my feelings b/c those are the difficulties that I get when I speak English with others because I use them rarely and some of them frequntly I just said that because those things are even hard in Amharic. b/c of that I knew that from my life cycle for example I have difficult situation in complaints b/c the words are not usually used in social or in other places that is why - thank you b/c they need more explanation and experience on it b/c things are difficult when we talk in English b/c I have no enough vocabulary to express my feeling because I have less developed English speaking ability so I cant talk to much English thanking someone is the easiest thing b/c thanking people for their help is the right thing b/c I didnt practice such kind of things before and the light ones are the things I practice most times and see on films

In spite of the fact that these statements are ungrammatical, there are some facts as one reads all the way through the statements. In connection to this, Amlaku (2010) argues English in Ethiopia is a medium of instruction from secondary school through higher education but the learners proficiency remains always poor and the effectiveness of English language teaching remains always questionable, despite the efforts being undertaken by the Ethiopian government and concerned institutions (p.10). Students affirmed that the English language itself is difficult for them. There are no such language aspects as requesting, complaining, compliment, apologizing, etc. in their day to day social language practices. Using these pragmatic aspects demanded them of some sort of efforts. Students were not familiar with those language aspects, and those aspects of language did not receive enough attention in the learning and teaching process. However, Cenoz, (2007:7) in other section has argued that being central to language use, and language learning, pragmatic issues must be addressed in language classroom, because English is
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mainly used in the classroom and EFL learners thus have significantly fewer opportunities to engage in English based communications outside the classroom. Therefore, English classroom becomes the central site for their development of pragmatic competence. MDCT Scores and Descriptions There are six types of methods for pragmatic knowledge assessment that so far have been identified by researchers according to Jianda, (2006), i.e., the Written Discourse Completion Tasks (WDCT), Multiple-Choice Discourse Completion Tasks (MDCT), Oral Discourse Completion Tasks (ODCT), Discourse Role Play Talks (DRPT), Discourse SelfAssessment Talks (DSAT) and Role-Play self-assessments (RPSA). DCTs are used to elicit data by giving speakers scenarios that describe a situation and having speakers write down or role-play what they would say in that situation (Ishihara and Cohen, 2010). The MDCTs used for this study consisted of 20 situations with their respective choices in which learners have to choose socially acceptable language with an ideal interlocutor. The situations varied based on the relative power of the two people (interlocutors), their social distance, and the degree of imposition created by the intent (action). The DCT was chosen as the data elicitation tool because it was the most expedient way to collect the relatively large amount of data. There were three to four months between the pre- and posttest. The pretest format was WDCT. All the students who took part in the research were given a sociolinguistic test. This test was devised to measure degrees of politeness, formality, appropriateness, and register variation in the spoken mode. For each item, a sociocultural context was provided, and the participants needed to choose from a list of four or five alternatives the most appropriate way to respond to that particular situation representing the appropriate use of language based on the NS perspective and the remaining options were distracters. The scoring for this test was based on native-speaker responses to the items. A sample question is as follows: You are having dinner with your friend's family. The food that your friend's mother has prepared is delicious, and you want some more. You've decided to say something in order to get some more. Which of the following, do you think, is the most appropriate? A."You are a great cook."
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B."Please give me more food." C."This food sure is delicious." D."Could I have some more?" Therefore, both quantitative and qualitative data were involved. The quantitative data were collected through MDCT; while the qualitative data were obtained through the analysis of the responses of MDCT. In order to eliminate the pretest effect on the test results, the test format was changed from open ended to multiple choice and the tests were administered to all learners at the same time and collected back in the same time. The time allotted for the test was 35 minutes. Respondents did it independently without discussion with their classmates and they were encouraged to ask any questions if they were not clear with the vocabulary or expression. After the participants submitted the questionnaire, the researcher checked the answers to avoid any unchecked or not unanswered responses. If it did happen, the students would be required to complete them again.

The scores were tabulated and tallied and finally calculated so as to interpret them. Mean and percentile for the correct answer and other distracters were calculated in the following table. Immediately after the participants finished doing the test, there was a section of the question paper that required them to indicate what was/were the sources of their current pragmatic knowledge. Personal relationships between the interlocutors, their level of imposing rank, their power, specifically their age, gender, and social distance between interlocutors were point of pragmatic parameters when designing the MDCT. Table 10. MDCT Score Description Options for MDCT C D E 26 25 8 .14 .136 .04 14 13.3 4 31 105 8 .169 .57 .04

Scenarios Situation 1

Situation 2

f Mean % f Mean

A 96 .52 52 9 .05

B 28 0.15 15 30 .163

Total 183 .98 100 183 .99


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Investigating the challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatics in an EFL Context, by Korie Shankulie, 2012. ASTU, Adama. Ethiopia <soolanee33@yahoo.com> or <sanseetee@gmail.com>

Situation 3

Situation 4

Situation 5

Situation 6

Situation 7

% f Mean % f Mean % f Mean % f Mean % f Mean %


f Mean

Situation 8

% Situation 9
f Mean

% Situation 10
f Mean

% Situation 11
f Mean

% Situation 12
f Mean

% Situation 13
f Mean

% Situation 14
f Mean

% Situation 15
f Mean

% Situation 16
f Mean

% Situation 17
f

5 85 .46 46 12 .07 7 64 .34 34 90 .49 49 138 .75 75 13 .07 7 9 .049 4.9 30 .163 16.3 32 .174 17.4 12 .065 6.5 24 .131 13.1 7 .038 3.8 25 .136 13.6 24 .13 13 9

16.3 14 .08 8 54 .29 29 82 .44 44 53 .28 28 13 .07 7 21 0.114 11.4 116 .633 63.3 40 .218 21.8 31 .169 16.9 32 .174 17.4 30 .163 16.3 15 .08 8 98 .535 53.5 41 .224 22.4 21

16.9 61 .33 33 86 .46 46 12 .065 6.5 15 .08 8 12 .065 6.5 130 .71 71 18 .098 9.8 27 .147 14.7 26 .142 14.2 68 .371 37.2 65 .355 35.5 123 .672 67.2 21 .114 11.4 33 .18 18 132

57 13 .07 7 16 .08 8 14 .076 7.6 13 .07 7 8 .043 4.3 19 .103 10.3 27 .147 14.7 73 .398 39.8 86 .469 46.9 40 .218 21.8 43 .234 23.4 22 .12 12 26 .142 14.2 66 .36 36 21

4 10 .05 5 9 .049 4.9 10 .05 5 12 .065 6.5 11 .06 6 11 .06 6 13 .07 7 8 .043 4.3 27 .147 14.7 21 .114 11.4 16 .087 8.7 13 .07 7 19 .103 10.3 -

6 .03

4 .021 2.1 -

100 183 .99 100 183 .95 100 183 .97 100 183 .98 100 183 .98 100 183 .99 100 183 .97 100 183 .99 100 183 .99 100 183 .99 100 183 .99 100 183 .98 100 183 .98 100 183 .99 100 183
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Mean

% Situation 18
f Mean

% Situation 19
f Mean

% Situation 20
f Mean

.049 49 25 .136 13.6 29 .158 15.8 118 .644 64.4

.114 11.4 29 .158 15.8 20 .109 10.9 14 .076 7.6

.72 72 41 .224 22.4 34 .185 18.5 20 .109 10.9

.114 11.4 88 .48 4.8 100 .546 54.6 31 .169 16.9

.98 100 183 .98 100 183 .97 100 183 .97 100

With reference to the first situation, 52% of the examinees selected the correct answer (A). The remaining sum total of them i.e. 48% were distracted. The implication is that their pragmatic awareness is questionable. The deviation from the mean score is 0.042. Relating to the second question, 43% of the examinees were distracted from the right or correct answer while the remaining 57% of them have chosen the correct answer (D). The deviation from the mean score is 0.045. With regards to the third scenario, the subjects accounting for about 33% selected the right answer (C), and the rest 67% were misled by other distracters. The deviation from the mean score is 0.042. Pertaining to the fourth situation, 46% of the participants have chosen the correct option. The remaining sum total of them i.e. 54% were distracted by the other options. Table 11. The MDCT score of the students by group Scores 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 Total Frequency 48 69 53 13 183 % 26.2 37.8 28.9 7.1 100 Mean .26 .37 .27 .071 .99

As it can be seen from the data presented above, the majority of the participants scored between 6 and 10 (37.8%). The average scorers were still not negligible that constitute for 28.9% scoring points between 11-15 out of 20 points. The top scorers were between16-20 accounting for 7.1% as compared to the other ones. This indicated that the majority of the participants did not have sort of awareness about pragmatics and pragmatic test. This might
45 | P a g e Investigating the challenges and opportunities for teaching pragmatics in an EFL Context, by Korie Shankulie, 2012. ASTU, Adama. Ethiopia <soolanee33@yahoo.com> or <sanseetee@gmail.com>

be the case that their grammar knowledge must have helped them than their pragmatic knowledge. Summary of Research Results The research findings showed that based on the inventory made pertaining to the presence and absence of the pragmatic features in the students textbooks, there is a dearth of language use contents in the plethora of other linguistic features that almost constituted above 90% of the textbooks contents. It was also evident from the data analysis that the pragmatic elements that were only given a lip service were given insufficient metapragmatic and metalanguage explanations. Hence, it is one of the challenges to teaching pragmatics in Ethiopian EFL context. The other research result was that teachers did not bring in outside materials to complement the paucity of pragmatic contents of the English language textbooks so as to facilitate the opportunities for teaching and learning pragmatics in the classroom. Evidence for this is where 100% of the teachers responded unanimously that no teacher could be singled out for bringing in outside materials to instruct pragmatics in EFL setting where there are rare opportunities to learning pragmatics. Further research result was that the majority of the participant students scaled that most of the communicative acts or social functions that they were tested for are difficult. As a result of which most of them scored below average in MDCT. The classroom observation results were also consistent with what was detected from the textbooks inventory, teachers responses and that of students responses that there were no lessons or interactions directed to the development of pragmatic competence in the classrooms. Conclusions In the modern communication and communication oriented terminology we are interested in the process of providing language and its procedures, not just in the end-product, rather language use. Pragmatics is needed if we want fuller, deeper and generally more reasonable account of human language behavior (Mey, 2001). Furthermore, outside of pragmatics, no
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understanding; sometimes, a pragmatic account is the only language use that makes sense (ibid). Further magnifying the essentiality of pragmatics and pragmatic competence lesson some pronounce Pragmatic competence is not a piece of knowledge additional to the learners existing grammatical knowledge, but is an organic part of the learners communicative competence (Kasper as qtd in Edwards and Csizer, 2004). With the growing demand to communicate in a foreign language, both the teacher education and language teaching process require specific attention not only to form and meaning but also to the pragmatic features of a language as pragmatic competence is one of the most important component of communicative competence. Hence, based on the findings of this research the following conclusions were drawn: The current English textbooks for Ethiopian upper high schools, i.e. grade 10 and 11 are containing only meager features of pragmatics. By implication they are challenges to teaching socially acceptable language or pragmatics to students. Being the most important source of developing communicative competence, they do not cooperate with learners to help them develop pragmatics. The findings indicated that there is a scarcity of pragmatic information contained in the English for Ethiopia, and the variety of pragmatic information is limited. Most of the metalanguage explanations are very shallow and there are no metapragmatic explanations at all. It is fairly possible to infer from the teachers response that well-designed teacher training and teaching materials should be in place for teachers to develop students pragmatic competence. Moreover, the teaching hours to cover the issue of pragmatics; thus, to properly manage each lesson may solve the current problem of teaching pragmatics in the classroom. The results of this study also showed that teachers seldom use pragmatic instruction in classrooms, and mostly students have to spend time by themselves developing pragmatic competence without explicit instruction. Overall, the pragmatics instruction is immature and needs to be developed, and teachers need professional training to know how to teach pragmatics effectively.

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Although the learners self-perceived competence mean score was high, their MDCT result was low; and this confirmed that self-perceived competence and the actual performance never match. This is why according to Dewaele (2011) higher levels of self-perceived competence are linked to lower levels of communication which in fact has to be further investigated in our own context. In the end, the findings of this study provided information about the current state of pragmatic instruction, challenges of teaching pragmatics in real classrooms, and teachers awareness of teaching pragmatics. Recommendations There is no doubt that effective teaching in Ethiopian EFL classrooms can improve students pragmatic knowledge. Therefore, it is necessary for the textbook writers to write user friendly textbooks in terms of providing pragmatic information to both the teachers and students. The researcher has a strong belief that future EFL textbook would include immense presentation of a variety of linguistic forms along with explicit metapragmatic explanations and contextually rich and authentic opportunities for students to practice those forms. More importantly, there is a high expectation for aspiring teachers trainers and textbook writers to improve their own knowledge of pragmatics and pedagogy for optimal students learning outcomes. Teachers also should be able to receive sufficient knowledge in the area of pragmatics while they are on job or taking undergraduate courses. Implications for future research The findings of this study have implication for classroom teaching, future research, and curriculum design.

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