Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2589-109X
  • E-ISSN: 2589-1103
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study investigated the extent to which proficiency, length of residence, and intensity of interaction in a target language affect L2 learners’ pragmatic ability in comprehending conversational implicature and indirect speech acts. 68 participants, 38 L1 English and 30 L2 English users, completed two measures: a pragmatic listening test measuring implied meaning comprehension and a language contact profile survey identifying length of residence and intensity of L2 interaction. The standard multiple regression analysis revealed a significant relationship between implied meaning comprehension and learners’ proficiency, length of residence, and intensity of interaction. Together, these factors explained a significant amount of the variance in learners’ overall comprehension ability, with proficiency being the strongest predictor, followed by intensity of interaction, then length of residence. Findings also showed that while it was more challenging for the less proficient learners to comprehend conversational implicature than indirect speech acts, there was no significant difference between the two types for the higher proficiency group. Further analysis of the L2 interaction types indicated a significant, moderate relationship between the time spent speaking and learners’ implied meaning comprehension. These findings offer pedagogical and methodological implications for L2 pragmatic development.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bardovi-Harlig, K., & Bastos, M. T.
    (2011) Proficiency, length of stay, and intensity of interaction, and the acquisition of conventional expressions in L2 pragmatics. Intercultural Pragmatics, 8(3), 347–384. doi:  10.1515/iprg.2011.017
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iprg.2011.017 [Google Scholar]
  2. Bouton, L. F.
    (1988) A cross-cultural study of ability to interpret implicatures in English. World Englishes, 7(2), 183–196. doi:  10.1111/j.1467‑971X.1988.tb00230.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-971X.1988.tb00230.x [Google Scholar]
  3. (1992) The interpretation of implicature in English by NNS: Does it come automatically – Without being explicitly taught?InL. F. Bouton & Y. Kachru (Eds.), Pragmatics and Language Learning: Vol 3, (pp.53–65). University of Illinois.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. (1994a) Conversational implicature in second language: Learned slowly when not deliberately taught. Journal of Pragmatics, 22(2), 157–167. doi:  10.1016/0378‑2166(94)90065‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(94)90065-5 [Google Scholar]
  5. (1994b) Can NNS Skill in interpreting implicature in American English be improved through explicit instruction? A pilot study. InL. F. Bouton & Y. Kachru (Eds.), Pragmatics and Language Learning (Vol.5, pp.89–109). University of Illinois.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Brown, P., & Levinson, S.
    (1987) Politeness: Some universals in language use. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511813085
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511813085 [Google Scholar]
  7. Cook, M., & Liddicoat, A.
    (2002) The development of comprehension in interlanguage pragmatics: The case of request strategies in English. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 25(1), 19–39. doi:  10.1075/aral.25.1.02coo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aral.25.1.02coo [Google Scholar]
  8. Culpeper, J., Mackey, A., & Taguchi, N.
    (2018) Second language pragmatics: From theory to research. Routledge. 10.4324/9781315692388
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315692388 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cutting, J.
    (2008) Pragmatics and discourse: A resource book for students (2nd ed.). Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Dewey, D. P.
    (2017) Measuring social interaction during study abroad: Quantitative methods and challenges. System, 71, 49–59. doi:  10.1016/j.system.2017.09.026
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2017.09.026 [Google Scholar]
  11. Eslami, Z. R., & Ahn, S. J.
    (2014) Motivation, amount of interaction, length of residence, and ESL learners’ pragmatic competence. Applied Research on English Language, 3(1), 9–28. doi:  10.22108/ARE.2014.15482
    https://doi.org/10.22108/ARE.2014.15482 [Google Scholar]
  12. Freed, B., Segalowitz, N., & Dewey, D.
    (2004) Context of learning and second language fluency in French. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26(2), 277–303. doi:  10.1017/S0272263104262064
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263104262064 [Google Scholar]
  13. Garcia, P.
    (2004a) Developmental differences in speech act recognition: A pragmatic awareness study. Language Awareness, 13(2), 96–115. doi:  10.1080/09658410408667089
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09658410408667089 [Google Scholar]
  14. (2004b) Pragmatic comprehension of high and low level language learners. TESL-EJ, 8(2), 1–15.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Grice, H. P.
    (1975) Logic and conversation. InP. Cole & J. L. Morgan, (Eds.), Speech acts (pp.41–58). Academic Press. 10.1163/9789004368811_003
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004368811_003 [Google Scholar]
  16. Hoffman, R. R.
    (1984) Recent psycholinguistic research on figurative language. Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 433, 137–166. doi:  10.1111/j.1749‑6632.1984.tb14765.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1984.tb14765.x [Google Scholar]
  17. Hulstijn, J. H.
    (2011) Language proficiency in native and nonnative speakers: An agenda for research and suggestions for second-language assessment. Language Assessment Quarterly, 8(3), 229–249. doi:  10.1080/15434303.2011.565844
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2011.565844 [Google Scholar]
  18. Kasper, G., & Rose, K. R.
    (2002) Pragmatic development in a second language. Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Kim, J., & Lantolf, J.
    (2018) Developing conceptual understanding of sarcasm in L2 English through explicit instruction. Language Teaching Research, 22(2), 208–229. doi:  10.1177/1362168816675521
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168816675521 [Google Scholar]
  20. Kim, Y., & Taguchi, N.
    (2016) Learner-learner interaction during collaborative pragmatic tasks: The role of cognitive and pragmatic task demands. Foreign Language Annals, 49(1), 42–57. doi:  10.1111/flan.12180
    https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12180 [Google Scholar]
  21. Köylü, Y.
    (2018) Comprehension of conversational implicatures in English. Intercultural Pragmatics, 15(3), 373–408. doi:  10.1515/ip‑2018‑0011
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2018-0011 [Google Scholar]
  22. Long, M. H.
    (1996) The role of the linguistic environment in second language acquisition. InW. C. Ritchie, & T. K. Bhatia (Eds.), Handbook of language acquisition: Vol. 2. Second language acquisition (pp.413–468). Academic Press. 10.1016/B978‑012589042‑7/50015‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012589042-7/50015-3 [Google Scholar]
  23. Mackey, A.
    (1999) Input, interaction and second language development: An empirical study of question formation in ESL. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21(4), 557–587. doi:  10.1017/S0272263199004027
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263199004027 [Google Scholar]
  24. Matsumura, S.
    (2003) Modeling the relationships among interlanguage pragmatic development, L2 proficiency, and exposure to L2. Applied Linguistics, 24(4), 465–491. doi:  10.1093/applin/24.4.465
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/24.4.465 [Google Scholar]
  25. Niezgoda, K., & Roever, C.
    (2001) Pragmatic and grammatical awareness: A function of the learning environment?InK. Rose & G. Kasper (Eds.), Pragmatics in language teaching (pp.63–79). Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139524797.008
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524797.008 [Google Scholar]
  26. Pearson Education
    Pearson Education (2015) Longman dictionary of contemporary English (6th ed.). Pearson. https://www.ldoceonline.com
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Plonsky, L., & Oswald, F. L.
    (2014) How big is “big”? Interpreting effect sizes in L2 research. Language Learning, 64(4), 878–912. doi:  10.1111/lang.12079
    https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12079 [Google Scholar]
  28. Plonsky, L., & Ghanbar, H.
    (2018) Multiple regression in L2 research: A methodological synthesis and guide to interpreting R2 values. The Modern Language Journal, 102(4), 713–731. doi:  10.1111/modl.12509
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12509 [Google Scholar]
  29. Roever, C.
    (2005) Testing ESL pragmatics: Development and validation of a web-based assessment battery. Peter Lang. 10.3726/978‑3‑653‑04780‑6
    https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-653-04780-6 [Google Scholar]
  30. (2013) Testing implicature under operational conditions. InS. J. Ross & G. Kasper (Eds.), Assessing second language pragmatics (pp.43–64). Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9781137003522_2
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137003522_2 [Google Scholar]
  31. Roever, C., Wang, S., & Brophy, S.
    (2014) Learner background factors and learning of second language pragmatics. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 52(4), 377–401. doi:  10.1515/iral‑2014‑0016
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2014-0016 [Google Scholar]
  32. Sağdıç, A.
    (2019) From researchers to L2 classrooms: Teaching pragmatics through collaborative tasks. InS. Anwaruddin (Ed.), Knowledge mobilization in TESOL: Connecting research and practice (pp.113–127). Brill. doi:  10.1163/9789004392472_008
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004392472_008 [Google Scholar]
  33. Sağdıç, A., & Reagan, D.
    (2021). “I have a question”: A corpus-based analysis of target discourse in office hour interactions. InM. J. Ahmadian & M. H. Long Eds. The Cambridge handbook of task-based language teaching. Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Sánchez-Hernandez, A., & Alcón-Soler, E.
    (2019) Pragmatic gains in the study abroad context: Learners’ experiences and recognition of pragmatic routines. Journal of Pragmatics, 146, 54–71. doi:  10.1016/j.pragma.2018.08.006
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2018.08.006 [Google Scholar]
  35. Schmidt, R.
    (1993) Consciousness, learning and interlanguage pragmatics. InG. Kasper & S. Blum-Kulka (Eds.), Interlanguage pragmatics (pp.21–42). Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Searle, J.
    (1969) Speech acts. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139173438
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173438 [Google Scholar]
  37. Sperber, D., & Wilson, D.
    (1995) Relevance: Communication and cognition (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Taguchi, N.
    (2005) Comprehending implied meaning in English as a foreign language. The Modern Language Journal, 89(4), 543–562. doi:  10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2005.00329.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2005.00329.x [Google Scholar]
  39. (2007) Development of speed and accuracy in pragmatic comprehension in English as a foreign language. TESOL Quarterly, 41(2), 313–338. doi:  10.1002/j.1545‑7249.2007.tb00061.x
    https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1545-7249.2007.tb00061.x [Google Scholar]
  40. (2008) Cognition, language contact, and the development of pragmatic comprehension in a study-abroad context. Language Learning, 58(1), 33–71. doi:  10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2007.00434.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00434.x [Google Scholar]
  41. (2009) Corpus-informed assessment of comprehension of conversational implicatures in L2 English. TESOL Quarterly, 43(4), 738–749. doi:  10.1002/j.1545‑7249.2009.tb00202.x
    https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1545-7249.2009.tb00202.x [Google Scholar]
  42. (2011) The effect of L2 proficiency and study-abroad experience on pragmatic comprehension. Language Learning, 61(3), 904–939. doi:  10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2011.00633.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2011.00633.x [Google Scholar]
  43. (2012) Context, individual differences and pragmatic competence. Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781847696106
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847696106 [Google Scholar]
  44. Taguchi, N., & Roever, C.
    (2017) Second language pragmatics. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Thomas, J.
    (1983) Cross-cultural pragmatic failure. Applied Linguistics, 4, 91–112. doi:  10.1093/applin/4.2.91
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/4.2.91 [Google Scholar]
  46. (1995) Meaning in interaction: An introduction to pragmatics. Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Xiao, F.
    (2015) Proficiency effect on L2 pragmatic competence. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 5(4), 557–581. doi:  10.14746/sllt.2015.5.4.3
    https://doi.org/10.14746/sllt.2015.5.4.3 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error