Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2589-109X
  • E-ISSN: 2589-1103
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This study investigates the development of pragmatic strategies in study abroad among a group of upper-intermediate to advanced second language (L2) learners studying in English as a lingua franca (ELF) context. For this purpose, their use of epistemic stance markers (EMs) was observed before, during, immediately after, and six months after their study abroad over a period of two years. An analysis of our qualitative results found significant inter-speaker variations in the use of EMs. This close analysis demonstrates that learners with lower-level speaking skills relied more on lexical verbs and adverbs when expressing their epistemic stance than those with higher-level speaking skills. This finding is in accordance with previous studies. Furthermore, our qualitative analysis of two learners demonstrates their pragmatic development through a more nuanced hedged assertion, as well as the non-linear and complex nature of their development. In addition, the pedagogical implications of this study are discussed from the ELF perspective.


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