Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2542-9477
  • E-ISSN: 2542-9485
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English L2 email is an important mode of communication for Japanese university learners. However, learners often find it challenging to vary register in a pragmatically-appropriate manner when emailing. Identifying specific aspects of English email writing that learners find challenging can provide the basis for addressing learner needs. A corpus approach can help, systematically identifying instances of perceived divergence from register-specific norms in an email dataset. Few learner corpora, however, have focused on appropriate register variation in learner L2 English. This article describes the development, annotation, and analysis of a specialized corpus of Japanese university English L2 learners’ request-based email writing, annotated for perceived instances of pragmatic failure. Findings show high frequencies of perceived pragmatic failure across all aspects of English L2 email writing, with participants struggling to appropriately adapt their language to varying contexts. Implications for the language learning classroom are discussed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): email writing; learner corpus; pragmatics; second language learning
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