Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
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The present study tracks the longitudinal pragmatic development of spoken requests by Japanese, adult learners of English during an academic year abroad, and aims to examine whether and how their requestive performance develops over time in high and low-imposition situations. Data were collected at three points of the academic year using oral, virtual role plays, and semi-structured group interviews. Data analysis examined the type and frequency of request strategies and modification devices employed by the group over time. Findings revealed that there were only some pragmatic gains (e.g., a slight drop in the use of want statements) as learners were very slow in adopting a new form-function mapping and expanding their pragmalinguistic repertoire. They relied on (and overused) a limited set of request sequences and had clear preferences for particular ways to express (in)directness, confirming that pragmatic gains might often be small, and development may follow a non-linear trajectory.


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