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in the EFL Classroom Andrew D. Cohen University of Minnesota, USA adcohen@umn.edu ‘Andrew D. Cohen taught in the ESL Section at UCLA, was a professor of language education for 17 years at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and since 1991 has been in the ESL Program at the University of Minnesota, where he was awarded Scholar of the College in the College of Liberal Arts (2002 to 2005). Hes currently Chair of the MA in ESL Program and Director of Undergraduate Studies. Cohen was a Fulbright Lecturer/Researcher to Brazil (1986-1987) and a Visiting Professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2004-2005). Cohen was the recipient of the 2006 American Association for Applied Linguistics Distinguished ‘Scholarship and Service Award. Cohen was Secretary Treasurer of the ‘American Association for Applied Linguistics (1993-1997) and also Secretary General of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (IAAL) (1996-2002). He has published numerous research articles on language teaching, language learning, language testing, and research methods, as well as books on bilingual education, on language learning strategies, and on language assessment and research methods. He co-edited a volume eh Dit Okt tuo aid Speed coca Soout. ante caret] (Muttiingual Matters, 2004), and has a new co-edited volume with Emesto Macaro, Language Learner Strategies: 30 Years of Research and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2007). In addition, he recently produced an online course on assessing language. 2__The Teaching of Pragmatics in the EFL Classroom This article focuses on facilitating the development of second language (L2) pragmatics, especially with regard to one aspect of pragmatics, namely, speech acts. Speech acts constitute an engaging aspect of pragmatics because of the possible misfit between what is said or written in a language in the given speech act and what is meant by it. The concer is with helping L2 leamers avoid pragmatic failure in high-stakes situations where they must interact with native speakers of the L2 and where approximating the sociocultural norms for the given context norms is a priority. All too frequently, nonnatives learn forms. inaccurately or incompletely, and then attempt to use them in ways that are not appropriate for the given context, Hence, there appears to be an important role for the explicit teaching of L2 pragmatics. The article discusses issues relevant to L2 pragmatics instruction, such as selection cof material for instruction, teacher preparation, the role of teachers in facilitating the learning of pragmatics, the assessment of pragmatics, and the role of technology in making L2 pragmatics accessible to learners. Keywords: pragmatics, speech acts, L2 pragmatics instruction, assessment of pragmatics Introduction I first learned about pragmatics from my colleague at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Shoshana Blum-Kulka, and then from the late 1970s pursued a research agenda with my colleague Elite Olshtain, focusing primarily on the speech act of apologizing. So my personal and professional interest in pragmatics has spanned perhaps thirty years. I become fascinated with the challenges associated with collecting data on both the comprehension and production of pragmatically complex L2 messages, since the intentions, assumptions, and actions performed by such messages may well be in need of interpretation (Yule, 1996: 3-4). The reason is that sociocultural norms for a given speech community predictably put constraints on how messages are communicated. For example, a given speech community may prefer that certain messages be delivered indirectly (e.g. “Good afternoon. I was wondering if you might have the time.”), while another speech community would prefer more direct communication (e.g. “Hey, what time is it?”). Members ILI Language Teaching Journal ‘Andrew D.Cohen 3 of the speech community tend to adapt to these patterns (for survival sake) but the average learner of the language, especially those who are learning the language as a foreign rather than a second language, may find it a challenge to accommodate. T have formally and informally studied eleven languages beyond my native English over the course of my life, and while I have achieved relative pragmatic control in, say, four of these, I can easily produce pragmatic failure in other languages such as Japanese (see Cohen, 1997, 2001). It is probably more my pragmatic failures than my successes which have made me acutely aware that pragmatic performance benefits from explicit instruction—that learners do not necessarily just get it through osmosis. My concern as an applied linguist is to provide for learners of a second language (L2) a means for developing pragmatic ability more readily in that language, especially with regard to one aspect of pragmatics, namely, speech acts. Speech acts are often, but not always, the patterned, routinized language that natives and pragmatically competent nonnative speakers and writers in a given speech community (with its dialect variations) use to perform functions such as thanking, complimenting, requesting, refusing, apologizing, and complaining (See Olshtain and Cohen, 1983: 19-21; Cohen, 1996: 384-385). For the purposes of this paper, L2 will serve as a generic label, including both the context where the language is spoken widely and the context where itis not. In principle, pragmatic development in an L2 will be faster in the former context than in the latter, but it depends largely on how the learner makes use of the available resources. So, the focus is both on speech acts as performed by members of the dominant language group (e.g. Persian speakers performing speech acts in Persian in Iran) and by members of minority language groups as well (e.g. the pragmatics in Arabic of Arabic-speaking immigrants to Iran, where the speakers may be increasingly drawing on the pragmatic norms for speakers of Persian in Iranian culture). Speech acts constitute an engaging aspect of pragmatics because of the possible misfit between what you do or do not say or write in a language in the given speech act and what is meant by it. Speech act theory, in fact, provides a reliable and valid basis for examining Volume 3, No. 2, 2007