Speech Acts: Piloting a Pragmatics Course in the Japanese Context

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John Rylander, Temple University; Brett Collins, Temple University; Rick Derrah, Temple University; Peter Ferguson, Nada Junior and Senior High School; Josh D’Andrea, Kansai Gaidai University

This paper describes the pilot phase of a video-based method for teaching pragmatics in the contexts of a junior high school, high school, and university in Japan. Discussion covers the design of the instructional materials then shifts to descriptions of each teaching context—starting with the junior high school level and continuing to 2nd-year university level. In all, four teaching contexts are introduced, with four intact classes in three schools. After a brief context overview—the institutions, English-language focus of the program, and introduction of the student population—is an explanation of how the pragmatics materials were structured to fit each institutional setting. Comments regarding the benefits and limitations of the instructional materials and method for that particular context follow.