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Pragmatics by Mind Map: Pragmatics

1. What?

1.1. “Pragmatics is the branch of linguistics that deals with norms of conversation” (Freeman & Freeman, 2014, p. 88)

2. Why teach to ELLs

2.1. “Within second language studies and teaching, pragmatics encompasses speech acts, conversational structure, conversational implicature, conversational management, discourse organization, and sociolinguistic aspects of language use such as choice of address forms” (Bardovi-Harlig & Mahan-Taylor, n.d., p. 1).

3. A Ten-Unit Curriculum on Pragmatics for the ESL Classroom (Reis, 2013)

3.1. Established deficiencies in current curricula and need for ELL students to learn

3.2. Review of theories of interpersonal communication and importance to ELLs for success in school

3.3. “Pragmatics is, in fact, teachable” (Reis, 2013, p. 30)

3.4. Lessons

3.4.1. #1 Turn Taking (Reis, 2013, pp. 62-66) Activity 3: Students divided into two groups. One group gets prepared cards with questions. The other group gets cards with answers. Each student reads their question then the student with correct answer has to jump into conversation (Reis, 2013, p. 65)

3.4.2. #2 Invitation Refusals (Reis, 2013, pp. 67-76) Activity 4: Oral practice and refusing based upon written prompts (Reis, 2013, p. 67)

3.4.3. #3 Compliments and Compliment Responses (Reis, 2013, pp. 77-86) Activity 1: Students generate compliments in writing, compile class list, as class formulates conclusions and generalities of compliments in English (Reis, 2013, p. 78)

3.4.4. #4 Expressing Opinions (Reis, 2013, pp. 87-95) Activity 1: Provides students practice with learning how to be aware of other people’s sensitivity to various topics via student interviews (Reis, 2013, p. 87)

3.4.5. #5 Indirect Requests (Reis, 2013, pp. 96-101) Homework: Students record examples from popular media of direct and indirect requests noting context of request. (Reis, 2013, pp. 97)

3.4.6. #6 Making a Suggestion (Reis, 2013, pp. 102-109) Activity 2: Students practice direct, indirect, and softened requests then as group consider ways to modify each based-on different interlocutors. (Reis, 2013, pp. 102-103)

3.4.7. #7 Telephone Conversation Openings & Closings (Reis, 2013, pp. 110-122) Activity 2: Group practice in sequencing typical phone conversations based upon previous direct instruction (Reis, 2013, p. 111)

3.4.8. #8 Work Requests (Reis, 2013, pp. 123-131) Activity 3: Students read dialogs and answer what they think the stage of the request is. (Reis, 2013, p. 124)

3.4.9. #9 Thanking (Reis, 2013, pp. 132-144) Activity 3: Students respond to other students reading prompts with appropriate gratitude statement. (Reis, 2013, p. 133)

3.4.10. #10 Apologies (Reis, 2013, pp. 145-151) Activity 1: Direct instruction of when it is appropriate to apologize and opportunities to role play with classmates (Reis, 2013, pp. 145-146)

3.5. References

3.5.1. Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Mahan-Taylor, R. (n.d.). Why teach pragmatics in language classes. Retrieved from

3.5.2. Freeman, D.E. & Freeman, Y.S (2014). Essential linguistics: What teachers need to know to teach ESL, reading, spelling, grammar (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

3.5.3. Reis, B. (2013). A ten-unit curriculum on pragmatics for the ESL classroom (Order No. 1540461). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection. (1417083477). Retrieved from