Improving Pragmatic Skills through Roleplays

30 May 2024
Room E1

Improving Pragmatic Skills through Roleplays

In any language, pragmatic skills are essential to convey and interpret meaning in social contexts accurately. As pragmatics studies how language is used in interactions, it comes naturally to native speakers but not to non-native language learners (Siegel, 2016). How teachers deliver their instruction and design activities is crucially significant to maximize students learning. Major aspects of pragmatics should be in place: the use of language to achieve goals, the use of information from context, and the use of interaction between people (Ciccia, 2011). Thus, the language educators must develop or adapt strategies for students’ practices of the target language, where teaching and learning are regularly mediated through language (Farinde & Oyedokun-Alli, 2020).

Roleplay is frequently used in a language classroom as a form of social interaction. Students learn different greetings through roleplays, which can be used for practicing pragmatics with other functions such as apologizing, giving advice, making a request, or having a conversation (American English, 2019). Furthermore, roleplay as a form of experiential learning provides an effective technique that allows students to apply content in a relevant, real-life context that prepares them for realistic communication (Bahriyeva, 2021). This presentation will showcase practical examples of scenarios and activities designed to enhance pragmatic skills in language learners. By exploring various role-play exercises, participants will gain insights into effectively integrating pragmatics-focused activities into language teaching methodologies. The aim is to contribute to language teaching practices by equipping educators with innovative strategies to foster pragmatic competence among language learners.



American English for Educators (2019, December). Simple ways to incorporate pragmatics in the EFL classroom. AE Teacher’s Corner.

Bahriyeva, N. (2021). Teaching a language through role-play. Linguistics and Culture Review, 5(S1), 1582-1587.

Ciccia, A. (2011). Pragmatic communication. In: Kreutzer, J.S., DeLuca, J., Caplan, B. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology (pp. 1994-1995) Springer, New York, NY.

Farinde, R. O. & Oyedokun-Alli, W. A. (2020). Pragmatics and language teaching. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 11(5).

Siegel, J. (2016). Pragmatic activities for the speaking classroom. English Teaching Forum.