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On the Offensive

By Karen Stollznow

On the Offensive " This book sheds light on the derogatory phrases, insults, slurs, stereotypes, tropes and more that make up linguistic discrimination. Each chapter addresses a different area of prejudice: race and ethnicity; gender identity; sexuality; religion; health and disability; physical appearance; and age."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Effects of Pragmatic Instruction in the Spanish Language Classroom Add Dissertation
Author: Bradley Langer Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of California, Davis, Department of Spanish
Completed in: 2011
Linguistic Subfield(s): Pragmatics; Language Acquisition;
Subject Language(s): Spanish
Director(s): Robert Blake

Abstract: Teaching L2 pragmatics is often ignored in the traditional language classroom regardless of learner level. This study examines the benefits of explicit instruction of four speech acts for beginning, intermediate, and advanced L2 learners of Spanish. The participants took a pre-test and post-test to measure the pragmatic gains over the course of an academic quarter, while the experimental groups from each level received specific lessons in pragmatic use of Spanish and the control group received no extra treatment during their courses. The treatment consisted of four online lessons demonstrating common uses of requests, invitations, refusals and apologies in Spanish. The results show that the students improved with the treatment much more than the control group with regards to pragmatic competence. Furthermore, the intermediate level showed the most improvement, suggesting that this is the optimal level for pragmatic development because learners at this level are the most receptive to the acquisition of speech acts. This investigation shows that the explicit teaching of requests, invitations, refusals, and apologies is effective and should be addressed in the Spanish language classroom at all levels, especially at the intermediate level.