Pragmalinguistic Awareness in EFL Teacher Training

Cigdem Karatepe

Uludag University, Bursa, Turkey

This study, which is a part of a larger scale study, investigates to what extent Turkish teacher trainees had learned about pragmalinguistics even though it was found to be under-represented in the course programme (Karatepe 1998). It focuses particularly on realization of indirect requests, apologies, thanking in English and their use in different contexts by both NS and Turkish teacher trainees. The data was collected by means of a two-part questionnaire where subjects were first given contexts and asked to choose an appropriate option from a set of multiple choices, and then to write an appropriate form for a similar situation. The questionnaire was administered to gain information about the awareness of trainees to express themselves appropriately in different contexts. The appropirateness of the trainees' replies with regard to the contextual questions was assessed by comparing them with the base line data collected by adminitering a slightly different different version of the same questionniare to NS in England. The results of the analysis revealed that the trainees were quite succesful in recognizing appropriate forms in multiple choice questions. However, when they were asked to produce similar forms, they were not so succesful. When they did not know the conventionalized forms, they tended to improvise. They also appear to have transferred certain forms from Turkish. The results seem to indicate that trainees do not have much awareness about the force of contextual factors in a particular situation. It seems that pragmalinguistic features are left to be picked up by trainees themselves. However, since they are not exposed to native speaker's discourse in an exclusively EFL context, this expectation is unlikely to be fulfilled.