Pragmatic Awareness of Japanese EFL Learners in Relation to Individual Differences: A Cluster Analytic Approach

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2013
Authors
Kazuhito, Yamato
Tagashira, Kenji
Takamichi, Isoda
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National Foreign Language Resource Center
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This study investigated the relationships between pragmatic awareness and learner types drawn from pro les of learners’ motivation and pro ciency, thus providing insight into the interplay of learner factors in contrast to previous studies describing the relationships between single variables. In addition to a modi ed replication of Bardovi-Harlig and Dörnyei’s (1998) study in the Japanese EFL context, this study incorporated measures of motivation based on Self-Determination Theory and learners’ pro ciency. Cluster analysis sorted 69 Japanese EFL learners into three distinct subgroups based on their con guration of motivation and pro ciency; in particular, they differed on their levels of intrinsic motivation and pro ciency. Their pragmatic awareness was later compared by use of one-way ANOVA. The results illustrated that two groups with more self-determined motivation showed sharper perception of pragmatic inappropriateness than the group with lower intrinsic motivation, even though its pro ciency was higher. Based on the “noticing hypothesis” (Schmidt, 1995), we propose that intrinsically motivated learners are likely to process L2 pragmatic input at the level of ‘understanding,’ whereas those with lower motivational pro les only ‘notice the form’ but do not process it at the ‘understanding’ level. Proficiency is not in itself a suffcient condition for enabling ‘understanding.’
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Motivation (Psychology), Pragmatics
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245-266
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