A. Background of the Study
Since the idea of pragmatic was introduced into language education, it has received more and more attention in language courses, such as through the theoretically-based syllabus (Cohen & Olshtain, 1981). Studies have been done to investigate the relationship between language education and pragmatic development, for example, whether grammatical development guarantees a corresponding level of pragmatic development. The results of these studies differ. Some studies showed that high language proficiency participants had better performance in tests of pragmatic than low language proficiency participants in English as foreign language context. On the other hand, other studies (e.g. Bardovi-Harlig & Hartford, 1991, 1993; Omar, 1991; Takahashi & Beebe, 1987) showed differences between learners’ grammatical development and pragmatic development. They reported that even learners who exhibit high levels of grammatical competence may exhibit a wide range of pragmatic competence when compared with native speakers in conversations and elicited conditions (Bardovi-Harlig & Doernyei, 1998).
Meanwhile, some studies have been done to investigate the teachability of pragmatic knowledge in classrooms and some (e.g. Bardovi-Harlig, 2001; Fukuya, Reeve, Gisi, & Christianson, 1998; Golato, 2003; Matsuda, 1999; Rose & Kasper, 2001) have shown that pragmatic knowledge is teachable. The necessity and importance of teaching pragmatic have also been recognized (Eslami-Rasekh, 2005; Rose & Kasper, 2001), but still language teachers hesitate to teach pragmatic in their classrooms. Thomas (1983) notes that for the language teachers the descriptions offered by theoretical pragmaticists are inadequate. Matsuda (1999) lists two reasons for this reluctance in pragmatic teaching. First, teaching pragmatic is a difficult and sensitive issue due to the high degree of face threat it often involves and, second, the number of available pedagogical resources is limited. But the reluctance should also be attributed to the lack of some valid methods for testing pragmatic knowledge.
Textbook is one of the pedagogical resources in develop pragmatic competence. They have become a central component in classroom practice. Whether used in conjunction with other texts or materials or as a sort of surrogate curriculum, textbooks tend to affect the teaching and learning process in the classroom. Despite the importance of textbooks, the task of choosing the ‘best’ materials is not easy since there are a plethora of materials, internationally and locally-published to select from, each claiming to be the ‘best’ in one way or another.
Textbook plays an important role in English Language Teaching (ELT), particularly in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom where it provides the primary (perhaps only) form of linguistic input. Research into the adequacy of textbook to teach communicative practices that are reflective of authentic conversation has found that ELT textbooks rarely include adequate or comprehensible explanations of how conversation works in English. English through textbook is highly unlikely, given the amount and quality of pragmatic information provided.
Explicit discussion of conversational norms and practices is another element missing from ELT texts, which often fail to adequately show communicative practices or ideological constructs in the target language appropriately. Particularly in EFL contexts, the only opportunity students have to learn target like conversational norms comes from either authentic language models or comprehensible metalinguistic descriptions that represent actual ways of speaking. Students are frequently not given the tools in textbooks to recognize and analyze language in a variety of contexts, and therefore, not equipped to be polite or rude intentionally.
Textbook authors and classroom teachers need to make corresponding changes in approaches to EFL teaching, since the limitations imposed by the textbook and the classroom on pragmatically appropriate input hinder the learner from becoming truly proficient in communicating in the target language. Despite its shortcomings, the textbook is considered to be the most important tool used in the classroom. Connections between the textbooks and language use, curriculum and lesson planning in the classroom need to be established for a more complete description of the use of ELT textbooks. Drawing on previous studies of pragmatic in textbooks, this study was undertaken to see how pragmatically relevant input and explicit metapragmatic information was provided in ELT textbooks.
B. Statement of the problems
1. What is the amount of pragmatic information provided in EFL textbooks?
2. How is the EFL learners’ pragmatic competence attainment?
3. Is there any correlation between the pragmatic information provided in the EFL textbooks and the EFL learners’ pragmatic competence attainment?
C. The Objectives of the Study
1. To describe the amount of pragmatic information provided in EFL textbooks.
2. To depict how EFL learners’ pragmatic competence attainment.
To seek confirmation of a correlation between the pragmatic information provided in the EFL textbooks and the EFL learners’ pragmatic competence attainment.
D. Scope and Limitation of the study
This research is observational (nonexperimental) and is of a correlational design. Initially this study will confine itself to observe the EFL integrated skill textbooks provide work for fifteen Universities in Surabaya and the students pragmatic competence attainment from those universities. The textbook will be investigated on the pragmatic information included metapragmatic directives, speech act, and metalanguage style. The students will be observed on each pragmatic competence score involved metapragmatic directives, speech act, and metalanguage style. The correlational design is applied to find the relationship between each pragmatic information and each pragmatic competence score.
This study does not engage all the universities in Surabaya but only fifteen universities which curriculum embraces integrated skill class usually in their early years. Integrated skill class facilitates the students to gain knowledge of the language skill such as listening, speaking, reading, writing all at once. A deliberate decision was made to do an in-depth quantitative research. Rich statistical data was gleaned from the textbooks and the students’ pragmatic competence attainment; therefore a sample size of fifteen will make the possibility of generalizing the data for all Universities in Surabaya.
E. Significance of the study
The emphasis of the study is the correlation between the pragmatic information included in the EFL textbooks and the EFL learners’ pragmatic attainment. Hence, this study is expected to contribute to a more critical thinking on the approach used in the textbooks of EFL teaching. Pragmatic components are suggested to be taught explicitly due to its significance in gaining students’ communicative competence.
In supporting the approach, the textbooks as the main material source should provide the adequate amount of pragmatic information. Consequently, the textbooks content should be observed to know their qualities. Then, the content will be correlate to the student’s pragmatic competence in order to proof that textbooks will effect very much on student’s attainment. The result of the observation will motivate the lecturers to incorporate, modify, and supplement course texts in terms of pragmatic in order to anticipate of the low book quality.
Not only teacher, but also the author of the textbooks should correspond their product into the complete pragmatic input. The role of the author and the teacher is very important to change the approach of the EFL teaching.
F. Definition of Key Term
Pragmatic information is a broad category encompassing a variety of topics related to metalanguage style, speech acts and metapragmatic directives.
Pragmatic competence is the knowledge of social, cultural, and discourse conventions that have to be followed in various situations.
Ø There are more some textbooks used in the EFL class at fifteen universities in Surabaya.
Ø The students have been taught pragmatic using the textbooks.
Pragmatic information included in the EFL textbooks is positively correlated to the EFL learners’ pragmatic competence attainment.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
A. Teaching English as Foreign Language
The EFL teaching needs to ensure that learners focus mainly on meaning (Kasper, 2000:1). The term focus on meaning is somewhat ambiguous. It is necessary to distinguish two different senses of this term. The first refers to the idea of semantic meaning (i.e. the meanings of lexical items or of specific grammatical structures). The second sense of focus on meaning relates to pragmatic meaning (i.e. the highly contextualized meanings that arise in acts of communication). To provide opportunities for students to attend to and perform pragmatic meaning, a task-based approach to language teaching is required. It is clearly important that instruction ensures opportunities for learners to focus on both types of meaning but, arguably, it is pragmatic meaning that is crucial to language learning.
There is an important difference in the instructional approaches needed for semantic and pragmatic meaning. In the case of semantic meaning, the teacher and the students can treat language as an object and function as pedagogues and learners. But in the case of pragmatic meaning, they need to view the EFL as a tool for communicating and to function as communicators. In effect, this involves two entirely different orientations to teaching and learning.
The opportunity to focus on pragmatic meaning is important for a number of reasons. First In the eyes of many theorists, only when learners are engaged in decoding and encoding messages in the context of actual acts of communication are the conditions created for acquisition to take place. Secondly, in order to develop true fluency in an EFL, learners must have opportunities to create pragmatic meaning. Third, engaging learners in activities where they are focused on creating pragmatic. Meaning is intrinsically motivating.
In arguing the need for a focus on pragmatic meaning, theorists do so not just because they see this as a means of activating the linguistic resources that have been developed by other means, but because they see it as the principal means by which the linguistic resources themselves are created. This is the theoretical position that has informed many highly successful immersion education programs around the world. However, instruction needs to be directed exclusively at providing learners with opportunities to create pragmatic meaning, only that, to be effective, instruction must include such opportunities and that, ideally, over an entire curriculum, they should be predominant.
Pragmatic Competence in the EFL Classroom
Communicative language pedagogy and research into communicative competence have shown that language learning exceeds the limits of memorizing vocabulary items and grammar rules. Pragmatic competence, although sometimes in disguise, has been a part of the models describing communicative competence. We have defined pragmatic competence as the knowledge of social, cultural, and discourse conventions that have to be followed in various situations.
Pragmatic competence is not a piece of knowledge additional to the learners’ existing grammatical knowledge, but is an organic part of the learners’ communicative competence (Koike, 1989: 3). Speakers who do not use pragmatically appropriate language run the risk of appearing uncooperative at the least, or, more seriously, rude or insulting. This is particularly true of advanced learners whose high linguistic proficiency leads other speakers to expect simultaneously high pragmatic competence.
C. Develop Pragmatic Competence through Textbooks
Pragmatic development argues that while competence cannot be taught, students should be provided with opportunities to develop their pragmatic competence. Competence is a type of knowledge that learners possess, develop, acquire, use or lose. The challenge for foreign or second language teaching is whether we can arrange learning opportunities in such a way that they benefit the development of pragmatic competence.
Exploring how English language textbooks present the pragmatic information is very crucial for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) perspective because in EFL instruction natural input is much scarcer than it is in an English as a Second Language (ESL) setting (Vellenga, 2004:2). Therefore the role of textbooks in raising students’ pragmatic awareness is more important. However, all the above-mentioned articles concluded that textbooks usually fail to provide the necessary and appropriate input in pragmatic, and the material they do present often differs from real life speech. It is difficult to give clear suggestions for improving pragmatic input in textbooks, particularly because textbooks are usually targeted to an international audience.
Underline the importance of building teaching materials on spontaneous speech and not relying on native speaker intuition, which may be misleading at times. Enriching classroom input with real-world materials, such as recordings of native speaker conversations, radio programs, and even television programs, can be beneficial. To provide sufficient pragmatic input for the students, it is also important to supplement textbooks with additional books that focus on pragmatic.
The textbook should provide pragmatic information such as metalanguage style, speech acts and metapragmatic directives. General pragmatic information was determined to be a broad category encompassing a variety of topics related to politeness, appropriacy, formality, register and culture.
Metalanguage style focused on the use of different sentence types (declarative, imperative, and interrogative) when introducing topical units, particular linguistic forms, usage information, or student instructions. The entire contents of a textbook, by its very nature, can be considered metalinguistic; therefore, only the text used to preface activities and explain grammatical points was chosen for analysis. Text within examples, exercises and reading passages (except those related to cultural norms) was ignored.
Metalanguage in textbooks can be another important source of linguistic input for learners, particularly in EFL situations. Functions of metalanguage were coded according to four types: Description, Instruction, Introduction, and Task-related. Description included any element of explicit metalanguage about a particular form: how to construct it, typically accompanied by example sentences: "Tag questions consist of a statement and a tag". Instruction metalanguage refers to language that gives usage or topical information about a particular form, i.e., information about a grammatical form that does not involve linguistic description of that form: "Small talk is informal conversation with friends and acquaintances at school, on the job, or on social occasions". Introduction metalanguage describes any element that seemed to prepare students for some activity by focusing their attention on a particular topic or theme: "When you are sick, do you go to a doctor?". Task-related metalanguage is explicit information on how to perform the practice activity, which, for integrated skills textbooks, could involve listening, speaking, reading or writing, usually with some group or pair interaction: "Choose three problems and talk about them like this".
In general, speech acts are acts of communication. To communicate is to express a certain attitude, and the type of speech act being performed corresponds to the type of attitude being expressed. For example, a statement expresses a belief, a request expresses a desire, and an apology expresses a regret. As an act of communication, a speech act succeeds if the audience identifies, in accordance with the speaker's intention, the attitude being expressed.
Some speech acts, however, are not primarily acts of communication and have the function not of communicating but of affecting institutional states of affairs. They can do so in either of two ways. Some officially judge something to be the case, and others actually make something the case. Those of the first kind include judges' rulings, referees' calls and assessors' appraisals, and the latter include include sentencing, bequeathing and appointing. Acts of both kinds can be performed only in certain ways under certain circumstances by those in certain institutional or social positions.
Metapragmatic description of speech acts such as requests, apologies, complaints, etc. Metapragmatics is a term from linguistics and the semiotically-informed linguistic anthropology of Michael Silverstein, describing language that characterizes or describes the pragmatic function of some speech. Discussions of linguistic pragmatics—that is, discussions of what speech does in a particular context— are meta-pragmatic, because they describe the meaning of speech as action. Although it is useful to distinguish semantic (i.e. denotative or referential) meaning (dictionary meaning) from pragmatic meaning, and thus metasemantic discourse (for example, "Mesa means 'table' in Spanish") from metapragmatic utterances (e.g. "Say 'thank you' to your grandmother," or "It is impolite to swear in mixed company"), meta-semantic characterizations of speech are a type of metapragmatic speech. This follows from the assertion that metapragmatic speech characterizes speech function, and denotation or reference are among the many functions of speech.
In anthropology, describing the rules of use for metapragmatic speech (in the same way that a grammar would describe the rules of use for 'ordinary' or semantic speech) is important because it can aid the understanding and analysis of a culture's linguistic ideology. Silverstein has also described universal limits on metapragmatic awareness that help explain why some linguistic forms seem to be available to their users for conscious comment, while other forms seem to escape awareness despite efforts by a researcher to ask native speakers to repeat them or characterize their use. Self-referential metapragmatic statements are indexical. That is, their meaning comes from their temporal contiguity with their referent: themselves. Example: "This is an example sentence."
D. Assessing Pragmatic Competence
Oller (1979) first introduced the notion of a pragmatic proficiency test and set two constraints for this kind of test. First, processing of language by examinees on pragmatic tests must be constrained temporally and sequentially in a way consistent with the real world occurrences of the language forms that happen to comprise test materials or speech in testing situations. This constraint could imply, for example, that encountering sentences on a reading comprehension test would require that an examinee process such sentences as meaningful sentences, rather than as just strings of words with no communicative intent. Second, such tests must use language in a way resembling natural occurrences of language outside testing contexts or formal language testing environments. The meaning of language understood or produced in pragmatic tests must link somehow to a meaningful extralinguistic context familiar to the proficiency examinee. Oller stressed the naturalness of such a test. These naturalness criteria, however, seem problematic, because they do not adequately address the artificiality of testing contexts in and of themselves, and how such artificiality constrains language use (Duran, 1984). This issue was better addressed by Clark (1978) through the notion of direct versus indirect tests of language proficiency. Clark suggested that a ‘direct’ test should be based on approximating, to the greatest extent possible within the necessary constraints of testing time and facilities, the specific situations in which the proficiency is called upon in real life. Clark indicated that direct proficiency tests should model everyday language use situations, but he also acknowledged that testing contexts could only approximate the real world. Unfortunately, the field of language testing does not seem to offer much research in this respect. Not many tests to assess learners’ pragmatic proficiency have been produced, though pragmatic knowledge is an indispensable part of language proficiency as defined by Bachman (1990).
One of the reasons why such measures have not been readily available is that developing a measure of pragmatic competence in an EFL context is not an easy task. So far, researchers have investigated at least six types of methods for interlanguage pragmatic assessment, i.e., the Written Discourse Completion Tasks (WDCT), Multiple-Choice Discourse Completion Tasks (MDCT), Oral Discourse Completion Tasks (ODCT), Discourse Role Play Talks (DRPT), Discourse Self-Assessment Talks (DSAT), and Role-Play self-assessments (RPSA). A summary of the practical characteristics of the six types of tests is given in Brown (2001a).
All the six measures are reviewed in detail in Yamashita (1996) and Yoshitake-Strain (1997). Brown and Hudson (1998) classified language assessment into three broad categories: selected-response assessments, constructed-response assessments, and personal-response assessments. For the sake of representativeness, in this study one test method from each of these three categories was selected: WDCT from the constructed-response type, MDCT from the selected-response type, and DSAT from the personal-response type. The following is an introduction to the forms of the three test methods used in this study.
1. Written discourse completion test
WDCTs are written questionnaires including a number of brief situational descriptions, followed by a short dialogue with an empty slot for the speech act under study. Participants are asked to provide a response that they think is appropriate in the given context: At the professor’s office.
A student has borrowed a book from her teacher, which she promised to return today. When meeting her teacher, however, she realizes that she forgot to bring it along.
Teache r : Miriam, I hope you brought the book I lent you.
Miriam : Teacher: OK, but please remember it next week.
WDCTs have evolved gradually over the past twenty years into several different
modified versions which vary mainly according to the presentation forms, that is, written or oral, and existence of rejoinder. WDCTs can include a rejoinder, as in the following example from Johnston, Kasper, and Ross (1998, p. 175):
Your term paper is due, but you haven’t finished yet. You want to ask your
professor for an extension.
You : ……………………………………….
Professor : I’m sorry, but I never allow extension.
Or they may involve only the specification of the situation with no rejoinder, as this example shows:
Two people who are friends are walking toward each other. They are both in a hurry to keep appointments. They see each other and say:
“In this study, this type of WDCT with no rejoinders was adopted”.
2. Multiple-choice discourse completion test
MDCTs consist of test items where the test taker is required to choose the correct response (the key) from the several given options. Most commonly, multiple-choice items include an instruction to the test taker and a stem (typically either a phrase or sentence to be completed, or a question). The key and several Assessing EFL learners’ interlanguage pragmatic knowledge distractors then follow in random order (Davies et al., 1999). Following is a sample MDCT item:
You are a student. You forgot to do the assignment for your Human Resources course. When your teacher whom you have known for some years asks for your assignment, you apologize to your teacher.
A :I'm sorry, but I forgot the deadline for the assignment. Can I bring it to you at the end of the day?
B : Pardon me, sir, I forgot about that. Shall I do the assignment at once? So sorry! It’s my fault!
C : I've completed my assignment but forgot to bring it with me. I'll hand it in tomorrow.
Discourse self-assessment test
On the DSAT, instructions are first given, followed by exponents of the functions. The participants, after reading each situation, were asked to give an overall rating of their intended performance on a five-point scale. The following is an example of the self-assessment.
Situation: You and a few of your co-workers are working on a special project. You are at a meeting in the office of the project leader. As you are reaching for your briefcase you accidentally knock over the project leader’s umbrella which was leaning against the desk.
A. Research Design
This study looks at two variables. The first variable is the percentage of each pragmatic information provided in the textbooks and the second variable is the each students’ pragmatic competence attainment. Descriptive statistics for each variable is calculated to include mean, median, minimum, maximum, and standard deviation. The purpose of obtaining this information is to provide interpretable and comparable information about the variables at a glance by describing the location and spreading on the data. Additionally, the descriptive statistics help to determine the normality of the variables, which is essential to continuing the statistical analysis.
Mean and median both describe each pragmatic information, both are given as a single number to represent the data set. The mean represents the central tendency of the data, and is calculated by the sum of all values divided by the number of observed values. The median, also represented by a single number for each variable, is defined as the middle point of the dataset. This means of data in chronological order; 50% falls above and 50% below the median. The median is calculated by dividing the range by two; the range is defined as the largest minus the smallest variable. For a normal distribution, of which most statistical methods are based on, the mean and median of a data set should be close to one another.
The linear relationship between two variables can be measured with a correlation coefficient. Pearson’s correlation coefficient is specifically designed to determine the strength of the relationship for interval and ratio data. Expressed as ‘r’, Pearson’s correlation coefficient falls within the range -1 to 1. When r = 0, there is no linear relationship between the two variables. As r gets closer to 1, a stronger positive linear relationship is found between the variables, and conversely, the closer r is to -1 indicates a strong negative relationship between the variables. A positive relationship indicates that as one variable increases, the second variable also increases; a negative relationship indicates that as one variable increases the second decreases.
For two variables x and y, the formula to calculate Pearson’s correlation coefficient, is given as follows:
r = Σ(x-μx)(y-μy)
Where μ is the mean of the variable, ‘n’ is the sample size, and s is the standard deviation for the variable. The correlation coefficient gives an indication of the strength of the linear relationship between two variables, but it is unknown whether or not the relationship is significant or if it occurs just by chance.
Population and Sample
This study employs sampling to choose only the university in Surabaya that has integrated skill class in their EFL majority. This class focuses on general communication in English involves all the language skill such as listening, speaking, reading, and speaking at once. The integrated skill enables the researcher to investigate the pragmatic competence provided in all skill.
The first population of the study is all textbooks used by EFL class in fifteen Universities in Surabaya and the sample is the fifteen textbooks used by EFL class in fifteen universities in Surabaya. The sample is selected based on the similarity number of pages and chapter divisions.
The second population of the study is all EFL learners in fifteen Universities in Surabaya and the sample is one class in each university. The sampling technique is random sampling because every class has the same probability to be selected as sample. This technique allows the researcher to be objective on the result of the study. The number of sample is 300 students.
Before observing the textbooks, an instrument in the form of table is needed. The table contain of what pragmatic information should be observed, the mean and the median of each data. The other data is collected by means of question sheets. This instrument is used for testing the pragmatic competence attainment of the students.
D. Data Collection Techniques
Observation is accomplished in order to get the data about the pragmatic information percentage in the textbooks. The percentage is derived from the mean of pages which provide the pragmatic information.
The students’ learning attainment is used to measure individual progress towards the instructional objective of specific study. The objective of the study in this research is focus on the pragmatic competence. The test involves the written questions of how to use certain pragmatic components appropriately. The test is divided into two sections, the first is multiple choices and the other one is essay question.
E. Data Analysis Procedures
The data analysis procedure is the statistic descriptive of first the textbook, second is students’ attainment and the last is the correlation between these variables. First the textbooks were examined for information about general pragmatic information, as well as metalanguage style, speech acts and metapragmatic directives. Metalanguage style focused on the use of different sentence types (declarative, imperative, and interrogative) when introducing topical units, particular linguistic forms, usage information, or student instructions. Investigation of speech acts in each of the eight books focused on explicit mention and metapragmatic description of speech acts such as requests, apologies, complaints, etc .Metapragmatic involves politeness (including appropriacy and illocutionary force), 2) register and 3) extralinguistic contextual and cultural information.
The students’ answer sheets is collected and scored. The score of all students is rated to determine the mean. Then, each pragmatic information is correlated with each students’ pragmatic score using Pearson’s correlation formulae.
Creswell, J. W. 2002. Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Kasper, G. 1997. Can pragmatic competence be taught?http://www.lll.hawaii.edu/nflrc/NetWorks/NW6/default.htm
Koike, D. A. 1989. Pragmatic competence and adult L2 acquisition: Speech acts in Interlanguage. The Modern Language Journal, 73, 279-289.
Vellenga, Heidi. 2004. Learning Pragmatic from ESL and EFL Textbook: How Likely. TESL-EJ Journal, Vol.8.No.3
Metalanguage information in the textbook
Pages which include metalanguage information
Metapragmatics information percentage in the textbook
Pages which include metapragmatic information
Speech Act information percentage in the textbook
Speech Act Information
Pages which include speech act information
Students’ metalanguage attainment
Students’ speech act attainment
Students’ speech act
Students’ metapragmatic attainment