Pragmatic competence plays a key role in the era of globalization where
communication across cultural boundaries is an everyday phenomenon. The
ability to use language in a socially appropriate manner is critical, as lack of it
may lead to cross-cultural miscommunication or cultural stereotyping. This book
describes second language learners’ development of pragmatic competence. It
proposes an original theoretical framework combining a pragmatics and
psycholinguistics approach, and uses a variety of research instruments, both
quantitative and qualitative, to describe pragmatic development over one year.
Situated in a bilingual university in Japan, the study reveals patterns of change
across different pragmatic abilities among Japanese learners of English. The
book offers implications for SLA theories, the teaching and assessment of
pragmatic competence, and intercultural communication.