Arab World English Journal (March 2017)                               Theses / Dissertation (ID 183)

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Author: Ghada Ali AlGhamdi

Thesis Title:  Evaluating the Metalanguage of Pragmatics Content of Selected Listening and Speaking Textbooks

Subject/major: Applied Linguistics

Institution: English Department, King Saud University

Degree: MA

Year of award: 2014

Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Normala Othman

Keywords: Content analysis, ELT, metalanguage, pragmatics, textbooks


The study investigated the quality and quantity of  the pragmatics content of two ELT listening and speaking textbooks, namely, Interactions 1 and Interactions 2in the exercises and how such aspects are presented through meta-language.  The choice of textbooks was based on the fact that listening and speaking involve oral communication and hence the use of pragmatics, with emphasis on language use. The selected textbooks vary according to proficiency level from intermediate to upper-intermediate. The study used a descriptive content analysis technique and the framework used to analyze the style of metalanguage found in the textbooks was adopted from Vellenga (2004) in which each piece of pragmatic element found in the books was labeled as either explicit and/ or implicit metalanguage. A survey was designed to elicit teachers’ perception of the textbooks’ pragmatic content and whether or not teachers supplement the textbooks with materials related to pragmatics and communication. The results showed that the quantity of pragmatic aspects in the textbooks is somewhat low, while the quality of the pragmatic exercises and metalanguage was promising but could be improved.  The pragmatic concepts that appeared most often in the textbooks were reference and inference, discourse and culture, speech acts and politeness. Presupposition and implicature were rarely found and deixis was not found in either textbook. The study also concluded that there was not enough pragmatic metalanguage in the textbooks considering the number of pages analyzed. However, the analysis showed that the amount of pragmatic aspects increased from Interactions 1 to Interactions 2, and the majority of the pragmatic exercises in the textbooks are designed as pair or group work, where the students are required to communicate with each other to practice the language. Finally, teachers mainly commented that supplementing the textbooks with outside materials to cover aspects of pragmatics in the classroom is rather hard due to syllabus constraints, the number of students, and the students’ language level and the type of assessment.

Note: Citing this thesis, please use:
AlGhamdi, G. A. (2017). Evaluating the Metalanguage of Pragmatics Content of Selected Listening and Speaking Textbooks. English Department, King Saud University  (Master’s Thesis).Retrieved from (Arab World English Journal Database. (ID Number: 183, March, 2017).