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Teaching L2 Pragmatics Presentation










What is pragmatics?

Pragmatics is a part of linguistics that studies the use of language in context and how this context provides meaning. The use of language on a regular basis can be decoded in different ways because it relies on the speakers’ intentions, listeners’ assumptions, and the social-cultural norms that rule communication. (Yules, 2023)


"decoding invisible meanings in context" Blum-Kulka (1983).Invisible meanings can be written or manifested at the moment of speaking.

"Examing the transfer of language pragmatics from L1 and L2" Blum-Kulka (1983)It will help to identify what language and cultural nuances are transferable and what are universal.

"comparing and contrasting cultural settings" Blum-Kulka (1983)There is a cultural etiquette that norms what to do or not in different contexts.

Social norms

Why should we teach pragmatics in L2 classrooms?

Content specific- language use

Cultural convention

Thanking is about how we express appreciation in communication. The speaker manifests gratitude toward the listener for a past action, showing appreciation for the benefit received from it. (Bodman &Eisenstein, 1988)


Thanking is one of the common acts in everyone’s life. "It is essential to understand and produce gratitude expressions for a “favor”, “service”, “invitation” and failure to do so may sound unkind. Being polite and maintaining a successful communication necessitates suitable expressions to a particular situation and the knowledge of when to perform the act" (Bakırcı & Özbay, 2020).


The Center for Advance Research (CARLA) mentions seven ways to express gratitude such as compliment, affection, reassuring, promising, expressing surprise, lack of necessity, and emphasizing gratitude. Even though there are many expressions for different reasons. We will focus on the most common thanking expressions used in everyday communication.


(The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, 2024)

When to perform the act of thanks?

(The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, 2024)

Responses to Thanks

Students will be able to:1. Identify expressions of gratitude in a variety of contexts.2. Compare and contrast gratitude by using pragmatic strategies.3. Perform thanking expressions and responses.4. Write thank you letters according to the context



Speech act of thanking


  • English
  • Students L1

Target group

  • High school (9th- 12th)
C. DiscussionComplete the assessment poll. Select one topic to captivate your attention and discuss with a partner and share with the whole class
B. Matching ActivityMatch each expression of thanking with its corresponding implicature
A. Warm-up: AnswerIn what situations do you usually say thank you?

Strategy 1: Discussion

C.Venn diagramCompare and contrast some expressions of thanking shared in the video and some expressions that you use in your first language.
B. Watch the videoWrite a summary of the video
A. Warm-up: AnswerHow do you reply when someone says you thanks?

Strategy 2: Compare and contrast

You can select a topic, and record a video expressing thanks. It might be at least a two-minute video. Comment on two classmates' posts. Remember to be polite and objectiveClick here to have access to the website
C. Record a video role-play on flip
B. Write the dialogue according to your scenery
A. In pairs. Select a scenery1. Thank a friend for helping you to do your math homework.2. Thank a stranger for helping you to change your flat tire on the highway.3. Thank a teacher for grading your late assignments.4. Thank a friend for inviting you to their home for dinner.5. Thank your parents for letting you go to the beach with your friends.

Strategy 3: Role play

(TED IELTS, 2021)
Read and analize the examples
C. How to write a formal and informal thank you letter
B. Formal and informal expressionsAnalyze formal and informal elements
A. Warm-up: AnswerWhat is thankful letter?

Strategy 4: Write a thank you letter

Prompt 2
Prompt 1

D. Write a letter. Select a prompt

You have received a beautiful present for Christmas.Now, it is your turn to thank. Reflect on the meaning of the present and why is so important to you.Write a heartfelt message expressing your gratitude



We are in April. And guess what? It's teachers' appreciation week.Write a thank you letter to a teacher who really impacts you.Describe what qualities the teacher has.Point out why this teacher makes a difference in your life.



Bakırcı, D. & Özbay, A. Ş. (2020). Investigating EFL speakers’ gratitude strategies: Interlanguage pragmatics. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 16(4), 1698-1721. Doi: 10.17263/jlls.850982Eisenstein, M. & Bodman, J. (1986). 'I very appreciate': Expressions of gratitude by native and non-native speakers of American English. Applied Linguistics 7, 2, 167-185.TED IELTS (2021). How to Write a Thank You Letter [IELTS General]. https://ted-ielts.com/thank-you-letter/The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (2024). American English Thanks. https://carla.umn.edu/speechacts/thanks/american.html#eisenstein86Trinity College London. ( June 27th, 2023). Teaching Pragmatics in the EFL classroom. Why and how? [Archivo de Vídeo]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoxRZaYILgk&ab_channel=TrinityCollegeLondonYule, G. (2023). The study of language (8th edition). Cambridge University Press.ISBN: 978-1-009-23340-8

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