• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Language Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

This course introduces students to the large and fast-growing field of second language research known as interlanguage pragmatics, which explores politeness and appropriateness in a second language. Students explore key issues and findings such as: how do learners’ ways of (e.g.) requesting, apologising, refusing, thanking, complaining or taking leave differ from those of native speakers of the target language? What methods are used to collect data on learner pragmatics, and what are the strengths and drawbacks of each method? What aspects of pragmatics are easiest to learn, and hardest? What factors aid a learner’s acquisition of pragmatics? How well do learners acquire pragmatics in a target culture setting compared to in a foreign language classroom? Why do some individuals learn a lot more pragmatics than others do in a similar setting? How successfully can pragmatics be taught in the classroom?

The course draws on findings from studies of learners of a wide range of target languages in a range of settings. As part of the course students will have the chance to implement their new skills and knowledge by conducting an assignment where they collect a small amount of data on pragmatic performance by learners of a language, and analyse and discuss their findings.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

1) propose and evaluate explanations for second language learners’ pragmatic behaviour

2) identify the strengths and drawbacks of methods for probing learners’ pragmatic performance

3)  evaluate evidence presented in empirical studies of learner pragmatics, with the aid of guiding questions,

4)  construct a simple written tool to obtain data on a learner’s performance of a common speech act (e.g. requests)

5) collect and analyse a sample of data on a learner's performance of a common speech act (e.g. requests)

Indicative Assessment

- one 3000 word assignment based on data collection and analysis  (40%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 4 & 5]

- 1000 words of written contributions to on-line discussion forum (25%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2 & 3]

- one final written exam (35%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2 & 3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Ten hours a week, consisting of two hours of seminars + one hour of on-line activity + 6-7 hours of related work.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 Level ANU courses.

Prescribed Texts

All essential material will be provided on the course Wattle site.

Suggested preliminary reading: Cross-cultural pragmatics : requests and apologies. Edited by Shoshana Blum-Kulka, Juliane House, Gabriele Kasper. Published Norwood, N.J : Ablex Pub. Corp, 1989




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3132
2006 $3132
2005 $3132
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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