The Importance of Pragmatics
The study of pragmatics is a scientific discipline that looks at how language and the context in which it is used interact with the human brain. It also studies how people use language to interact with others. This includes the uses of gestures, facial expressions, and other ways of communicating.
The simplest way to think about the pragmatics is as an investigation into how humans interpret the meaning of words and phrases. Pragmatics focuses on the meaning of a sentence, its relationship to the surrounding context, and how a speaker tries to convey an idea to a listener. In other words, it’s an attempt to understand how to make good use of language to communicate ideas and build relationships.
One of the nifty things about pragmatics is that it provides a logical basis for all of our language interactions. For instance, a person may be able to tell a friend that they like their shoes even if they’re not a fan of shoes. Similarly, a child who has trouble making eye contact with another may be able to get their point across with a smile. Lastly, it’s an opportunity for educators to show their students the importance of learning the language of their social contexts.
Pragmatics is an art and science and it’s a good idea to have it as part of a teaching curriculum. It can be introduced through a variety of means, from textbook content to role plays. You could add a few lessons to your existing lesson plan, or you can create a new one. By combining the relevant literature and other resources, you can ensure that your learners are acquiring the skills that they need to be successful communicators.
When it comes to pragmatics, the most important thing is to ensure that your students are armed with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate their way through a world where the spoken word is increasingly more important than the written word. The best place for them to acquire these skills is in the classroom. Classrooms are a safe and sane environment to practice language and experiment with different speech acts.
The other key element of pragmatics is that it enables you to communicate accurately. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned language guru or a neophyte, pragmatics can help you succeed. Whether you’re trying to negotiate an abrasive conflict, a friendly conversation, or a business deal, you’ll need to master a few basic skills to get your point across. Fortunately, many of these skills develop naturally as a child grows into an adult. During the early years, children are naturally prone to developing a number of nifty tricks to make communication easier.
There’s no way around it: a teacher can’t teach everything in a single class. Therefore, it’s helpful to have a few lesson options that cover the major themes. Of course, if your students are interested, you can supplement these with a handful of pragmatics-related lessons.