Relationship between Cultural Distance and Pragmatic Comprehension

Vahid Rafieyan, Maryam Sharafi-Nejad, Zahra Khavari, Ayoob Damavand, Lin Siew Eng

Abstract


The distance between language learners’ culture and the culture of the target language community is considered to play a crucial role in determining the level of pragmatic comprehension. In this respect, a study was conducted over 30 German students, perceived as culturally close to the British, and 30 South Korean students, perceived as culturally distant from the British, studying English as a Foreign Language at a university in their home countries. Pragmatic comprehension ability was assessed through a 24-item multiple choice pragmatic comprehension test. The findings suggested the crucial role of cultural distance in pragmatic comprehension ability, that is, a shorter distance from the culture of the target language community led to a higher level of pragmatic comprehension. The pedagogical implications of the findings suggested the provision of opportunities for the students of English as a Foreign Language to be exposed to the culture of the target language community through cultural instruction, educational sojourn, or telecollaborative partnership.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/elt.v7n2p103

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'ccsenet.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.