The Role of Pragmatics in English Teaching: A Study of Pragmatic Competence of Students from Spanish Institutions

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The high speed at which the world develops has created the need for a language that makes communication possible at an international level. English has achieved this position due to being the most spoken language by non-native speakers. This phenomenon has resulted in globalization and internationalization in almost all aspects of life. Consequently, the number of speakers and learners of English increases every day. Spain, and particularly Madrid, where bilingualism has been making its way into educations for the last decade, is the scenario in which this study has been carried out. Even though the hours of English classes have increased, language teaching methodologies appear not be updated and adapted yet to the new world and the new role of English. This can be observed in international situations in which misunderstandings take place very often due to the lack of pragmatic competence of the speakers. The aim of this paper is to assess if linguistic and pragmatic competences are learnt simultaneously and unconsciously or if, as hypothesized, pragmatics needs to be integrated into language courses.
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