The role of asynchronous computer mediated communication in the instruction and development of EFL learners' pragmatic competence

Zohreh Eslami, Azizullah Mirzaei, Shadi Dini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates two types of form-focused instruction on the acquisition of requests by Iranian EFL learners to determine the effectiveness of pragmatic instruction through asynchronous computer mediated communication (ACMC). Three groups of EFL learners, a control (. n=27) and two intervention groups, are included in this study. The intervention groups were matched with US-based graduate ESL Education students (as telecollaborative tutors) to undertake either an explicit or an implicit instructional treatment through ACMC for one semester. The explicit group (. n=23) participated in consciousness-raising activities, received explicit metapragmatic explanations and corrections of errors of forms and meanings. The implicit group (. n=24) received enhanced input and implicit feedback. A discourse completion task (DCT) was used to compare control and intervention groups. Furthermore, students' email communications with the graduate students were used to track their language development. Quantitative and qualitative analysis were used to determine the impact of instructional methods on EFL learners' pragmatic competence. Both treatment groups significantly improved, outperforming the control group. However, the explicit group performed significantly better than the implicit group on both the DCT and email communication measures. These findings are discussed with implications for using technology to teach and learn pragmatics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015



  • Asynchronous computer mediated communication
  • English as a foreign language
  • Explicit/implicit pragmatic instruction
  • Pragmatic development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this