Factors Affecting Teachers’ Pragmatic Knowledge Incorporation into Thai EFL Classrooms


  • Somboon Pojprasat
  • Somchai Watcharapunyawong


L2 pragmatics; pragmatic competence; Thai EFL teachers; self-reflection


In second language pragmatics, the student has long received much more attention than the teacher with the principal aim to examine the former’s pragmatic competence and to innovate teaching in order to increase it. However, reports on students’ poor pragmatic performance have identified the ineffectiveness of this predisposed interest. Therefore, the researchers argue for a closer investigation into the teachers who are crucial in contributing to the latter’s ability. In the present study, a survey and a structured interview were used with a purposive sample of 38 Thai EFL university instructors to elicit in-depth information about their beliefs in the value of pragmatic knowledge, their self-reflection of incorporating pragmatic content in class, and factors that might complicate the relation between the beliefs and actual teaching. Findings show that while participants hold considerable positivity regarding the need for pragmatic content, their existent teaching is relatively less due to certain limitations. Among them, student background and type of course are the most influential factors in their pragmatic teaching knowledge. Moreover, participants’ pragmatic knowledge background and language experience have a significant correlation with their existing teaching (r =.38, p = .01). The inadequate proportion of in-class pragmatic content presents itself as a direct cause for students’ poor performance since they lack both the necessary knowledge and practice. The paper concludes with practical steps to systemize in-class teaching of pragmatic knowledge in Thai EFL contexts and perhaps elsewhere.



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