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June 2019 - Year 21 - Issue 3

ISSN 1755-9715

Proposing a Haptic Approach to Facilitating L2 Learners’ Pragmatic Competence

Michael Burri is Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He has taught and conducted research in a variety of contexts in Australia, Japan, and Canada. His research interests include pronunciation teaching, second language teacher education, context-sensitive pedagogy, and non-native English-speaking teacher (NNEST) issues. Email:

Amanda Baker is Senior Lecturer in TESOL and Academic Program Director of the Master of Education at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Her research interests include second language pronunciation pedagogy, oral communication pedagogy, second language teacher education and classroom-based research.


Bill Acton is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the MATESOL at Trinity Western University, Canada. His research and publications have been in the general area of the role of the body in language learning and more specifically in haptic pronunciation teaching. Email:



Pragmatic competence plays a critical role in successful communication. Pragmatics in the second language classroom has received substantial interest in TESOL, yet teachers often find the teaching of pragmatics challenging. Instruction generally tends to focus on grammar and vocabulary development, even though pragmatics is closely linked to the sound system (i.e., phonology) of the language. An effective method should combine attention to both pragmatic and phonological competence. We propose an integrated approach, drawing on haptic (movement and touch) pronunciation teaching techniques (Acton, Baker, Burri & Teaman, 2013) to facilitate study and uptake of pragmatics in the classroom. In part by mapping intonation and rhythm onto select prefabricated, high value language chunks – adding systematic gestures, movement, and touch – students’ ability to respond more appropriately in social context should be significantly enhanced. The process described is accessible to most experienced practitioners. The paper concludes with recommended applications in various educational settings.



The journey to higher proficiency is often marked by frustration for second language (L2) learners. Many emerge from classrooms, albeit with some exceptions (Yanagi & Baker, 2016), with a relatively good command of a formal academic-oriented speaking style which can nonetheless be woefully inadequate for every day conversational interaction. The breakdowns in communication that occur outside of the classroom frequently relate to lack of pragmatic competence. Not surprisingly, the development of communicative competence continues to be a primary objective of the modern L2 classroom. Achieving that on the part of both instructor and student requires varying degrees of understanding of language and conversational discourse. As proposed by Canale and Swain (1980), communicative competence comprises four dimensions: (1) grammatical (phonology, syntax, vocabulary) competence; (2) sociolinguistic (appropriacy) competence; (3) discourse (cohesion and coherence) competence; and (4) strategic (compensatory strategies) competence.

In the contemporary L2 classroom, syntax and vocabulary receive perhaps the most attention; yet, those skill subsets alone are insufficient for genuine, multi-context communication. This paper describes a system for helping students further enhance their ability to communicate successfully focusing specifically on features of learners’ pragmatic and related phonological competence.


Developing pragmatic competence

Pragmatics is defined as “the study of language from the point of view of users, especially of the choices they make, the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction, and the effects their use of language has on other participants in the act of communication” (Crystal,1985, p. 364). Developing L2 learners’ pragmatic competence is vital (Hilliard, 2017). Pragmatic rules of register (i.e., levels of formality) and politeness, embodied in speech acts (e.g., interactions with interlocutors) have become a basic requirement of the L2 curriculum. (For illustrations of pragmatics-centered classroom activities, see, for example, Hilliard, 2017; Siegel, 2016; Zeff, 2016).

Understanding the relationship between language and sociocultural context is pivotal to the development of pragmatic competence. For example, a functional perspective reflects the purpose of an utterance. The question Would you mind if I close the window?, for instance, could imply that it is cold in the classroom. The sociolinguistic dimension, in comparison, determines which language is appropriate to a particular social setting. As such, using the phrase Turn that bloody noise down! to express to your boss that the music in his office is overly loud would typically be considered inappropriate! Teaching learners how the language they are learning is intertwined with context is essential.

The requirement for instruction enhancing learners’ pragmatic competence has gained increased attention in L2 teaching (Ishihara & Cohen, 2010). Research has demonstrated the value of explicit instruction in this area (Halenko & Jones, 2017). “Pragmatic skills” are understood to be highly desirable by learners (Yuan, Tangen, Mills, & Lidstone, 2015) in part because, as Lindeman, Litzenberg, and Subtirelu (2014) suggest, being able to use pragmatic strategies enhances their confidence in conversation.

Due to the cultural, social, linguistic, contextual, and behavioural nature of speech acts (Limberg, 2015), the teaching of pragmatics is a complex undertaking. From the learner’s perspective, acquiring pragmatic competence can be challenging: an utterance can be “grammatically correct”, yet completely inappropriate, depending on the context in which the speech act is performed (Tatsuki & Houck, 2010). Simply acquiring explicit knowledge about pragmatics is not enough. To reach a level of pragmatic competence that allows them to participate, to interact successfully, learners need to be given ample opportunities in the classroom (and elsewhere) to in effect “automatize” that new knowledge. In achieving that the speaker no longer needs to focus much attention on the conceptualization, formulation or monitoring of her/his utterances (Thornbury, 2005). Automatization is considered a key process in achieving fluency and overall speaking competence in an L2 (Gatbonton & Segalowitz, 2005; McCarthy, 2010). One way to potentially enhance that automatization process is through the use of kinaesthetic techniques which can serve as mediating tools (Loewen, 2015).


Phonological competence and pragmatic competence

While comprehensibility and intelligibility are both situated in social context, a speaker’s pragmatic competence is also perceived in relation to his or her use of tonal patterns, pauses and pitch use (Levis & Moyer, 2014). Over the past decade, pronunciation instruction has begun to feature more prominently in the L2 classroom (Thomson & Derwing, 2015), in part because research has shown that explicit pronunciation instruction can have a positive effect on L2 learner pronunciation (e.g., Couper, 2006; Hahn, 2004; Saito & Lyster, 2012). Thus, learners are receiving more instruction in the use of diverse features of pronunciation to enhance the intelligibility of their speech. A major problem, however, is that pronunciation is often taught in isolation from linguistic or social context. As Levis and Moyer (2014, p. 282) point out:

[pronunciation] has mostly been taught without reference to any kind of discourse context at all, linguistic or social, with features being illustrated and practiced at the sound, word and sentence level. We argue that this approach is fundamentally misguided insofar as it treats phonology in a decontextualized, disconnected way. It is also misguided because not only does pronunciation strongly influence intelligibility, it also conveys social meanings and thus has social consequences.

Teaching pronunciation linked to social context presents a serious challenge. Many teachers (understandably) experience anxiety or uncertainty about how to best do that (Baker, 2011; Foote, Holtby & Derwing, 2011), let alone develop pragmatic competence. Instructional resources for facilitating that integration are, however, becoming more available and accessible. For teachers to make that connection in the classroom, kinaesthetically-based instruction appears to be one potentially effective approach. The following section explores and then applies an extension of typical kinaesthetic-based pronunciation teaching: haptic pronunciation teaching (Acton, 2018).


Haptic pronunciation teaching

Haptics has permeated modern society. The term “haptic” comes from the Greek “haptikos”, relating to the sense of touch; “haptics” is the technological application of touch and resultant body movement, fundamental to surgery, gaming, prosthetics, haptic cinema and smartphones, to name a few areas. The concept of haptic was taken up by Acton and incorporated into pronunciation instruction by combining movement (i.e., gestures) and touch to create a systematic haptic approach to L2 pronunciation teaching (Acton, Baker, Burri, & Teaman, 2013; Burri & Baker, 2016). In essence, the approach integrates sight, sound, movement, and touch to capture the attention of L2 learners and, at the same time, it enhances their language awareness in an exploratory sense. Systematic movement can also serve as a tool for modeling, feedback and correction. The basic premise of the approach is that teaching the sound system of English systematically should lead to enhanced uptake and retention of newly learned phonological features and vocabulary (Burri, Baker, & Acton, 2016).

The support from research for haptic pronunciation teaching (HaPT) as presented in this article comes from several sources: studies as to (a) the efficacy of using gesture to support L2 learning and teaching  (e.g., Macedonia & Klimesch, 2014; McCafferty & Stam, 2008; Morett, 2014), (b) the impact of haptic technology on training and performance (e.g., Hamza-Lup & Stanescu, 2010; San Diego et al., 2012), and (c) reflective reports from teachers who have used aspects of the system over the course of the last decade. The “curriculum”, phonological processes, and most of the techniques of HaPT are relatively typical of pronunciation teaching today. What is different is the systematic application of gesture, further refined and enhanced by the use of touch in anchoring gestural patterns accompanying speech. Furthermore, comprising a coherent method applicable to almost all learners and proficiency levels, HaPT uses a well-defined repertoire of techniques, striving to make them more effective and “memorable” from the outset.


Bringing it all together: Haptic (assisted) pragmatic teaching

The innovative nature of HaPT alone resonates with Levis and Moyer’s (2014) call “for an approach to pronunciation teaching that prioritizes social factors and intelligibility rather than nativeness. Whatever such an approach will ultimately look like, it will clearly not look like traditional pronunciation teaching” (p. 289). In addition, as Yates (2017) points out, pronunciation and pragmatics have not yet been brought together “in a way that is of real practical value for language teachers” (p. 227).

This paper is an attempt to bridge that gap. For example, intonation patterns with accompanying systematic gesture are mapped onto prefabricated “chunks” of language (see description below) that form speech acts (e.g., apologies, requests). Two functions of these pedagogical movement patterns (PMPs) are to foreground intonational features (pitch, volume, and stress) and to enhance attention to key stressed sounds and sound-patterns (Acton, 2018).

In exploring pragmatic competence, we have consistently observed that this approach helps learners become more expressive. They report gaining confidence in their oral ability to recall expressions that had been “haptically anchored” in class. Overall, both directly and indirectly the approach seems to be contributing to their pragmatic competence both through enhanced automaticity and general improved awareness of prosodic correlates of speech acts in context.

The following section describes several applicable features of haptic pragmatics teaching, followed by representative dialogue work to illustrate what this form of “haptic pragmatics” looks like in the L2 classroom.


Prefabricated language chunks and touchinamis

Prefabricated Language Chunks (PLCs) – defined as a series of several words that are typically used together in a fixed expression – form the foundation or point of departure of haptic pragmatics teaching. That is similar to the notion of using template sentences (Gilbert, 2014) – or fixed utterances, also called chunks of language (McCarthy, 2010) – to enhance fluent oral output of L2 learners (Pang & Burri, 2018). From a phonological perspective, PLCs can also be considered thought groups or production groups. Intonation mapped on to these fixed pieces of language makes up an essential feature of the system. Intonation is typically defined as the “pitch or “melody” of the voice during speech” (Wennerstrom, 2001, p. 17); in other words, the rising or falling of the pitch of our voice when we speak. Pitch movement can take place over several syllables or a couple of words. Invariably, intonation is intertwined with prominence (i.e., the stressed syllable in the most strongly stressed word in a PLC). That means that a pitch change occurs at the prominent syllable, and, as Brazil’s work (1997) demonstrated, speakers can vary the placement of prominent syllables in a tone unit (such as a PLC) to change the meaning for discourse focus of an utterance.

Students are first introduced to a haptic intonation technique called the ‘Touchinami’ (Acton, 2018). ‘Touchinami’ is a word play that combines touch with nami, the Japanese word for wave (all three of us have extensive experience teaching English in Japan). In essence, a touchinami is a systematic gesture that combines movement and touch for learners to experience an intonational contour and prominence within or bounded by a PLC. The following is a link to two videos demonstrating several touchinamis L2 teachers can incorporate in their classrooms: (see Basic Intonation and Expressiveness videos). If a teacher lacks confidence in his or her ability to demonstrate the intonation patterns, the two videos can, of course, also be used for training students by having the class do the touchinamis with the videos played at the front of the classroom.

The English language contains a plethora of intonational patterns used to convey meaning. To keep it manageable for our learners, however, we usually focus only on the four basic and most common patterns. These are:

  • Level
  • Fall
  • Rise
  • Rise-Fall

With more advanced learners we usually include two more patterns: fall-rise (expressing scepticism, for example) and final fall (where the voice falls markedly, indicating that the speaker is finished talking, either with that conversational turn or the conversation itself).

These patterns can be viewed in the demo videos included in the website above.

Regardless of the level of our students, we train them in the touchinamis by first demonstrating each one to the class. Next, learners do each PMP along with the teacher a few times while doing several example sentences (see below) out loud, simultaneously. This initial training phase occurs in a controlled environment, and is coupled with class discussions about how and in what (pragmatic) contexts to use the example sentences.


Level [L]

A speaker typically uses level tone when she hesitates or thinks before responding. For example: “well…that’s possible.” Note that prominence is in bold und underlined. As demonstrated in the video above, it’s on the prominent syllable or word where the speaker needs to touch his hands while saying the example out loud. The arrow shows the direction of the movement of the left hand while the hand included in the image represents the right hand where touch occurs. The annotation for this touchinami is [L] which represents level tone. The annotation letters are put in square brackets to clearly distinguish them from the rest of the text (for the use of this annotation system in role-plays, see Table 4 below). Along with doing the example a few times with the learners, providing images (see below) further facilitates the students’ uptake of the intonational patterns:


Fall [F]

The second touchinami is used for basic/declarative statements, at a comma or period, or in wh-questions. Examples include: “Nice to meet you” and “Where are you going?”


Rise [R]

A rising touchinami is commonly used in basic yes/no questions, such as “Are you okay?”, or in a series of items, such as // “red, / green / and blue” //. The final word in the list, however, would end with an [F].


Rise-Fall [R-F]

The fourth and last touchinami reflects enthusiasm, empathy and emotions. An example in the case of an emotional response or expression is: “It’s beautiful!” The touchinami can also be used to emphasize word stress when learning new vocabulary. In the word “pronunciation”, for example, the [R-F] touchimani foregrounds the stressed syllable a.


Transitioning to speech acts

Having been oriented to the touchinamis, students are ready to work with speech acts (SAs). A speech act is defined as “[a]n action performed by the use of an utterance to communicate” (Yule, 1996, p. 134). Functions the speaker intends to convey may include apologizing, requesting, suggesting, ordering, offering, and reprimanding. Besides intention, speech acts can also be classified into five categories (LoCastro, 2003): (1) Declarations, (2) Representatives, (3) Expressives, (4), Directives, and (5) Commissives. A speech act may be longer than a PLC, but the underlying phonological principles of prominence and intonation still apply.

Much like the touchinami training sessions, we go through each speech act category with our students and have them map a PMP onto example sentences.



This speech act involves a change in the status or condition of an object or of the world as a result of an utterance. Example sentence are:

  • War is declared.
  • You’re out! (umpire)
  • I now pronounce you husband and wife.
  • I quit!

The touchinamis associated with declarations are Rise-Fall and Fall, depending on the emphasis a speaker desires to add to the speech act. War is declared, for instance, has falling intonation because it is a declarative sentence. You’re out!, alternatively, is an emphatic statement and therefore carries a rise-fall contour.



The second speech act comprises commitment to the truth of a given situation. This can involve statements of fact, descriptions, affirmations, conclusions, reports, and beliefs. These are all linked with a Fall. For instance:

  • A dog barks.
  • The earth is flat.
  • Australia is hot and dry in the summer.



The third speech act involves expression of attitudes and feelings (emotional and physical). These are all linked with a Rise-Fall. Examples we use with our students are:

  • I’m truly sorry!
  • That hurts!
  • Thank you!
  • Congratulations!



An attempt to get the listener to do (or not do) something entails the fourth speech act. Actions that are included in this category are orders, requests, suggestions, recommendations, and warnings. For instance:

  • Clean up your room.
  • I don’t recommend that movie. It’s terrible.
  • Could you open the window?

For directives, two touchinamis are used. Clean up your room is a declarative statement, and therefore has a falling pattern, whereas a basic yes/no question such as Could you open the window? is likely to carry a rising contour.



Commissives typically involve a commitment to a future action. This can entail a speaker promising, swearing, threatening, or pledging something. Examples are:

  • I promise to do my homework.
  • I won’t screw it up!

As with declarations and directives, for commissives a speaker has two choices of touchinamis depending on the emphasis she wants to place on an utterance. The first example above is a simple promise with a falling pattern, while the second one is an emphatic pledge carrying a rise-fall contour.

Students are then given opportunities to experience these speech acts haptically and are provided with several ‘cheat sheets’ that include a variety of theme-oriented functions. The sheet below (see Table 1), as an example, contains speech acts that can be used when providing opinions in agreement-disagreement discourse. In essence, the sheet is a summary, which includes several speech acts, sample utterances, and associated touchinamis. The overview includes a list of the haptic PMPs. Throughout the course, this sheet serves as a reference point when we discuss, identify, and review speech acts before having the class engage in communicative tasks.


Table 1

Agreement-Disagreement Cheat Sheet

Expressing an Opinion

In my view …

Personally, I think

It seems to me that opinion…


Conceding an Argument

Maybe you’re right.

Alright, you win.

You’ve convinced me.


Strong Agreement


I couldn’t agree more.

I completely agree.

I agree.



I see your point, but

Yes, but

That’s got some truth to it, but


Qualified Agreement

That’s somewhat true.

On the whole, yes.

I’d go along with that.


Strong Disagreement

I disagree.

On the contrary…

I absolutely disagree.


If speakers would like to express more strongly that they have reservations toward the interlocutor’s agreement, they might place a slight rise at the end of this contour (see Table 2 below). Adding this touchinami is often necessary in contexts in which this slight intonational uptick (a slight rise) plays an important socio-cultural role (e.g., in Canada).


Table 2

Touchinami with Slight Uptake

Qualified Agreement

That’s somewhat true.

On the whole, yes.

I’d go along with that.



Achieving automatization and pragmatics competence

Now that the learners have been engaged with “haptic” speech acts, they can practice these speech acts in a controlled learning environment (Baker, 2014). Role-plays using fixed dialogues are an effective, fun, and collaborative way to achieve this. At first we provide learners with a dialogue that includes: (1) prominence (in red); the touchinami (in square brackets); and (3) speech acts (in the right-hand column). Table 3 shows an example of such a dialogue.


Table 3

Haptic Dialogue


[L] If you ask me … [F] rats are great companions.

Expressing an opinion


[R-F] Rats are dumb!

Strong disagreement


[F] Perhaps you’re right.

Conceding an argument


[R]* Could you say that louder?

(*[F-R] Could you say that louder?!!)

Expressing a directive

To make the dialogue more challenging, an additional feature can be added: emotion. Research has shown the importance of emotion in the classroom. Emotions are linked in research especially to self-esteem, affecting the L2 learning process (Aragão, 2011). Emotion is integral to verbal communication and can impact group dynamics and collaborative knowledge construction (Imai, 2010). From a communicative point of view, being able to use pitch to convey emotions in discourse, for example, is an important element that enhances a speaker’s pragmatic competence. We divide pitch into three levels with each level being associated with several different emotions (in italics):

  • High-pitch moods: Excited, enthusiastic, surprised, terrorized
  • Mid-pitch moods: Direct, business-like, confident, matter-of-fact
  • Low-pitch moods: Mysterious, calm, strong, depressed, romantic

The aforementioned dialogue (see Table 3) including emotions would then look as follows (see Table 4):


Table 4

Haptic Dialogue Including Emotions


[L] If you ask me … [F] rats are great companions.

Expressing an opinion

Mid-pitch: matter-of-fact


[R-F] Rats are dumb!

Strong disagreement

High-pitch: surprised


[F] Perhaps you’re right.

Conceding an argument

Low-pitch: depressed


[R]* Could you say that louder?

(*[F-R] Could you say that louder?!!)

Expressing a directive

High-pitch: excited

After students have practiced a dialogue a few times (with PMPs), they can write their own dialogues. Generally, 4-6 lines are ideal for students to work on in pairs or small groups. We provide opportunities for guided practice with the goal of further developing our students’ pragmatic competence. Reducing the involvement of the teacher at this stage is important, particularly since L2 instructors often focus on controlled techniques without moving to less restricted learning tasks (Baker, 2014; Burri, Baker, & Chen, 2017).

In our haptic pragmatics approach, the dialogue work is followed by spontaneous role-plays. Students are put into pairs and given a few current topics on which they need to agree/disagree while using the speech acts and associated touchinamis. Prompts we have used include:

  • Celebrities earn too much money
  • Homework is harmful
  • Studying grammar is more important than practicing conversation skills
  • Summer is the best season of the year
  • Swimming in the ocean is better than swimming in a pool

If students struggle with the touchinamis, further scaffolding activities, such as asking and answering simple questions with the use of touchinamis, can be added. Overall, the underlying premise of this guided phase is for learners to automatize their use of speech acts.

Mapping touchinamis onto speech acts and practicing role-plays should be effective in enhancing both automatization and pragmatic competence. This approach draws on several automatization models (e.g., Gatbonton & Segalowitz, 2005; Gilbert, 2014; Thornbury, 2005), but the “mechanics” of how this is internalized and then becomes available for spontaneous production continues to be something of a mystery to researchers. What we have done, therefore, is expand some of these pedagogical notions by combining movement, touch, prefabricated language chunks, and intonation into teacher-friendly system that can be used to help L2 learners improve their pragmatic competence.


Implications for various educational settings

Haptic pragmatics teaching, or at least certain features of it, can be used in almost any educational context. The setting in which we have used haptic pronunciation instruction most often is English for academic purposes (EAP). Students in EAP courses are often fatigued and it is not uncommon for learners to suffer from stress and anxiety. The kinaesthetic/tactile nature of the haptic approach is not only invigorating but often brings a welcome change to the somewhat monotonous EAP routine. From an L2 learning perspective, a teacher can use the touchinami PMPs to introduce and model prefabricated language chunks (PLCs) and speech acts that the students require to effectively engage in collaborative tasks and to deliver formal or informal presentations; two common speaking activities in academic preparatory courses.

To help learners become more comfortable and confident in using the PMPs, it is essential that students practice them outside class time. Haptic pragmatics teaching with its emphasis on communication being situated within a social context could also be used to help increase EAP students’ awareness of the differences between spoken and written discourse. Student could be given a written passage and asked to rewrite it into a dialogue. When creating the dialogue, students must identify the speech acts and accompanying emotions. As a final task, students could be asked to perform their dialogue – including the PMPs – to the rest of the class.

With lower level learners, a teacher can use the PMPs to introduce, model, and practice intonation patterns of relevant short utterances. These may include yes/no questions and simple declarative sentences. In applying the same techniques with school age children, instructors may or may not engage in much metacognitive discussion (explaining or even having learners mirror them as they perform the haptic PMP accompanying their speech or model utterance.) As for vocabulary work the R-F (rise-fall) touchinami is particularly effective to foreground the stressed syllable in a multisyllabic word. The students say a new word out loud and do the R-F PMP at the same time, touching hands on the stressed syllable. Word lists lend themselves well to this type of controlled practice.

The haptic approach requires trust and genuine concern for individual students, in part because the very social act of mirroring another’s gesture – or being required to – also mirrors or simulates intimate interpersonal engagement. Once that is established, haptic pragmatics teaching helps create interpersonal connections, which is particularly important when teaching immigrant and refugee students. Some traumatized students may find the approach, specifically moving their bodies with more animation in public, to be a bit more challenging initially; however, along with the very controlled and mediated nature of the method, practicing and using PMPs over a few weeks should improve the learners’ expressiveness and confidence.

Dialogue work is also particularly suitable for experiencing appropriate language in real-life, authentic situations. We usually create dialogue scenarios targeting language necessary for accomplishing normal everyday chores, as would be needed by newly arrived immigrants. When introducing the dialogue to the class, the teacher initially models the dialogue, has students “do” the dialogue with her (with accompanying gestures) and then gives the students ample time and opportunities to practice it. Preliterate students can generally mirror the teacher without relying on the written dialogue.

In large English as a foreign language (EFL) classes, teachers often struggle with motivating all their students to communicate orally. The haptic approach is useful in this regard because the teacher can clearly see the students do the PMPs in class. Additionally, EFL teachers are frequently required to use textbooks that are issued by the local ministry. These books almost always include some sort of dialogue work the students are expected to practice or role-play.

When working on a unit that contains a dialogue, a teacher and her students could jointly identify the touchinamis and then perform the dialogue together. If time constraints are an issue, the teacher could prepare the touchinamis ahead of time and once in class have the students mirror the dialogue work with using the PMPs.

The basic framework, using haptic-enabled pronunciation (especially prosodics such as intonation and rhythm) to enhance instruction in the pragmatic dimension of learners’ emerging interlanguages, has been applied successfully in a wide range of classrooms and contexts. 



Being able to express something accurately and appropriately in the right context can be challenging for any L2 speaker. Equipping learners with these necessary skills is still, however, seldom addressed in the contemporary classroom. In this paper we proposed a haptic approach to teaching pragmatics, or complementing such work. If the use of all four touchinamis appears to be overwhelming to teachers (and their students) at first, we suggest that they begin with only one touchinami and map this one pattern onto a few simple speech acts. After introducing the pattern, teachers can then focus on the regular integration and dedicated classroom practice of just one PMP into instruction of a particular speech act before moving onto a subsequent PMP. Instructors are encouraged to expand their PMP repertoires gradually as opportunities arise in their regular speaking or vocabulary course work.  

Anecdotally, the feedback we have received over the years from students and L2 teachers has been extremely positive. We are now in the planning stage of conducting research to further explore the degree to which haptic pragmatic teaching has an impact on learners’ pragmatic and overall communicative competence. In the meantime, we encourage other teachers to trial at least some aspects of haptic pragmatics teaching in their own classrooms. It promises to be a moving and touching experience!



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Tagged  Various Articles 
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    Timothy M. Cook, Japan

  • Proposing a Haptic Approach to Facilitating L2 Learners’ Pragmatic Competence
    Michael Burri, Australia;William Acton, Canada;Amanda Baker, Australia