Teacher agency in pragmatic pedagogy

Investigating non-native language teachers’ perceived pragmatic knowledge, beliefs and practices


  • Zia Tajeddin Tarbiat Modares University
  • Mehri Bagheri Monash University




pragmatic assessment, pragmatic instruction, pragmatic knowledge, pragmatics, teacher beliefs, teacher practices


Despite the existence of a large body of research on pragmatic instruction, teachers’ beliefs about teaching and assessing pragmatic competence have received scant attention. The present study sought to investigate Persian-speaking EFL teachers’ beliefs and perceived knowledge about pragmatic instruction and assessment and their self-reported instructional practice. To achieve this aim, a questionnaire was administered to 204 EFL teachers and 30 of these teachers also participated in semi-structured interviews. The findings showed that even though the teachers were aware of the importance of pragmatics, they did not consider themselves highly competent in teaching the subject to learners or in the assessment of learners’ pragmatic abilities. The most frequent method they reported having used was pragmatic corrective feedback. Further, the teachers believed that their colleagues and institute directors also gave little weight to the improvement of learners’ pragmatic abilities, and they further argued that textbooks and exams, while containing some pragmatics-related sections, failed to enhance and measure learners’ pragmatic knowledge. These results have critical implications for teachers’ pragmatic awareness in their professional development and for the inclusion of more explicit pragmatic activities in textbooks.

Author Biographies

Zia Tajeddin, Tarbiat Modares University

Zia Tajeddin is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Tarbiat Modares University, Iran. His main areas of research center on L2 pragmatics and teacher education in the context of EIL/ELF. He is the Co-Editor of Applied Pragmatics (John Benjamins). His recently published books include the co-edited volumes Lessons from Good Language Teachers (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Pragmatics Pedagogy in English as an International Language (Routledge, 2021).

Mehri Bagheri, Monash University

Mehri Bagheri has a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Monash University, Australia. Her research interests include cultural linguistics, intercultural pragmatics, English as an international language and English language teaching.


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How to Cite

Tajeddin, Z. ., & Bagheri, M. . (2021). Teacher agency in pragmatic pedagogy: Investigating non-native language teachers’ perceived pragmatic knowledge, beliefs and practices. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 15(3), 313–333. https://doi.org/10.1558/jalpp.21054