Intercultural pragmatics and proficiency: ‘Polite’ noises for cultural appropriateness

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39 Scopus citations


This article summarizes a study in the field of German-English interlanguage pragmatics which investigates pragmatic declarative and procedural knowledge as realized by routine formulas and conversational strategies. Language instruction which has the goal of developing metapragmatic declarative knowledge as well as situational/ functional (procedural) knowledge-results in real progress toward proficiency, even at the elementary level of language instruction. The results of the empirical study show a typology of deficits and characteristic pragmatic aspects of American learners’ German interlanguage. These findings and further studies of the pragmatics of the native, target, and interlanguages of our students will help us successfully teach them to make the right polite noises at the time most interactionally appropriate for achieving their personal communicative goals in the target language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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