Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching

Pragmatic Presupposition and College English Teaching

Author WangJun
Tutor ZhangJing
School Northeast Forestry University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords pragmatic presupposition college English teaching presuppositional triggers
CLC H319
Type Master's thesis
Year 2008
Downloads 287
Quotes 2
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In college English teaching,students sometimes have comprehension errors in reading English texts without unknown words and grammatical difficulties;the English writings sometimes have the problems of loose structure,illogical order and redundancy;the English listening teaching rigidly adheres to the analysis of the superficial language structures,lacks informational analysis and inferential strategies,results in errors in comprehension and judgment;in the transference of English and Chinese are sometimes the dissymmetry and absence between the information expressed in the original and that of the translation,etc.This paper tries to establish a systematic framework for applying the theory of pragmatic supposition to the college English teaching in order to solve the practical teaching problems.Presupposition is the preconditions or presupposed background knowledge not directly expressed by but hidden in the utterances of language communication.It’s a pragmatic phenomenon,closely related to the speaker and other non-linguistic factors,and an unstable and changeable linguistic phenomenon dependent on context.Pragmatic presupposition has such characters as common knowledge,felicity,subjectivity,latency,and unidirectionality. Pragmatic presupposition determines the choice of information focus and its position in a sentence,organizes the discourse into a coherent whole,concise,clear and smooth,and achieves the expected stylistic effects.In college English teaching,if teachers teach the knowledge about pragmatic presupposition in listening teaching,introduce the frequently-seen patterns of presupposition, increase the presuppositional sensitivity of students to certain words and structures,guide students to use the theory on presuppositional information to make forecasts on base of written listening material,listen purposefully,and get rid of the distraction of the minor and redundant information,the ability of students to obtain major information and linguistic inference will be strengthened and their listening competence will improve remarkably.George Yule divided presuppositional triggers into factive presupposition,non-factive presupposition,counter-factive presupposition,existential presupposition,lexical presupposition and structural presupposition.Presuppositional triggers are helpful for us to understand the true intention of the speaker or writer.In college English reading teaching,if teachers introduce the discourse organizing function of pragmatic presupposition and the relevant presupposition triggers,and teach students to use these triggers to communicate with the writer,the comprehension competence of students will be greatly enhanced.The essential function of presupposition is to build a framework for the further development of discourse.In college English writing teaching,teachers can use the theory on pragmatic presupposition to construct a handy training program for textual organization,increase the textual coherence, economy and structural perfection of the English writings by students.In college English translation teaching,teachers should focus on developing the pragmatic presuppositional thinking of students,enable them to grasp the presupposed information in source text / speech exactly,understand the original thoroughly,correctly reorganize and reproduce the pragmatic presuppositions in the target language,carry out the functional equivalence in translation and successfully realize the smooth and accurate communication.With the instruction of pragmatic presupposition in college English teaching,the complete understanding and integral acquisition of English and Chinese of students will come true.In conclusion,to implement the Curriculum Requirements for College English Teaching promulgated by the Ministry of Education of China,we should emphasize the instruction of the theory on pragmatic presupposition in college English teaching,carry it through from beginning to end.It’s one of the important means to realize the college English teaching reform, improve the effects of college English teaching,strengthenr the practical and integrative language abilities of students,in order to cultivate the compound talents to adapt to the global integration and meet the requirements of the reform and opening in China.

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