Effect of National Cultural Distance as Predictor of Pragmatic Competence on Writing Proficiency

Vahid Rafieyan


Writers whose national culture has less distance from the cultural values of the target language community are supposed to be more familiar with the pragmatic features of the target language and consequently write more comprehensibly for target language readers than writers whose national culture has more distance from the cultural values of the target language community. To assess the actual effect of national cultural distance from target language community as a predictor of target language pragmatic competence on target language writing proficiency, the current study was conducted over a group of German undergraduate students perceived as culturally close to Britons as the target language community and a group of South Korean undergraduate students perceived as culturally distant from Britons. The study, which compared the ability of the two groups of participants in using proper target language politeness strategies in writing letters of application, found that less national cultural distance from the cultural values of the target language community results in more appropriate use of target language pragmatic features in target language writing. The pedagogical implications of the findings suggested providing opportunities for language learners in foreign language contexts to have contact with target language speakers through telecollaborative partnership and to be exposed to target language pragmatic features through target language pragmatic instruction.

Keywords: National Cultural Distance, Pragmatic Competence, Writing Proficiency

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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