Pragmatic Diagnosis and Resolution of Learners’ Language Difficulties

Esther Olayinka Bamigbola


The school environment is typically a complex social one in which the learner participates. Observing the child in this environment is ideal and should be a priority for diagnosing learner’s language competence. This paper examines techniques through which teachers can diagnose learners’ language problems. These involve the use of pragmatic tools such as intention, inference and world knowledge. The study also employs the use of the six levels of competence as mapped out by Lawal in his pragma-communicative model to suggest suitable language activities for learners. The activities are just samples to guide language teachers in planning their language lessons. The result of the study reveals that many Nigerian students and generally, second language learners of English, are deficient in demonstrating good and appropriate language behaviours. On the basis of the findings, we recommend a more pragmatic way of teaching English or any other language, as a second language. Also, the number of learners in the classrooms should be reduced to enable the practice of skill-oriented teaching techniques.

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