Exploring Pragmatic Identities of Teachers, Pupils and Parents in Chinese Primary School Online Education

Jue Wu


The study of pragmatic identity has been a trend in the field of pragmatics. The primary schools in China have carried out online education in the spring of 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and this study focuses on two primary pupils and their teachers and parents, paying attention to the pragmatic identities constructed and the discursive devices used by the primary school teachers, pupils and their parents in this special online communication process. It is found that the teachers in this case study tend to construct four types of pragmatic identities in the online teaching activities, namely the knowledgeable scholars, instructional technicians, activity organizers and performance evaluators. The pupils participated in this study mainly build two types of pragmatic identities, namely the study explorers and atmosphere enliveners. The parents involved in the study tend to construct three pragmatic identities – teaching assistants, facility supporters and co-learners – in the online education context. Some discursive devices are used to construct these pragmatic identities, including the devices of language style, speech act, address, vocabulary selection and paralinguistic means. This study also yields some interesting findings on the interaction among teachers, pupils and parents during the process of identity construction in the online teaching and learning environment.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v13i3.18605

Copyright (c) 2021 Jue Wu

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