Teaching Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication Online

  • Erin Waugh NorQuest College


English in the Workplace (EWP) programs are increasingly surfacing across Can- ada to assist internationally educated professionals (IEPs) with the challenges of integrating into the Canadian workplace. One critical topic of these courses is targeted pragmatics (soft skills) instruction. By learning these skills, IEPs gain valuable tools for communicating effectively and appropriately with their Cana- dian-born colleagues and leaders. The workplace is also becoming increasingly culturally diverse, broadening the required skillsets of IEPs to include intercultural competence—the ability to adapt both cognitively and behaviourally across cultures to achieve communicative goals (Bennett, 1993). As an EWP instructor in a medium-sized institution in Alberta, I worked on the redesign of an EWP course with both pragmatics and intercultural components to be offered online. The course results showed learner development in both pragmatics and intercul- tural competence. In this article, I outline the theory that informed the course design, content, and assessment tools; discuss results of a sample of learners from four pilot offerings; and provide considerations for instructors and instructional designers tasked with the development of online courses of this nature.

Author Biography

Erin Waugh, NorQuest College
Erin Waugh delivers intercultural and language training across Canada where multicultural workplaces present unique challenges for transformative learning. He co-authored a chapter in the CLB Support Kit on incorporating pragmatics into a CLB-based program. Erin continues to be inspired by the exploration of the interface between language and culture.
How to Cite
Waugh, E. (2014). Teaching Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication Online. TESL Canada Journal, 30(7), 98. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v30i7.1154
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