Investigating Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Pragmatic Competence of EFL learners in Iraq

Abstract

Pragmatic competence is a crucial element of the communicative competence. This element is highly neglected in the ELT in Iraq in which most concentration drawn upon the organizational competence. This paper tries to investigate the challenges as well as the opportunities for developing the pragmatic competence in Iraqi schools. The present study depends on one instrument, students' test, in gathering data to find out the students' pragmatic ability that they have already developed in the course of their studying.The results of the testees' responses showed that the pragmatic ability of the student is not that good since a lot of them have failed in the exam in general. The subjects were failed in the first two question which are concerned with testing the pragmalinguistic use of English and the situational pictures respectively. On the other, the testees succeeded in the third question which is concerned with giving speech acts i.e. sentences , questions ,commands, etc. this success could be attributed to the concentration of teachers on asking the students to give examples about the taught rule.These results draw the attention to the importance of giving the pragmatic use of language much more attention and not to satisfy with teaching the structural units of the language.