Lived experiences as a resource for scaffolding metapragmatic understandings with young language learners

Milica Savić, Anders Myrset, Maria Economidou-Kogetsidis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The present study explores the ways in which young EFL learners draw on lived experiences, viewed as interactional experiences in L1 or L2 which they have participated in or observed, to ground their metapragmatic understandings. Building on previous research with adult (e.g. McConachy 2018) and young learners (Savić 2021; Savić and Myrset 2021), the present study sets out to explore how 9-, 11- and 13-year-old EFL learners use lived experiences as a resource for scaffolding their metapragmatic understandings. The data set comprises task-based group discussions performed by 167 young Greek Cypriot (n = 88) and Norwegian EFL learners (n = 79), aged roughly 9, 11 and 13. The findings reveal that lived experiences were spontaneously used by all age groups, most often to ground understandings of the interplay between language and context. In addition, they were employed to make generalisations about in/appropriate pragmatic behaviours and ground explorations of similarities and/or differences between L1 and L2. Providing empirical and pedagogical insights, this study suggests that lived experiences may be useful resources for scaffolding metapragmatic understandings in the young learner EFL classroom.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalLanguage Learning Journal
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


    • Greek EFL learners
    • Lived experiences
    • metapragmatic understandings
    • Norwegian EFL learners
    • pragmatics instruction
    • young language learners


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