Profesionales de la Educación Bilingüe

Dr. Carmen Maíz-Arévalo



Carmen Maíz-Arévalo ​is professor of Pragmatics and English at the Complutense University of Madrid, having obtained her PhD in English Linguistics in 2001. Her fields of interest are mainly pragmatics and intercultural pragmatics; more specifically, speech act theory and verbal (im)politeness. For the past few years, she has combined this interest in Pragmatics with computer-mediated communication. She has published numerous articles on these issues in prestigious journals such as Computer Assisted Language Learning; the Journal of Politeness Research, Journal of Pragmatics, Discourse Studies and Intercultural Pragmatics, amongst others; and taken part in many congresses, both national and international. She also acts as a reviewer for different journals such as the Journal of Pragmatics, GIST, Sage Open or Revista Iberoamericana de Tecnologías del Aprendizaje, among others.

Communicative dissonance in intercultural classrooms: can explicit instruction help?


Mastering a foreign language involves more than having a good linguistic competence. In fact, one of the most difficult aspects is acquiring the necessary pragmatic competence (Hymes, 1972) to act according to context and the interlocutors’ expectations and beliefs (Yates, 2010; Piller, 2017). In the L1, such pragmatic knowledge is both learnt and acquired throughout the individual’s ‘acculturation process’ (Schumann, 1986). However, it might be a source of misunderstandings and stereotype reinforcement when using a L2, especially in intercultural situations, where interlocutors may bring different ‘pragmatic expectations’ to the encounter and where pragmatic failure (Thomas, 1983) and dissonance (Zamborlin, 2007) are more likely to take place. Thus, as language teachers, one of our crucial roles is helping our students develop their pragmatic competence in L2 but, even more importantly, to raise their meta-pragmatic awareness by means of explicit and implicit instruction so that they can become better communicators in intercultural contexts.

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