Foreign language (FL) teaching can follow two main directions and, in most of the cases, one excludes the other, that is focus on form (grammar) and focus on meaning (vocabulary and understanding). This paper seeks to show how successful FL learning should bridge a gap between language study and language use by integrating traditional teaching of grammar with pragmatic features. Successful learning should include accuracy, fluency and appropriateness. How can we, as teachers, do that? This can be done by adding pragmatics to our language course syllabi through specific teaching activities where focus is on meaning and authentic material and form, although essential, is secondary. The aim of this paper is to determine whether advanced learners of English possess greater pragmatic competence as compared to lower proficiency students. In order to test this hypothesis, this paper will provide the results of an experiment carried out on students of English from the Faculty of Economics at the Italian university of Ferrara.
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