Research undertaken in 2010 with an interpreting class at a New Zealand university showed that explicit teaching of pragmatic features of New Zealand English discourse helped develop the students’ awareness of the differences between the semantic meaning and the pragmatic purpose of an utterance.

In this research project, the authors intended to test whether explicit classroom instruction of pragmatic features and these features’ impact on meaning through the use of recorded discourse samples would be effective, considering that explicit language instruction to language learners has been researched and was found to assist success (Kasper & Roever, 2004). In the classroom, teachers used samples of spontaneous New Zealand English discourse to identify and discuss the use of pragmatic features.

In the project, the researchers also aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of classroom practice in teaching and learning pragmatics. The data for this research came from the interpreting students’ reflective blogs, 2 participant surveys, and the researcher–teacher’s weekly log.