Description and explanation of pragmatic development: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Developmental research in L2 pragmatics addresses two essential issues: changes within the L2 pragmatics systems and influences on the systems (Bardovi-Harlig, 1999). These two issues can be best examined through the lens of longitudinal research, which by design allows us to observe how L2 learners change over time and helps establish causal relationships between change and time. Although the body of longitudinal studies describing changes has expanded in the past decade, not many studies have documented influences on the changing pragmatic systems. Existing studies are largely descriptive rather than explanatory, and do not explain how and why changes occurred. To address this limitation, this paper presents mixed methods research as a promising approach. By integrating quantitative and qualitative data analyses in a single study, mixed methods research can reveal patterns of change over time, and at the same time help reveal individual and contextual factors influencing the observed patterns. Using example studies, this paper illustrates how mixed methods approaches can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of pragmatic development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • L2 pragmatics
  • Longitudinal research
  • Mixed methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Description and explanation of pragmatic development: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this