Naoko Taguchi-Modern Languages - Carnegie Mellon University

Naoko Taguchi

Associate Professor of Japanese and Second Language Acquisition

Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Baker Hall 160
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Office: BH 370
Phone: (412) 268-7991
Fax: (412) 268-1328
Department Member Since: 2005


I consider myself a researcher in the field of applied linguistics who examines a range of real-world problems in linguistics, second language acquisition (SLA), and language teaching.

My primary research interests include pragmatics in SLA. Pragmatic competence – ability to use language appropriately in social context – plays a key role in the development of second language proficiency. Learning a language involves more than learning grammar and vocabulary. The rules of communication such as how to speak politely or understanding another person’s intention are critical skills in order to become a fully competent speaker in the target culture. Learners need to have a range of linguistic forms (e.g., grammar and lexis) at their disposal to perform language functions (e.g., greeting), but at the same time, they need to understand the sociocultural norms and rules that govern the usage of these forms (e.g., what to say to greet whom). Lack of this knowledge may lead to not saying the “right” thing or not acting properly, consequently causing a cross-cultural miscommunication or cultural stereotyping. The goal of my research program is to investigate the development of pragmatic competence in various sub-constructs based on three oft-asked questions in SLA: (1) How do learners develop pragmatic competence in a second language? (2) What internal and external factors affect its development?; (3) What variations are observed in the process and outcome  of the development? By doing so, I intend to strengthen the connections between the field of pragmatics and SLA at large, and to profile interlanguage pragmatics as specific area of inquiry in SLA research.

My additional research interests involve second language education and classroom-based research. Over years "language classroom" has been the heart of my research practice. Research questions I pursue often derive from the questions I ask about my teaching and students’ progress. For instance, I have investigated listening strategies that students employ to comprehend aural texts effectively. I have also examined the level of students' anxiety and motivation and its effects on their classroom performance. In another line of research, I have investigated the degree of implementation of the national English curriculum in local Japanese high schools, as well as educational opportunities available in English-medium universities in Japan. My most recent classroom-based research relates to Japanese language teaching. Using my own Japanese classes, I investigated the effect of chunk-learning and communicative drills in enhancing accuracy, fluency, and complexity of language use. Throughout these venues, research has always been a tool for me to understand students and improve my instruction in classroom settings.

As described above, throughout my career in the field of applied linguistics, pragmatics and second language teaching have been the areas where my personal and professional interests intersect. I wish to continue to devote my effort to these research areas in order to better understand the nature and process of second language acquisition.


Ph. D., Northern Arizona University, 2003


Books and Journal Special Issue

  • Taguchi, N., & Sykes, J. M. (eds.) (2013). Technology in interlanguage pragmatics research and teaching. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Taguchi, N. (2012). Context, individual differences, and pragmatic competence. New York/Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  • Taguchi, N. (ed.) (2009). Pragmatic competence in Japanese as a second/foreign language. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Taguchi, N. (ed.) (forthcoming). English-medium education in the global society. International Review of Applied Linguistics. 

Selected Articles in Refereed Journals and Handbooks

  • Taguchi, N. (invited submission/in preparation). Instructed pragmatics. State-of-the-art article. Language Teaching.
  • Taguchi, N. (invited submission/in preparation). Interlanguage pragmatics. In A. Barron, P. Grundy, & G. Yueguo (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford/New York: Routledge.
  • Taguchi, N. (invited submission/in preparation). “Contextually” speaking: Pragmatic learning abroad, in class, and online. Opening chapter for E. Alcon-Soler & L. Yates (eds.), Pragmatic learning across contexts. Special issue to System.
  • Taguchi, N., Crowford, B., Wetzel, D. (in press). What linguistic features are indicative of writing quality? A case of argumentative essays in a college composition program. TESOL Quarterly.
  • Taguchi, N., Li, S., & Liu, Y. (in press). Comprehension of conversational implicature in L2 Chinese. Pragmatics and Cognition.
  • Taguchi, N., Li, S., & Xiao, F. (in press). Production of formulaic expressions in L2 Chinese: A developmental investigation in a study abroad context. Chinese as a Second Language Research Journal.
  • Taguchi, N. (in press). Personality and development of second language pragmatic competence. Asian EFL Journal.
  • Taguchi, N. (2013a). Production of routines in L2 English: Effect of proficiency and study-abroad experience. System, 41, 109-121.
  • Taguchi, N. (2013b). Implicature. In P. Robinson (ed.), Encyclopedia of SLA (p.296-298). Routledge.
  • Taguchi, N. (2012a). Prompted responses. In C. Chapell (ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics: Quantitative and mixed methods. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Taguchi, N. (2012b). Pragmatic teaching. In C. Chapell (ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics: Language teaching. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Taguchi, N. (2012c). Experimental pragmatics. In C. Chapell (ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics: Pragmatics. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Taguchi, N. (2011a). Pragmatic development as a complex, dynamic process: General patterns and case histories. Modern Language Journal, 95, 605-623.
  • Taguchi, N. (2011b). Do proficiency and study-abroad experience affect speech act production?: Analysis of appropriateness, accuracy, and fluency. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 49, 265-293.
  • Taguchi, N. (2011c). Teaching pragmatics: Trends and issues. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 31, 289-310.
  • Taguchi, N. (2011d). The effect of L2 proficiency and study-abroad experience in pragmatic comprehension. Language Learning, 61, 904-939.
  • Taguchi, N. (2011e). Rater variation in the assessment of speech acts. Pragmatics, 21, 453-471.
  • Taguchi, N. (2010). Longitudinal studies in interlanguage pragmatics. In A. Trosborg (ed.), Handbook of pragmatics vol.7: Pragmatics across languages and cultures (pp.333-361). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Taguchi, N. (2009). Corpus-informed assessment of L2 comprehension of conversational implicatures. TESOL Quarterly, 43, 738-749.
  • Taguchi, N. (2008a). Pragmatic comprehension in Japanese as a foreign language. Modern Language Journal, 92, 558-576.
  • Taguchi, N. (2008b). The role of learning environment in the development of pragmatic comprehension: A comparison of gains between EFL and ESL learners. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30, 423-452.
  • Taguchi, N. (2008c). The effect of working memory, semantic access, and listening abilities on the comprehension of conversational implicatures in L2 English. Pragmatics and Cognition, 16, 517-538.
  • Taguchi, N., & Iwasaki, Y. (2008d). Training effects on oral fluency development in L2 Japanese. Journal of Japanese Linguistics and Literature, 42, 413-438.
  • Taguchi, N. (2008e). Building Language blocks in L2 Japanese: Chunk learning and the development of complexity and fluency in spoken production. Foreign Language Annals, 41, 130-154.
  • Taguchi, N. (2008f). Cognition, language contact, and development of pragmatic comprehension in a study-abroad context. Language Learning, 58, 33-71.
  • Taguchi, N., & Iwasaki, Y. (2007a). Goals, beliefs, and outcomes of an elementary Japanese program: Implementation of chunk learning in the development of interpersonal communication ability. Special issue of Journal of American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators, 92-110.
  • Taguchi, N. (2007b). Chunk leaning and the development of spoken discourse in Japanese as a second language. Language Teaching Research, 11, 433-457.
  • Taguchi, N. (2007c). Development of speed and accuracy in pragmatic comprehension in English as a foreign language. TESOL Quarterly, 42, 313-338.
  • Taguchi, N. (2007d). Task difficulty in oral speech act production. Applied Linguistics, 28, 113-135.
  • Taguchi, N. (2006a). Analysis of appropriateness in a speech act of request in L2 English. Pragmatics, 16, 513-535.
  • Taguchi, N., & Naganuma, N. (2006b). Transition from learning English to learning in English: Students’ perceived adaptation difficulties to an English-medium university in Japan. Asian EFL Journal, 8(4), 52-73.
  • Taguchi, N. (2005a). Comprehension of implied meaning in English as a second language. Modern Language Journal, 89, 543-562.
  • Taguchi, N. (2005b). The communicative approach in Japanese secondary schools: Teachers' perceptions and practice. The Language Teacher, 29 (3), 3-9.  
  • Taguchi, N. (2003). A comparative analysis of discourse markers in English conversational registers. Issues in Applied Linguistics, 13 (2), 41-69.
  • Taguchi, N. (2002a). Implementing Oral Communication classes in upper secondary schools: A case study. The Language Teacher, 26 (11), 13-20.
  • Taguchi, N. (2002b). An application of Relevance Theory to the analysis of L2 interpretation processes: The comprehension of indirect replies. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 40, 151-176.
  • Taguchi, N. (2001). L2 learners' strategic mental processes during a listening test. JALT Journal (Japan Association of Language Teachers), 23, 176-201.  

Book Chapters

  • Taguchi, N. (forthcoming). Pragmatic socialization in an English-medium university in Japan. In Taguchi, N. (ed.), English-medium education in the global society. Special issue to International Review of Applied Linguistics.
  • Taguchi, N. (forthcoming). English-medium education in the global society: An Introduction. In Taguchi, N. (ed.), English-medium education in the global society. Special issue to International Review of Applied Linguistics.
  • Taguchi, N. (2013). Ch.2 Comprehension of conversational implicature: What response times tell us. In Taguchi, N., & Sykes, J. M. (eds.) Technology in interlanguage pragmatics research and teaching (pp.19-42). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Taguchi, N., & Sykes, J.M. (2013). Ch.1 Introduction. In Taguchi, N., & Sykes, J. M. (eds.) Technology in interlanguage pragmatics research and teaching (pp.1-18). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Sykes, J.M., & Taguchi, N. (2013). Ch 10 Prologue. In Taguchi, N., & Sykes, J. M. (eds.) Technology in interlanguage pragmatics research and teaching (pp.271-274). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Taguchi, N. (2012). Refusals in L2 English: Proficiency effects on appropriateness and fluency. In P. Salazar & O.A. Marti (eds.), Refusals in instructional contexts and beyond. Spain: Rodopi.
  • Taguchi, N. (2009). Pragmatic competence in Japanese as a second language: Introduction. In Taguchi, N. (ed.), Pragmatic competence (pp.1-18)). Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Taguchi, N. (2009). Comprehension of indirect opinions and refusals in Japanese as a foreign language. In Taguchi, N. (ed.), Pragmatic competence (pp.249-274). Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Taguchi, N. (2008). Longitudinal study of higher-order inferential ability in L2 English. In H. Byrnes & L. Ortega (eds.), The longitudinal study of advanced L2 capacities (pp. 203-222). Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • McGroarty, M., & Taguchi, N. (2005). Evaluating communicativeness of EFL textbooks for Japanese secondary schools. In J. Frodesen & C. Holten (Eds.), The power of context in language teaching and learning (pp. 211-224). Boston, MA: Thomson/Heinle & Heinle.

Courses Taught

  • 82-585/888 Pragmatics and SLA
  • 82-383/783 Second Language Acquisition: Theories and Research
  • 82-371 Advanced Japanese
  • 82-383/82-783 Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
  • 82-780 Graduate Research Seminar
  • 82-171&172 Elementary Japanese
  • 82-273 Introduction to Japanese Language and Culture
  • 82-473 Japanese Language and Culture from a Pragmatic Perspective