Once acknowledged the important role pragmatic plays in human interaction, pedagogues and linguists have suggested to include new educational approaches both in classrooms and in academic courses aiming at encouraging learners to acquire pragmatic competences. In addition to teach them how the context can influence communicative exchanges and which processes come into being during the development of dialogues, the function verbs have in the construction of reality and the illocutionary force they convey have to be included in students’ curricula. In fact, developing pragmatic strategies is doubtless important to avoid misunderstandings and ambiguities in real work environments, where individuals are asked to be linguistically international using English as the global means of communication. The present article1 illustrates a project thought for future pilots and air traffic controllers, whose communicative competences have to be excellent to permit them to interact with colleagues not sharing the same mother tongue. After a brief introduction to pragmatics in English Language Teaching and Speech Acts Theory, a detailed description of the project will be offered: theoretical explanations focused on “directive” speech acts have been merged with more practical activities and exercises to allow students’ to understand the deepest function of directions – and procedures – and to make them able to use “directives” effectively.
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