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Experts canvass pragmatic communication to boost learning

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Experts have canvassed pragmatic communication to boost learning in schools and foster peace in society.

They spoke at the first Pragmatics Association of Nigerian (PrAN) international conference workshop at Anchor University, Ayobo Lagos State.

Speaking on the theme, “Pragmatic and mediated communication”, president of the association, Mr. Akin Odebunmi said pragmatic communication creates better rapport during the interaction, which helps in learning including relationship building.

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Odebunmi said knowing what, how and when to say a word is being pragmatic in communication.

“It is talking tactically. It teaches you how to study one’s mood and converse smartly. As a group of professionals, we are beginning to expand the scope of our operations within the limits of incorporation by offering professional assistance to organisations that need skills in pragmatic communication,” he said.

He mentioned that the ‘catch them young policy’ they introduced last year is still ongoing and that several undergraduate students were invited for training.

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The best five students were selected following the training during the previous conference and were awarded medals and certificates.

“New sets will also be trained during the workshop conference.”

In a keynote speech by the secretary-general of International Pragmatic Association, Prof. Jef Verschueren, he stated that most meanings gotten from statements are far from the communicators’ intentions. 

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Verschueren explained that pragmatic communication would help communicators pass the right message they intend to pass across.

“We need to understand that everyone has different educational background and beliefs thus would likely interpret a statement or word according to their own understanding rather than focus on what you actually intend saying.

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“The names we tag or call people or the way we relate with them have implications, which automatically affects the way you will be treated,” he stated.

He said they owe this generation of learners the duty to be guided in the best professional direction for the best transformation of all aspects of the Nigerian society.

Chairperson of the event, Dr. Stella Kpolugbo emphasised the need for better understanding of language use in various contexts.

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According to Stella, language is the bedrock of society and communication is paramount to a peaceful life.

She said, “A communicative act not properly constructed could lead to fatal consequences. The worst air accident recorded in the history of mankind involving a Saudi Air cargo plane occurred due to a misunderstanding in communication.” 

She urged all present to make good use of the opportunity present and apply knowledge gained.

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