Communicative competence

Communicative competence

Communicative competence is a term in linguistics which refers to a language user's grammatical knowledge of syntax, morphology, phonology and the like, as well as social knowledge about how and when to use utterances appropriately.

The term was coined by Dell Hymes in 1966,[1] reacting against the perceived inadequacy of Noam Chomsky's (1965) distinction between competence and performance.[2] To address Chomsky's abstract notion of competence, Hymes undertook ethnographic exploration of communicative competence that included "communicative form and function in integral relation to each other" (Leung, 2005).[3] The approach pioneered by Hymes is now known as the ethnography of communication.

Debate has occurred regarding linguistic competence and communicative competence in the second and foreign language teaching literature, and scholars have found communicative competence as a superior model of language following Hymes' opposition to Chomsky's linguistic competence. This opposition has been adopted by those who seek new directions toward a communicative era by taking for granted the basic motives and the appropriateness of this opposition behind the development of communicative competence.[4]

Use in education

The notion of communicative competence is one of the theories that underlies the communicative approach to foreign language teaching.[3]

Canale and Swain (1980) defined communicative competence in terms of three components:[5]

  1. grammatical competence: words and rules
  2. sociolinguistic competence: appropriateness
  3. strategic competence: appropriate use of communication strategies

Canale (1983) refined the above model, adding discourse competence: cohesion and coherence

A more recent survey of communicative competence by Bachman (1990) divides it into the broad headings of "organizational competence," which includes both grammatical and discourse (or textual) competence, and "pragmatic competence," which includes both sociolinguistic and "illocutionary" competence.[6] Strategic Competence is associated with the interlocutors' ability in using communication strategies (Faerch & Kasper, 1983; Lin, 2009).

Through the influence of communicative language teaching, it has become widely accepted that communicative competence should be the goal of language education, central to good classroom practice.[7] This is in contrast to previous views in which grammatical competence was commonly given top priority. The understanding of communicative competence has been influenced by the field of pragmatics and the philosophy of language concerning speech acts as described in large part by John Searle and J.L. Austin.

See also

References

  1. ^ Hymes, D.H. (1966) "Two types of linguistic relativity." In W. Bright (ed) Sociolinguistics pp. 114-158. The Hague: Mouton.
  2. ^ Chomsky, N. (1965) Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  3. ^ a b Leung, C. (2005). Convival Communication: recontextualizing communicative competence. International Journal of Applied Linguistics. Vol. 15, No.2, 119-143.
  4. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1AIY/is_1_17/ai_n25008683/?tag=content;col1
  5. ^ Canale, M. and Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics 1, 1-47.
  6. ^ Bachman, L. (1990). Fundamental considerations in language testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-437003-8
  7. ^ Savignon, S.J. (1997). Communicative Competence: Theory and Classroom Practice. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2nd edition.

Further sources

  • Hymes, D.H. (1971). On communicative competence. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Lin, G. H. C. (2007). A Case Study of Seven Taiwanee English as a Foreign Language Freshman Non-English Majors' Perceptions about Learning Five Communication strategies. Boca Raton, Florida: Dissertation.com Publishing, ISBN Number: 158112374-4 <http://www.bookpump.com/dps/pdf-b/1123744b.pdf>
  • Lin, G. H. C. (2010) Book Review of Strategies in Interlanguage Communication, C. Faerch and G. Kasper. (Eds.). New York: Longman. 1983., Pp. xxiv+248. Foreign Language Studies. Vol. 11.

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  • communicative competence — Ling. a speaker s internalized knowledge both of the grammatical rules of a language and of the rules for appropriate use in social contexts. * * * communicative competence UK US noun [uncountable] linguistics the ability to communicate well in a …   Useful english dictionary

  • communicative competence — Ling. a speaker s internalized knowledge both of the grammatical rules of a language and of the rules for appropriate use in social contexts. * * * …   Universalium

  • communicative competence — UK / US noun [uncountable] linguistics the ability to communicate well in a language …   English dictionary

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  • Communicative language teaching — Main article: Methods of teaching foreign languages Communicative language teaching (CLT) is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language.… …   Wikipedia

  • communicative — [[t]kəmju͟ːnɪkətɪv[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Someone who is communicative talks to people, for example about their feelings, and tells people things. She has become a lot more tolerant and communicative. Syn: open 2) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n Communicative… …   English dictionary

  • competence — noun a) The quality or state of being competent, i.e. able or suitable for a general role. Teachers are now required to teach intercultural communicative competence. b) The quality or state of being able or suitable for a particular task; the… …   Wiktionary

  • competence — noun 1 ability to do sth well ADJECTIVE ▪ great ▪ basic ▪ academic, administrative, clinical, managerial, professional, technical …   Collocations dictionary

  • competence */*/ — UK [ˈkɒmpɪtəns] / US [ˈkɑmpɪtəns] noun Word forms competence : singular competence plural competences 1) [uncountable] the ability to do something in a satisfactory or effective way He demonstrated thorough competence in dealing with the issues.… …   English dictionary

  • communicative — adj. Communicative is used with these nouns: ↑competence …   Collocations dictionary

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