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Communicative Competence and The Communicative Approach

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Christen Brady

on 1 April 2016

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Transcript of Communicative Competence and The Communicative Approach

Communicative Competence and
The Communicative Approach

Session Objectives
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1. List and define the four components of Communicative Competence, plus pragmatics

2. Explain the relationship between Communicative Competence and the NEC

3. Describe at least 4 characteristics of the Communicative Approach

4. Analyze a unit from the Ecuadorian textbook in order to determine how each of the MOE's competencies can be addressed while teaching the unit
So why is this topic important?
In the
National English Curriculum Guidelines
it states the two main objectives of the curriculum (p.7). They are:

To ensure high-school graduates reach a minimum B1 language proficiency level according to the CEFR

To build up learners’ communicative language competence in its linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic components through the development of the 4 language skills

According to Canal and Swaine (1980), Communicative Competence is made up of 4 components
1. Grammatical Competence

2. Sociolinguistic Competence

3. Discourse Competence

4. Strategic Competence
What is
Grammatical Competence
The knowledge of how to use the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of a language.

The ability to create grammatically correct utterances.

What words do I use? How do I put them into phrases and sentences?

Sociolinguistic Competence

Knowing how to use and respond to language appropriately, given the setting, the topic, and the relationships among the people communicating (e.g. rules of politeness, norms for language between generations, sexes, classes, etc.)

Sociolinguistic competence asks: How can I
express a specific attitude
(courtesy, authority, friendliness, respect) when I need to? How do I know what attitude another person is expressing?

Moves beyond just the grammatical aspect to incorporate interaction, context and culture
Discourse Competence
Is knowing how to interpret the larger context and how to construct longer stretches of language so that the parts make up a coherent whole.

The ability to produce coherent and cohesive utterances.

Discourse competence asks: How are words, phrases and sentences put together to create conversations, speeches, email messages, newspaper articles?

Strategic Competence
Is knowing how to recognize and repair communication breakdowns
and how to work around gaps in one’s knowledge of the language in order to
keep communication flowing.

Strategic competence asks: How do I know when I‘ve misunderstood or when
someone has misunderstood me? If there is misunderstandings, what strategies
will I use to get back on track?

To build up learners’ communicative language competence in its
components through the development of the 4 language skills.
The functional use of language - knowing how to use language in order to express a "speech act" appropriately

Inviting, thanking, offering, apologizing, requesting, suggesting, demanding, etc. are all examples of SPEECH ACTS

SPEECH ACTS are intended to convey a given

Social cultural norms of a particular group guide pragmatics
How people communicate and interpret intentions and react to them in the context of language use
Speech Acts
A mom says to her daughter: "Your room is a mess!"

A girlfriend says to her boyfriend: "There's a sale on diamonds this weekend at the mall."

If both the speaker and the recipient are pragmatically competent, then the intention will be transmitted and understood correctly.

The notion of communicative competence is one of the theories that underlines the COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH to foreign language teaching.

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)
Communicative Language Learning (CLL)

Emphasizes interaction as both the means
and the ultimate goal of learning

Makes use of real-life situations and authentic materials

Uses a combination of different methods

Learners learn through using language to

Authentic and meaningful communication should be
the goal of classroom activities

Fluency is an important dimension of communication

Communication involves the integration of different
language skills

Learning is a process of creative
construction and involves trial and error

The Teacher's Role:

To facilitate the communication process in the classroom
To act as an independent participant within the learning-teaching group

The Student's Role:

Communicators who are actively engaged in making themselves understood and in understanding others
Let's Practice!
Oral Guided Practice vs. Oral

Teachers often confuse oral practice with oral communication

In general, the goal of guided oral practice activities is to improve accuracy, whereas the goal of communicative activities is to improve fluency

Guided oral practice activities are useful in beginning foreign language teaching, they do not replace actual communication.

The Task
1. Analyze the material presented in unit 5

2. Determine how each of the MOE's competencies (Linguistic, Sociolinguistic and Pragmatic) can be addressed through the use of the material presented in unit 5

3. Be prepared to explain how the material in unit 5 would be used to help students develop each competency
After paying close attention to each skit, decide which competency or competencies the ELL must work to develop.
Grammatical (linguistic)
Now that we have a clear
understanding of the Communicative
Approach, do you think there is a
difference between

oral communication

oral guided practice
Oral Guided Practice
(1 thing at a time)
(one correct answer)
Focuses on
Real-life, authentic
Open (no single answer)
Focuses on fluency

Full transcript