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Are we truly helping our students to develop thier communicative competence?

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Jorge Andrés Mejia Laguna

on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of Are we truly helping our students to develop thier communicative competence?

Teachers' beliefs about
language and language learning Inappropriate balance between form and meaning classroom activities Issues that may hinder the development of Communicative Competence Restrictive perspectives regarding
privileged varieties of English Are we truly helping our students to develop their communicative competence? Are we truly helping our students to develop their communicative competence? Andrés Hernández
M.Ed. in Education
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
andres_hernandez@javeriana.edu.co LINGUISTIC
COMPETENCE STRATEGIC COMPETENCE Agenda What is Communicative Competence?
Issues that may hinder its development
1. Teachers' beliefs
2. Form vs meaning classroom activities
3. Privileged English varieties
Questions COMPONENTS DISCOURSE COMPETENCE Teachers have theoretical knowledge that guides
their teaching practices
(Stern, 1993
Kumaravadivelu, 2003) Classroom Practices
Teacher-centered or
Student-centered? Assessment Error Correction What is Language?
How is it learned? Ability to be cohesive and coherent when communicating STT vs TTT Ability to use language in socio-cultural contexts. Errors are an inherent component of interlingua (Corder, 1971; Selinker, 1992) Ability to maintain communication Positive error treatment techniques
-Self/peer correction
-Echo correction
-Delayed correction
-Body language Ability to properly use Grammatical
Features of
Language STT vs. TTT 70% - 30% Mainly focused on language knowledge
rather than on the ability to use it in communicative situations
(Canale and Swain, 1980)
1. Mirror a real communicative situation
2. Have a certain degree of spontaneity (Morrow, 1982) Appropriate balance between formal grammar instruction and communicative instruction facilitates language learning.
(Nunan, 1998) Students can only reach a high level of communicative competence through contextual and interactive tasks that involve the use of language purposely and spontaneously (Canale and Swain, 1980; Harmer , 2007; Rivers, 1987, Savignon, 1983; Wells, 1981) Classroom activities that go beyond the practice of grammar and involve authentic use of language will function as a powerful means to increase communicative competence. We are "sinking"!
What are you "thinking" about? Communicative Competence "The ability to function in a truly communicative setting, that is, in a dynamic exchange in which linguistic competence must adapt itself to the total informational input, both linguistic and paralinguistic, of one or more interlocutors" Hymes, Savignon (1972, p.8) Canale and Swain (1980) and Canale (1983) point out that it is built up through the development of a system of knowledge and skills necessary for effective communication. Intercultural
competence Pluri-linguistic approach Which English variety do teachers teach? (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr We, teachers and learners, need to be aware of the importance that other varieties of English have, as they all come with cultural and linguistic issues which make them different.

Strategies of discourse English as
conglomeration of different varieties (dialects) Should students learn grammar and vocabulary to develop their communicative competence? How do people learn a foreign language? What variety of English should ELT teachers teach? How much controlled practice vs. free practice
should students be given in ELT? What are your favorite communicative tasks in the ELT classroom? Please discuss the following questions with the person sitting next to you. C.L.T
PRINCIPLES Language is used to carry out meaningful tasks Learners learn by using language to communicate 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 Communicative tests should: Guided discovery (inductive approach)

Strategies where students are active participants in their own learning (e.g. finding grammar rules by themselves) How often do we interact with native English speakers from the U.S. or England?

How often with English speakers of different nationalities? Receptive skills
(Reading - Listening) Any questions? Thanks! Nowadays communication among non-native speakers is much more common and greater in terms of frequency and amount than among “native speakers”. Crystal (1997) and Graddol (1997) Jorge A. Mejía L.
M.Ed. in Educational Leadership.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
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