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Communicative Competence

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Robert Oliwa

on 28 April 2013

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Transcript of Communicative Competence

Competence Chomsky (1965) in "Aspects of the Theory of Syntax." competence and performance
competence is the perfect knowledge of an ideal speaker-listener of the language in a homogeneous speech community.
linguistic knowledge is separated from sociocultural features Hymes (1972) points out that Chomsky's competence/performance model does not provide an explicit place for sociocultural features.

also points out that Chomsky's notion of performance seems confused between actual performance and underlying rules of performance. HALLIDAY functional account of language WIDDOWSON "We do not only learn how to compose and
comprehend correct sentences as isolated linguistic
units of random occurrence, but also how to use
sentences appropriately do achieve communication
purposes "Linguistic theory is concerned primarily with an ideal speaker-listener, in a completely homogeneous speech community, who knows its language perfectly and is unaffected by such grammatically irrelevant conditions as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of attention and interests, and errors (random or characteristic) in applying his knowledge of the language in actual performance." "Communicative Competence"

1. Whether (and to what degree) something is formally possible;

2. Whether (and to what degree) something is feasible in virtue of the means of implementation available;

3. Whether (and to what degree) something is appropriate (adequate, happy, successful) in relation to a context in which it is used and evaluated;

4. Whether (and to what degree) something is in fact done, actually performed and what its doing entails. It can be said that these four represent the four aspects of language user's knowledge and ability. (by Munby 1981)

1. grammatical
2. psycholinguistic
3. sociocultural
4. de facto “Linguistics … is concerned… with the description of speech acts or texts, since only through the study of language in use are all the functions of language, and therefore all components of meaning, brought into focus” (1973). rejects division into competence/performance
"meaning-potential" covers both knowing and doing
the notion of language functions dichotomy ... Halliday suggests, a common meaning of the term FUNCTION which is directly connected to the idea of doing things with language for certain purposes, or to the idea of putting language to certain uses. 1)the instrumental function: using language to get thing;
2) the regulatory function: using language to control the behavior of others;
3) the interactional function: using language to create interaction with others;
4) the personal function: using language to express personal feeling and meanings;
5) the heuristic function: using language to learn and to discover
6) the imaginative function: using language to create a world of imagination;
7) the representation function: using language to communicate information. Functions by HALLIDAY use and usage
usage --- manifestation of the knowledge of language system
use --- realization of the language system as meaningful ` communicative behavior
both are the aspects of "performance" The distinction of "usage" and "use" is based on the notion of "effectiveness for communication" This means that an utterance with a well-formed grammatical structure may or may not have a sufficient value for communication in a given context.
Whether an utterance has a sufficient communicative value or not is determined in discourse. This is why Widdowson's approach is considered as discourse-based approach. Canale and Swain 1980 four components of Communicative Competence:

1. grammatical competence

concerned with mastery of the language code itself

2. discourse competence

concerns mastery of how to combine grammatical forms and meanings to achieve a unified spoken or written text in different genres

3. sociolinguistic competence

addresses the extent to which utterances are produced and understood appropriately in different sociolinguistic contexts depending on contextual factors

4. strategic competence

is composed of mastery of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that may be called into action for two main reasons: (a) to compensate for breakdowns in communication due to limiting conditions in actual communication or to insufficient competence in one or more of the other areas of communicative competence; and (b) to enhance the effectiveness of communication Savignon (1983) interactional approach
the development of learners' communicative competence is defined as "expression, interpretation, and negotiation of meaning involving interaction between two or more persons or between one person and a written or oral text".
The central characteristics of competence in communication are associated with:
1. the dynamic, interpersonal nature of communicative competence and its dependence on the negotiation of meaning between two or more persons who share to some degree the same symbolic system
2. its application to both spoken and written language as well as to many other symbolic systems
3. the role of context in determining a specific communicative competence, the infinite variety of situations in which communication takes place, and the dependence of success in a particular role on one's understanding of the context and on prior experience of a similar kind
4. communicative competence as a relative, not absolute, concept, one dependent on the cooperation of all participants, a situation which makes it reasonable to speak of degrees of communicative competence. Bachman (1990) TREE MODEL of COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE
1. Language Competence
a. Organizational Competence
(i) grammatical competence
(II) textual competence
+ cohesion/coherence
+ conversational analysis
Grice (1975), Sinclair and Coulthard (1975), Hatch (1978), Hatch and Long (1980), Richards and Schmidt (1983)
b. Pragmatic Competence
(i) illocutionary competence
+ speech acts
Austin (1962), Searle (1969)
+ language functions
Halliday (1973) macro- and micro-functions
(ii) sociolinguistic competence
sensitivity to differences in (a) dialects, or varieties, (b) register, (c) naturalness
ability to interpret cultural references and figures of speech
2. Strategic Competence
pointing out that Canale and Swain's model did not describe the mechanisms by which strategic competence operates.
referred to Faerch and Kasper (1983)'s view on strategic competence
+ interactional view --- CS functions as compensation for communication breakdowns
psycholinguistic view --- enhance rhetorical effect of utterances
+ Faerch and Kasper (1983) drew on the psycholinguistic work (Clark and Clark 1977) and described two phases of communication strategy, which is (a) planning and (b) execution
three phases (Bachman added assessment phase to F and K's model)
(1) assessment
(2) planning
(3) execution
3. Psychophysiological Mechanisms
channel --- visual/auditory
mode --- productive/receptive Applications of the concept of communicative competence to language teaching STERN RIVERS Aspects of Language Study and Practice Structural Functional Sociocultural Use in Authentic Context Experimental Skills-getting Cognition Production
PseudoCommunication Perception Abstraction Articulation Construction Skill-using Interaction Reception Expression MOTIVATION TO
COMMUNICATE ? What is your understanding of the concept of communicative competence and do you wish to apply it? ? 'the ability to communicate in a personally effective and socially appropriate manner'. Trenholm & Jensen 1988)
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