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Knowing a language is to be able to use words correctly, to communicate and make ourselves understood. Noam Chomsky used the term ‘competence’ to describe knowledge of a language: We thus make a fundamental distinction between competence (the speakerhearer’s knowledge of the language), and performance, the actual use of the language in concrete situations. (Chomsky, 1965:4) HOWEVER THIS WASN’T ENOUGH…

Dell Hymes added ‘ communicative’ to competence. We will see this more in depth in the following section.

Communicative competence: is our ability to communicate appropriately and correctly


Linguistic competence: is knowing how to use the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of a language.


Pragmatic competence: is knowing how to use and respond to language appropriately, given the setting, the topic, and the relationships among the people communicating.

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

Strategic competence: is knowing how to recognize and repair communication breakdowns, how to work around gaps in one’s knowledge of the language, and how to learn more about the language and in the context Achievement strategies: ‘’ you know’’ Reduction strategies: ‘’ she could have’’, ‘’perhaps’’

Fluency: this is the language production and the ability to link units of speech together with facility

Linguistic competence: falls under the domain of communicative competence because communicative competence is made up of four competence areas including linguistic, sociolinguistic/ pragmatic , discourse, and strategic

The notion of linguistic competence is unreal and no significant progress in linguistics is possible without studying forms along with the ways in which they are used

I believe that linguistic competence can be separated from the rest of communicative competence and studied in isolation.


What influence does this communicative competence have on language teaching and learning?


Implication for the classroom

Linguistic competence

To build vocabulary

Pragmatic competence

To learn the scale of formality

Discourse competence

To be able to cope with different texts

Strategic competence

To use a range of communication strategies


To deal with the information gap of real discourse

The communicative approach to language teaching should pay attention to: 1. The communicative tasks and their role in the classroom 2. Management of interaction in the classroom, as interaction provides the basis for language acquisition. Additionally, it helps to establish positive rapport, manage turn taking etc‌ 3. The use of authentic materials to be able to acquire a decent communicative competence


Language & Communication  

ALELT u3 Presentation

Language & Communication  

ALELT u3 Presentation