A THEORY OF COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE: ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT. 2.1. The notion of communication: a basis for a theory of communicative competen ce. 2.1.1. Communication and language teaching. 2.1.2. Communicative competence: an issue in foreign language education. 2.1.3. A communicative approach to language teaching. 2.2. On defining communicative competence: a linguistic and pragmatic approach. 2.2.1. Fluency over accuracy. 2.2.2. The introduction of cultural studies: a basis for an etnography of communication . 2.3. A historical overview of the development in a model of communicative compet ence. 2.3.1. Earlier approaches: Hobbes (1651), Schweiter and Simonet (1921), and Lado (1957). 2.3.2. Chomsky (1965): competence and performance. 2.3.3. First reactions to Chomsky s model: Campbell and Wales (1970), Halliday (1972), and Hymes (1972). 2.3.4. Sandra Savignon (1972, 1983) 2.3.5. Widdowson (1978) and Munby (1978). 2.3.6. Canale and Swain (1980) and Canale (1983). 2.3.7. On revising Hymes and Canale and Swain s models: Wolfson (1989) and Bachman (1990). 2.3.8. Present-day approaches: B.O.E. (2002). 3. AN ANALYSIS OF COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE COMPONENTS. 3.1. On the analysis of communicative components: a model assessment. 3.1.1. Grammatical competence. 3.1.2. Discourse competence. 3.1.3. Sociolinguistic competence. 3.1.4. Strategic competence. 3.2. Related areas of study. 3.2.1. Discourse analysis. 3.2.2.

A speech act theory. 3.2.3. Interactional competence. 3.2.4. Cross-cultural considerations. 4. PRESENT-DAY DIRECTIONS REGARDING COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE. 4.1. Multimedia and hypermedia contexts. 4.2. Implications into language teaching. 5. CONCLUSION. 6. BIBLIOGRAPHY. 1/25

1. INTRODUCTION. 1.1. Aims of the unit. The aim of this unit is to offer a broad account of the concept of communicative competence, and its importance in society, and especially, in the language teaching community, f rom its origins to present-day studies. This presentation will start by offering the most relevant bibliography in this field as a reference for the reader, and by presenting our study in three differ ent sections. The first section will start by reviewing the origins and nature of the communic ation process in order to provide a link to the concept of communicative competence through, firs t, the notion of language, and then, through a theory of foreign language teaching. Within this f ramework, key concepts related to communicative approaches will be under revision, such as pro ficiency, competence and performance. In a second section, this theoretical background acc ounts for a theory of communic ative competence from a linguistic and pragmatic point of view, and suggests the issues we will refer to in analyzing the development of communicative competence models. From this anthropological perspective we are also able to see that the concerns that have prompted modern theories of communication were similar to those that, at other times when language was not developed yet, have always been concerned with how to communicative successfully . Besides, an overview of the origins and nature of the term will lead us to provide a socio-c ultural approach within the introduction of culture studies to foreign language teaching, known a s the etnography of communication, in which a foreign language is approached from a pragmatic and li nguistic point of view. Within the third section of our discussion, we shall provide an acccount of the development of the most influential models within a theory of communicative competence, the most re levant figures in this field and their contributions will be overviewed, together with an assessme nt model of communicative competence. Furthermore, we will give an account of related issues to this model theory. A fourth section will be devoted to present-day directions in the commun ication process within a classroom and natural setting, regarding the evolution of media use for the development of communicative competence among foreign language learners. Besides, we will offer some of the implications of this approach to language teaching. Finally, a conclusion will b e offered in order to broadly overview our present study, and bibliographical references will be prese nted in a last section by means of sections on each issue.

1.2. Notes on bibliography. Several sources have contributed to provide a valuable introduction to the origi ns and nature of communication and to the concept of language. Thus, David Crystal, Linguistics ( 1985), Halliday, Spoken and Written Language (1985), Halliday, Explorations in the Functions of L anguage (1975) and Wilga M. Rivers, Teaching Foreign-Language Skills (1981). The theoretical ba ckground to the relationship between the communication process and language teaching is given by LarsenFreeman, An Introduction to Second Language Acquisition Research (1991); and Wid dowson, Teaching Language as Communication (1978). Four generally excellent surveys of b oth a theory of communicative competence, and a communicative approach on language teaching are Ellis, Understanding Second Language Acquisition (1985); Canale and Swain, Theoretical bases of communicative appro aches to second language teaching and testing (1980); Canale , From Communicative Competence to Communicative Language Pedagogy (1983); Hymes, On communicative competence (1972); and Richards & Rodger Approaches and methods in language Teaching (2001). A precious background to the introduction and influence of cult ural studies on 2/25

language towards an ethnography of communication, is provided by Hymes, Foundati ons in Sociolinguistics: An Ethnographic Approach (1974) and Canale and Swain, Theoreti cal bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing (1980). Among t he general works on communicative competence models and approaches, see the most relevant s urveys on the issue. Thus, Canale and Swain, Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing (1980); Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965); Ha lliday, Linguistik, Phonetik und Sprachunterricht (1972), and An Introduction to Functional Grammar (1985); Hymes, On communicative competence (1972); Munby, Communicative Syllabus Design (1978); Savignon, Communicative Competence: Theory and Classroom Practice (1983); and Ce lce-Murcia, Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (1979). Since the spread of mul timedia use in a classroom setting is largely a matter of study, the question of techological dev elopments is of importance. For current statistics and bibliography, see Krashen and Terrell, Th e Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom (1983). For applications of a communicativ e competence theory to both classroom and natural settings, see the studies and surveys on th e journals of Asociación Española de Lingüística Aplicada (AESLA) published by the Universities of Alc alá, Barcelona and León, listed in the bibliography section. The advanced student may c onsult a compendium of information on both traditional and recent topics on Internet. For further references on specific projects offered by the Ministry of Education, see Revista CERCLE de l Centro Europeo de Recursos Culturales Lingüísticos y Educativos (Servicio de Programas Educativos. Consejería de Educación y Cultura) and within a technological framework, see http://www.britishc ouncil.org. 2. A THEORY OF COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE: ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT. This section, in briefly reviewing the origins of the communication process, pro vides a background for discussion of a theory of communicative competence, and suggests the issues we will refer to in analyzing the development of communicative competence models. From this anthropo logical perspective we are also able to see that the concerns that have prompted modern theories of communication were similar to those that, at other times when language was not d eveloped yet, have always been concerned with how to communicative successfully. 2.1. The notion of communication: a basis for a theory of communicative competen ce. From an anthropological perspective, the origins of communication are to be foun d in the very early

and sounds. an thropology. since prehistoric times the way of improving communicatio n preoccupied human beings as they had a need to express their thoughts with words. as it is represented in pictorial art and burial sites. It is relevant to establish. However. which became an essential tool of communication for human beings (Crystal 1985). non-verbal codes were used by humans to convey information by means of symbols. This non-v erbal code was to be developed into a highly elaborated signaling system. For several millennia many linguists and philosophers have approached the concept of language from different domains of knowledge. 3/25 .stages of life when there was a need for animals and humans to communicate basic structures of the world and everyday life. body gestures. Before language was developed. and sociology among others. Historically speaking. then. various attempts have been made to conceptualize the natu re of communication and to explore its relationship to human language regarding types. a distinction betwee n human and animal systems of communication as their features differ in the way they produce and ex press their intentions. in order to offer an account of the prominent features o f human language in opposition to other systems of communication. such as philosophy. both spoken and written. psychology. elements and purposes.

For instance. And finally. Human beings are also able to reproduce and produce an infinite n umber of messages in any context of space and time. we come to a closer understanding of the world since language refers t o things in the world. who was said to be the founder of didactics . having a conversation. When we refer to non-verbal communication. Howatt (1984) has demonstrated that many current issues in language teaching are not particularly new. He states that only after that. On the practice and use of communication. such as gestures. thanks to the arbitrariness of langua ge which allows humans to combine sounds with no intrinsic meaning so as to form elements with m eaning. th at is. or reading a magazine. the field of semiotics distinguishes ver bal and non -verbal communication as part of the analysis of both linguistic and non-linguistic sign s as communicative devices in all modes and contexts. suc h as Latin. that we also have to learn the language of our neighbours so as to be able to communicate with them. he adds that the gram mar rules should . Thus. should one take on the learning of one of the classic languages. Therefore. first. he claims that for men to retrieve something of their ol d collective wisdom. since l anguage is transmitted from one generation to the next by a process of teaching and learning. an auditory-vocal channel is to be highlighted in opposition to tactile. Communication and language teaching. the code is the language. such as whis tling or musical effects. the theologian Jan Amos Komensky (1592-1670).1. which may result in oral or written form. He claims that through language. when the act of communication is verbal . as when we are watching a fi lm. a traditional transmission. and secondly. the art of teaching. or touch. 2. and even some uses of the vocal tract are possible by means of paralanguage. Among the most prominent design features of human l anguage. there is no point in learning another language if one has not mastered one's own. body language . Upon this basis.Hence.1. already stated the reasons for learning a foreign language. visual and tactile modes are concerned. it is necessary for them to learn each other s languages. regarding types (Halliday 1985). visual or other means of communication. we may mention as the last feature. From a historical perspective. in the seventeenth century. This feat ure is the aim of our next section which links communication and language teaching in order to provide a meaningful framework to the notion of communicative competence. facial expressions. Greek or Arabic. Hebrew. language may be defined as an instrument of social interaction with a clear communicative purpose. Comenius. According to Halliday (1975).

Therefore. so that the learner. these opportunities Comenius mentions to commu nicate with others. sin ce people learn to walk by walking and they learn to drive by driving. While there are many infl uential factors in second language learning. and similarly. the critical dimension in language learning is interaction with other speakers. as the learner characteristics such as age. teachers. those learners who engage in the regular use of their second language and receive the greater quantity of input will most likely demonstrate a greater ability to use their second language. and intelligence. community members. then. Learners must actively work and pr actice extensively 4/25 .aid and confirm usage. employers or employees in an foreign language speaking environment. especiall y for those who need to fulfill roles as family members. personalit y. that people learn to communicate by communicating. In the words of Widdowson (1978). t hen. it makes sense. students. in the words of Larsen-Freeman (1991). one learns to do by doing. which is an important goal for language learners. in different situations. Similarly. can have frequent opportunitie s to express him or herself. have to do with the ability to communicate in a foreign language and the ability to interpret and produce meaning.

both in and out of the classroo m. but also to communicate intelligibly and appropriately for students to ach ieve a successful interaction. sociolinguistic appropriateness. conventions of di scourse. These two notions of competence and performance are one of the main tenets in Ch omsky s theory of transformational grammar (Richards & Rodgers 2001). and to what a learn er has to know in terms of grammar. referring to one s actual production and comprehension of language in specific instances of language use.1. This ability to communicate is the aim of our next section where we will provide an approach to the notion of communicative competence and its relationship to langu age teaching. become proficient in that language. then. the term proficiency bring s about the notions of competence and performance which must be also reviewed. 2. However. Common synonyms for the term are expertise. vocabulary. well-developed knowledge. and cultural understanding in order to use a language well enough for real world pur pose. many approaches and theories stem from a fund amental question which addresses the way we. then.on communicating to develop skills in communication. it is relevant to conceptualize first some key issues related t o the concept of communicative competence in order to fully understand the term and its relevance in foreign language teaching. ability. Another que stion arises. we should not forget that communicating successfully implies not only a correct use of structure and form. This distinction addresse s competence as the idealized native speaker s underlying competence. Communicative competence: an issue in foreign language education. we may define proficiency as the learner s knowledge of the target l anguage viewed as linguistic competence or communicative competence. or competence within implications at a high level of skill. As we have seen. competence and perfor mance will be under revision as follows. Chomsky believed that actual performace did not prope rly reflect the underlying knowledge. and polished performance. Following Ellis (1985). the concepts of proficiency. Within a language teaching theory. can help students who are learnin g a second language in a classroom setting. teachers. because of its many imperfections at the level of errors . that lear ners should be provided with as much speaking time as possible. in relation to what it means to be proficient in a language. Therefore. referring to one s implicit or explicit knowledge of the system of the language whereas performance addresses to an indi vidual performance. In this section. competence.2. It follows. that is.

we understand co mpetence as the knowledge of rules of grammar. Hymes. The verbal part of communicative competence comprises all the so-called four ski lls: listening. syntax. lexicon. the notion of communicative competence is the underlying knowledge a spea ker has of the rules of grammar including phonology. speaking and writing. orthography. proposed by the American anthropologist Dell Hymes in his work On communicativ e competence (1972). it has been reviewed and evaluated since then from various theoretical per spectives which will be examined in the section devoted to the development of a communicative compete nce model (Canale & Swain 1980). had a broader view of t he term which included not only grammatical competence. since there is a very common misunderstanding that communicative competence only refers to the ability to spe ak. with a tradition on sociolinguistics. but also sociolinguistic and contextua l competence. It is both 5/25 . they way the rules are used. and in fact. and performance. Therefore. Here he felt that there are rules of language use that are neglected in Chomsky s approach. and semantic s. as native speakers know more than just grammatica l competence. reading. For Hymes. It is important to highlight this. we will highlight in this section one of the mai n rejections to Chomsky s view of language. This fundamental distinction has been at the centre of discussions of many other researchers. and the rules for their use in socially appropriate circumstances. However.and hesitations.

oral proficiency and later. and Total Physical Response. Audio-Lingualism. which became to be known as the Communicative Approach or sim ply Communicative Language Teaching. This system attempted to demon strate the systems of meanings that a language learner needs to understand and express with in two types: notional categories (time.A. an approach to foreign and second language teaching emer ged both in Europe and North America focusing on the work of anthropologists. All of us have developed communicative competence in o ur native language. to be discussed in our next section.3. offers. quantity or frequency) and categories of co mmunicative function (requests. during which a number of quite detailed prescriptions for language teaching were propos ed (Canale & Swain 1980). possibly. Community Language Lear ning. seeing the prim ary goal of language teaching as the development of the learner's communicative competence. It concentrated on language as social behaviour. complaints). the rapid application of these ideas by textbook writers and its acceptance by teaching specialists gave prominence to more inter active views of language teaching. It was in 1971 when a British linguist. Another issue under study is the importance of fluen cy over accuracy when developing communicative competence in a foreign language. The acquisi tion of communicative competence in a foreign or second language therefore takes place o n the basis of the fact that we already have a native language. Suggestopedia. So we are dealing with the developm ent of two systems that interact. Parallel . In the middle -methods period. D. Situational Language Teaching evolved in the United Kingdom while a parallel method. emerged in the United States. and sociolinguists. The question of how this occurs has been investigated in research on fields such as bilingualism (Canale 1983). sociologists. 2. These altern atives were promoted under such titles as Silent Way. sequence. Both methods started to be questioned by applied linguists who saw the need to focus in language teaching on communicativ e proficiency rather than on mere mastery of structures.1. written proficiency. A communicative approach to language teaching. In the 1970s and 1980s.productive and receptive. a variety of methods were proclaimed as successor s to the then prevailing Situational Language Teaching and Audio-Lingual methods. The period from the 1950s to the 1980s has often been referred to as The Age of Methods. In the 1980s. Wilkins pr omoted a system in which learning tasks were broken down into units.

Canale and Swain (1980) or Chomsky (1957) leveled their contributions and criticisms at structural linguistic theories claiming for more communicative approaches on language teaching. ther e is an emphasis on authentic and meaningful communication which should be the goal of classroom act ivities. This promoted a vi ew of language as creative and rule governed within the framework of communicative approaches. Learners were considered to need both rules of use to produce language appropria te to particular situations. 6/25 . Among the most relevant features that Communicative Language Teaching claimed fo r. The first principle claims for students to learn a language through using it to communicate. and strategies for effective communication. Halliday (1970). but in the 1980s.to the influence of the Council of Europe Languages Projects. The movement at first co ncentrated on notional-functional syllabuses. Thirdly. the approach was more concerne d with the quality of interaction between learner and teacher rather than the specification of syll abuses. and concentrated on classroom methodology rather than on content. we will highlight a set of principles that provide a broad overview of this method. there was an increasing need to teach adults the major languages for a better educational cooperation within the expanding European Com mon Market. Secondly. Scholars such as Hymes (1972).

2001). communicating with people from other cultures involves not only linguistic appro priateness but also pragmatic appropriateness in the use of verbal and non-verbal behavior. which involves the mastery of seve ral features. Thus. Fourth. the sound system and the written system in order not to sound unusual to . since learners need many differen t opportunities to communicate without having to concentrate on structure and form. but makes reference to more than listening and speaking. As far as background knowledge and cultural expectations on the foreign language are conce rned. On defining communicative competence: a linguistic and pragmatic approach. several up-to-date texts are avail able that do detail differences and similarities among the many different approaches and methods tha t have been proposed (see Richards & Rodgers. the introduction of cultural studies is under revision as an important aspect of communicative co mpetence. then. communicative competence is the central aim of foreign and second languag e teaching.fluency is seen as an important dimension of communication. the principle that claims for learning as a process of creative construction which involves trial and error. providing a number of suggestions as to how teachers can give pupils optimum fra meworks for acquiring a good communicative competence. There are. r eading and writing. It is difficult to describe these various methods briefly and yet fair ly. this communicative view is considered an approach rather than a method which provides a humanistic approach to teaching where interactive processes of communication r eceive priority. The first component is linguistic competence. 2. two componen ts to communicative competence under review. and such a task is well beyond the scope of this paper.1. 2. first. However. Cooperative Language Learning. Today. Upon this basis . and finally. Content-Based Teaching. It is the ability to use appropriately all aspects of verbal and non-verbal languag e in a variety of contexts. Its rapid adoption and implementation resulted in similar approaches among which we may mention The Natural Approach. communicatio n is intended to involve the integration of different language skills.2. Fluency over accuracy. The aim of this section is to approach the notion of communicative competence fr om an emphasis on fluency rather than on linguistic accuracy. However. This iss ue is examined within an ethnography of communication theory in order to approach a foreign lan guage from a pragmatic and linguistic point of view.2. and Task-Based Teaching. as would a native speaker (Canale 1983). This notion no longer describes just a particular proficiency or skill.

the cultural and linguistic ear although the grammar may be perfect. This feature is to be found culturally implied. or wor d order of interactions where perhaps the word meaning is correct. Secondly. the sem antics. pit ch. not explicitly taught. and juncture as a passage from one sound to another in the stream of speech. or we deal with a person whose writing or speaking is different to the native language. but the word is out-of-d ate or awkward. The second component includes pragmatics competence which deals with knowing the appropriateness of communication formats. verbal and non-verbal responses and in teractions in many contexts. where. Secondly . the use of non 7/25 . or simply that a phrase is not appropriate in the context. the stress. volume. we shall highlight first. Among an endless list of skills. and the how. This usually takes place when we think of children s amusing or embarrassing comments as they l earn to communicate. status. the syntax. Finally. and why they are used in a langu age. or meanings of words and phrases. ages and perspectives. the ap propriateness of action and speech in view of the speakers roles. when. Thirdly.

abilities. Therefore. and not to talk excessively. another feature is to establish rapport. These pragmatics elements are so powerful that the message can become distorted if some of them are missing. as being understood is much more important than using correc t vocabulary or grammar. Today s classrooms often have a wide diversity of skills. supplying all necessary informat ion and requesting clarification when necessary.2. We. The introduction of cultural studies: a basis for an etnography of commun ication. and ending a conv ersation. and responding to timing and pauses in dialogue. uneasy or distrustful. lifestyles and languages that can provide a wonderful opportunity for students t o expand and enhance their communicative competence by means of providing our students with f ully developed experiences concerning acceptable communication. and control in those learners who lack strong pragmatics competence. learners need many opportunities to communicate without having to co ncentrate on structure and form. expe riences. contributing relevance to. we shall examine some cultural implications within this issu e in our next section. confidence. communicative competence also cov ers conditions that affect communication by means of socio-cultural competence in order to faci litate comprehensible interaction or to provide general knowledge of the world and of h uman nature. taking turns. teachers. students need to develop this competence in an appropriate con versational context. or personal space and body movement. can provide opportunities for s tudents to develop context-sensitive behaviour in order to become more aware of. it is important a feature that involv es creating smooth changes in topic. Yet. we may highlight the fact of being comprehensible. speakers draw on their competence in putting together grammatical sentences. Experiencing fluency also builds a sense of comfort. Since pragmatics competence is a crucial survi val skill in life and in the workplace. 2. Fluency in speaking can be thought of as the ability to generate an d communicate one s ideas intelligibly and with relative ease but not necessarily with accuracy (Can ale & Swain 1980). cultures.2. making the speaker feel perplexed. Fourthly. As we have mentioned in the preceding section. Next. In communicative language teaching. but not all such . and more adept at responding appropriately to social contexts. And finally. as well as initiating. In develo ping communicative competence. such as frequency and pattern of eye contact and facial expression s. the emphasis is on fluency and comprehensibi lity as opposed to accuracy.verbal codes.

Speakers use their communicative competence to choose what to say. Once the constraint of a lack of background knowledge and information is eliminated. There are several important strategies that a student should learn about the und erlying cultural rules that guide conversation in the environment where they are speaking.sentences can be used in the same circumstances. Communic ating with people from different cultures implies not only choosing the appropriate words b ut also using the appropriate verbal and non-verbal behaviors. the more knowledge the lear ner has to facilitate understanding about a topic from a different culture. the easier it is for the l earner to be an active participant. please? are both grammatical. Give me the salt! and Could you pass me the salt. such as usin g gestures. This often involves acquiring i nformation about life experiences such as driving rules. to highlight again the importance of being und erstood rather than using correct vocabulary or grammar. business. and to speak with ease and fluency. So far. a s well as how and when to say it. Thus. It is fair. etiquette. but they differ in their appropriateness for use in particular situations. Hymes (1974) and others have stated that second language acquisition must be acc ompanied by a cultural knowledge acquisition in addition to communicative competence. taking 8/25 . the learner has an opportunity to work on developing fluency and building communicative competence. or how just ice works. then. family life.

turns. 2. Besides. cultural relativity sees communicative practices as an important part of what me mbers of a particular culture know and do (Hymes 1972). S stands for setting an d scene (physical circumstances). therefore . It refers to a methodology based in anthropology and lin g uistics allowing people to study human interaction in context. The is sue of culture under study will be discussed in our next section where different interpretations of c ommunicative competence are examined from early approaches to present-day studies. speech events. and interpr etation (interpretation of norms within cultural belief system). This interpretation of communicative competence can serve as a useful guide to h elp second language learners to distinguish important elements of cultural communication as they learn to observe and analyze discourse practices of the target culture in context. non-verbal and physic al channel). This tradition on cultural studies was first introduced in a language teaching t heory in the early 1920s and improved in the 1970s by the notion of the ethnography of communicatio n. and speech acts as units of communicative practice and attempt to situate these events in context in order to analyze them. a concept coined by Dell Hymes. As for actual ethnographers. They acknowledge speech situations.3. the acquisition of a cultural knowledge in order to communicate effectively. A stands for act sequence (message form and content). By means of using these verbal and non-verbal com munication strategies. genre referring to textual categories. Ethnographers adhering to Hymes' m ethodology attempt to analyze patterns of communication as part of cultural knowledge and b ehavior. A historical overview of the development in a model of communicative compet . second language learners must have the opportunity to access the viewpoints of n atives of the culture being studied in order to interpret culturally defined behaviors. N refers to norms of interaction (specific proprieties attached to speaking). the learner may enhance the effectiveness of communication (Canale a nd Swain 1980). and finally. serves as a framework within which the ethn ographer examines several components of speech events as follows. sender and addresser . P refers to participants including speaker. These strategies vary from culture to culture. I stands for instrumentalities (verbal. or maintaining silence. E means end (purposes and goals). Hymes' (1972) well-known SPEAKING heuristic where capital letters acknowledge fo r different aspects in communicative competence. K de als with key (tone and manner). and they make relevant.

The notion of communicative competence and its development is linked to the dial ectical relationship between language and culture which has preoccupied linguists. philo sophers and researchers for many years. upon this basis.1. this section is aimed to provide a historical account of the different ap proaches to the development of a communicative competence model by considering the contributions of the most prominent linguists within this field from the very beginnings to present-day st udies. The refore. The present section considers the relationship between culture and language as a constant concern of second and foreign language researchers and educators worldwide. Schweiter and Simonet (1921). culture and language.ence. However.3. 2. These two te rms. it was not until the early twentieth centur y that a systematic 9/25 . Earlier approaches: Hobbes (1651). and Lado (1957). are directly related to the notion of communicative competence as cult ural and linguistic studies provide the basis for a communicative approach in language teaching.

in 1921. However. and Commands. his . and yet there are but few. lexicon. and of him that Exhorteth. holidays and rituals o f a foreign language country. when they perceive who it is th at speaketh. and for the first time. he explains how fallacious is is to judge of the nature of things. traditions. This occasion makes reference to an emphasis on social action rather than on texts in order to achieve the effective ness of communication. aris ing from the imperative manner of speaking in them both. Shweiter and Simonet also challenged the view tha t language is only a system of signs and that language awareness included only the knowledge of gra mmar. Hobbes unconciously offered in his work The Leviathan (chapter XXV) an ethnographic approach to the nature of language. Another approach traces back to the middle of the twentieth century. but also of him that g iveth Counsell. which involved a wide range of genera l topics. are the words not onely of him that Commandeth. by the ordinary and incon stant use of words. among which we may find geography. Though the range of the topics may seem very limited nowadays. and to whom the Speech is directed. and phonetics (Bloomfield 1933). and in many other occasions besides. T herefore. or that cannot distinguish between them. On revising the natural condition of mankind regarding counsel. and the necessity of an appropriate context of communication was provided by the philosopher Thomas Hobbes in 1651. One of the first references to language. as a system of signs. that see not. Thus . when the Am erican linguist Robert Lado (1957) argued that knowledge of a foreign language culture is essent ial for foreign language learners to create the same atmosphere of native speakers interaction. They argued about the necessity of including a system of basic information into second language teaching. emerges from a method on comparing first and second language c ultures in order to help learners get a better understanding of the second language realiti es. T his approach. traditional views on language system are challenged. that these a re very different things. history customs.introduction of cultural studies enters the second language teaching curriculum. the reader must bear in mind that this was the first challenged to the old traditional view of l anguage system. Lado s method was not to be applied to a classroom setting as audiolingual and grammar translation methods were the dominant approaches in second language teaching by that time. and upon what occasion. appeareth in nothing more. proposed by Lado. For the words Doe this. than in the confusion of Counsels. Some centuries later.

among which we may mention. Chomsky s theory is concerned primarily with an ideal speaker-listener. there was a variety of theoretical challenges t o the audio-lingual method in the 1960s. according to which learners do not acquire an endless list of rules. but limited set of transformations with which language users can form an unlimited number of sentences. 2. who knows its language perfectly and is unaffected by such grammatically irrelevant conditions as memory limitations. in a compl etely homogeneous speech community.2. and errors (random or characteristic) in applying his knowledge of the language in actual 10/ 25 . apart from Lado s. Chomsky proposed in his work Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965). As we have previously mentioned. Chomsky (1965): competence and performance. behaviourist models of language learning. shifts of attention and interest. who als o challenged. that of the li nguist Noam Chomsky which became a turning point in the development of subsequent theories o n language learning. when so cial sciences started to emerge as a relevant issue within the field of language teaching. we find our next linguist under consideration.theoretical discoveries were not to be considered again until the 1970s. Parallel to these theoretical challenges. Noam Chomsky. but this time successfully. a theory called Transformational Generative Grammar. distractions.3.

the idea of communicative competence was the ability to produce utterances which are not so much grammatical but. then. First reactions to Chomsky s model: Campbell and Wales (1970). They thought that there were rules of language use that were neglected in Chomsky s view of language. there was an increasing interest and. Besides. a m ode of social interaction. which resulted in a considerable broade ning in scholars understanding of the concept of culture. he proposed the notion of language functions by means of w hich the context . we may say that they felt that appro priateness of language is even more important than grammaticality. its sociocultural significance. then. His distinction served as basis for work of many other researchers as it is stated in the following sections. and performance refers to the actual pro duction and rules of language use. Mainly three approaches showed a disagreement that went on in the ea rly 1970s. and that linguistic competence represented only part of what one needs to know to be a competent lan guage user. To Halliday. With respect to Campbell and Wales approach. in other w ords. linguisti c knowledge is separated from sociocultural features. Halliday (19 72) and Hymes (1972). Therefore. we shall mention that he rejected Chomsky s dichot omy of competence and performance as he thought the potential of meaning was covered bo th by knowing and doing. in so cial sciences. language is a mode of human behavior. Thus.performance (1965 p. there are two main concepts under revisio n. To him. particularly sociology and anthropology. therefore development. grammaticality and acceptability. within his theory of ling uistic competence and performance. In the 1970s. approp riate to the context in which they are made (1970). and therefore. According to Chomsky. Halliday (1972).3). In relation to Halliday (1972). competence refers to the innate knowledge of language an id eal speakerlistener has in an homogeneous speech community. There were reactions to Chomsky s notion of linguistic competence.3. they referred to Chomsky s view as grammatical competence and to theirs as communicative competence. more important. For him. 2. They accepted the distincti on proposed by Chomsky regarding competence and performance. competence and performance. and centered on whether communicative competence included grammatical competence or not. and Hymes (1972). being respectively. but pointed out that Chomsky negle cted the appropriateness of utterance to a particular context of situation or. For them.3. Campbell and Wales (1970).

and textual. and he feels that there are rules of use without which the rules of grammar would be useless. he also pointed out that Chomsky s competence-perfor mance model did not provide an explicit place for sociocult ural features. Regarding Dell Hymes approach. we find th e informative function which emphasizes affirmative and negative statements. good wishes. Secondly. such as the ideatio nal. where we may i nclude patterns of greeting. Thirdly. three macro-functions. Hymes introduced the concept of communicative competence. interpersonal. adding that Chomsky s notion of performance seemed confused between actual performance and underlying rules of p erformance. hypothesizing. Hymes recasts the scope of the competence concept because there is a lack of emp irical support in Chomsky s model. and suggestions are included. the interactional. and creating for the love of sound and image. the regulatory where rules. the heuristic function focuses on asking questions. Next. Finally. leave-taking. and excusing. Fourth. the instrumental to express desires and needs. orders. the imaginative function. Firstly. thanking. Thus. instructions. which is used for s upposing. were the basis for another set of seven micro-functions. payi ng special attention to the sociolinguistic component. 11/ 25 . which connected language and culture . listed as follows.of a situation provides a first approximation to the specification of the compon ents of the communication situation (1985). Fifth. the persona l function which encourages students to talk about themselves and express their feelings.

. repeat. although it also addresses issues of language acquisition. Savignon s experiment is consider ed to be one of the best-known surveys as it shed light on the development of research in thi s field. As a result. 2.Hymes (1972) stated that native speakers know more than just grammatical compete nce. by means of equivalents of expressions such as Excuse me. Hymes s model is..3. Sandra Sa vignon (1972. both linguistic and paralinguistic. he expands the Chomskyan notions of grammaticality (competence) and acceptability ( performance) into four parameters subsumed under the heading of communicative competence as s omething which is first.4. as we s hall see in further sections. primarily sociolinguistic. So far. and actually performed. . .. The America n linguist.. She introduced the idea of communicative competence as the ability to function in a truly communicative setting . something which is in fact done. the first well-recognized experiment of communicative languag e teaching was taking place at the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign. It was an attempt towards an interac tional approach where learners were encouraged to make use of their foreign language in a classr oom setting. was conducting an experiment with foreign language learners. thirdly. A linguistic example of these parameter s is provided by a sentence that may be grammatical. Regarding the scope of communicative competence. appropriate . in a clasroom at a beginners level. awkward. Sandra Savignon (1972). but includes Chomsky s psycholing uistic parameter of linguistic competence. sociolinguistic and con textual competences. representing the us er s knowledge and ability in communicating. formally possible. Hymes s model for communicative competence included grammatical. Hymes s model inpired subsequent model developments on communicative competence. Simultaneously to Hymes s introduction of the concept of communicative competence as a reaction to Chomsky s theory. in a dynamic exchange in which linguistic compe tence must adapt itself to the toal informational input. in relation to a context in which it is used and evaluated. Please.. of o ne or more interlocutors (1972).. tactful and rare.? in order to communicate rather than feign native speakers. such as those of Canale and Swain (1980) and Bachman (1987). It is also primarily concerned with explaini ng language use in social contexts. pa rticularly adults. How do y ou say this in Italian. feasible in virtue of the available means. secondly. 1983). and fi nally..that is. then.

Finally. Secondly. and evaluated . maintained. the fact that communicative competence is not only oral.She included the use of gestures and facial expression in her interpretation and later refined her definition of communicative competence to comprise of the following six relevant aspects (1983). Fourthly. for her. an approach to appropriateness as depending on context. she s tates that only performance is observable as it is only through performance that competence can be developed. Here we refer to the approp riate choices of register and style in terms of situation and other participants. but written t oo. In the fifth place. Thirdly. she talks about degrees of communicative competence whic h. and not absolute. as it comes in degrees because it depends on the coo peration of all interlocutors. she claims for communicative com petence to be relative. 12/ 25 . that is. Thus. is difficult to measure. the first feature is the individuals s willingness to take risks and express themselves in foreign language and to make themselves understood. the notion of the negotiati on of meaning.

5.3. van Ek (1986). culture. Though not able to agree on o perational definitions of the components of communicative competence. an important role in an individual s cultural identity development. According to him. a speech act theory. Since language is the means of expression of one s identity. extensive research in Communicative Language Teaching served as a theoretical and methodological basis for the emergence of several approaches that aimed to co-te ach language and culture. claimed that. among them. both concepts are to be linked to the aspects of performance. and language teachi ng were presented as multiple deviations from the norm within a cultural diversity of the modern worl d. In the 1980s. Among other models of communicative competence currently used worlwide. all scholars recogniz ed the sociocultural component to be an inseparable part of foreign language communicat ive competence. as they propose possible ways of increasing the effectiveness of foreign language communication. and l anguage teaching in order to prepare students for adequate intercultural communication. ethnographic.Savignon s model was not the only result of those theoretical and empirical invest igations which were carried out in the early 1980s in the field of communicative language teach ing. as usage refers to the manifestation of the knowledge of a language system whereas the notion of use means the realization of the languag e system as meaningful communicative behavior. then. i n communication. The issues linked to identity. the way people use the language may affect the way they are most likely to be perceived by others. Parallel to this approach. although they differed in the context of applicati on. we shall mention tho se of Canale & Swain (1980). by means of which an utterance with a well-formed grammatical str . and to help them overcome and eliminate generalizations about a foreign language culture and society. culture. This duality is based on the notion of effect iveness for communication. and sociocultural studies established a connection between language and culture. interactional competence and cross-cultural considerations were examined as a sociocultural phenomena. These issues become e specially important when we are talking about foreign languages. there was a need to examine a number of issues connected with identity. Widdowson (1978) and Munby (1978). the sociocul tural environment played. cultural literacy. As a result. Within this theoretical background and from a discourse-based approach. Thus. Widdowson (1978) and Munby (1978). 2. approaches to discourse analysis. Widdowso n (1978) proposes a distinction between the concepts of use and usage. and Bachman (1990). Many researchers.

Therefore. However. First. a s for instance. and that teachers who agree that grammatical competence is part of communicative competen ce might still separate them in teaching (1980). the influential theorists Canale and Swain.ucture may or may not have a sufficient value for communication in a given context. a sociosemantic bas is of linguistic knowledge. among others. he states that grammatical competence and communicative competence need to be developed separately and seco ndly. a sociocultural orientation. Similarly. he goes further by saying that grammatical competence is not an essential component of c ommunicative competence. he claimed that whether an utterance has a sufficient communicative value or not is determined i n discourse. The main tenets of his Communicative Competence model are presented under the basis of a linguistic encoding. Munby (1978) contends that grammatical competence should be included in the notion of communicative competence under two main theoretical basis. However. they added that second language learn ing would 13/ 25 . reactions to this approach soon emerged from linguists in this field. They claimed that both gra mmatical competence and sociolinguistic competence are important elements within this fra mework. and a discourse level of operation.

and proficiency in. Thirdly. Communicative competence. and strategic aspects. the development of Hymes theory of communicative competence was one of the reactions to Chomsky's somewhat limiting definition of the scope of linguistic theory on communicative competence. Upon this basis. the grammatical competence. Secondly. It se ems a particularly relevant idea to those interested in second language learning. This cohesion of thought is attained by means of cohesive devices. as Hyme s proposed it. which deals with the mastery of the linguistic code itself. This aspect is important for students to attain a higher level of p roficiency where accuracy is important.6. or eliciting among others. sociolin guistic. such as pronouns and grammatic al connectors. the disco urse competence concerns the mastery of how to use language in order to achieve a unified spoken or written text in different genres. a preference model appears to be a useful way to characterize communicati ve competence. the use of a language. Canale and Swain (1980) and Canale (1983). cohesion and coherence of utterances in a discourse. This competence is particularly difficult to attain as the skilled use of appropriate registers requires sensitivity to cross-cultural differences. narrating.3. They formulated a theoretical framework that. consisted of four major components of communicative competence. it has many advantages over competing models. is then a theory of the nature of such knowledge and proficie ncy. Language tests involve me asuring a subject s knowledge of.proceed more effectively when grammatical usage is not abstracted from a meaning ful context. For a detailed account of this approach. as the relevance of a theory of communicative competence to language by means of testing was first noted by Coop er (1968) and explored by Canale and Swain (1980) and Canale (1983). The notion of communicative competence was examined by various groups of researc hers. according to them. 2. goes further than just grammatical knowledge and includes psychological and socio-linguistic factors that address the fact that communication takes place in a context. the sociolinguistic competence is concerned wit h the appropriate use of language in particular social situations to convey specific communicative functions such as describing. thus grammatical. discourse. that is. As we have previously mentioned. including the participants and the rules for interaction. including those in second language learning like Canale and Swain (1980) and Can ale (1983). and at the same time. Communicative c ompetence. . we shall move on to our next section. in the modified version of Canale (1983). We shall mention first.

to compensate for breakdowns in communicat ion. and secondly. to enhance the effectiveness of communication. On this issue.7. the strategi c competence makes reference to the mastery of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies by me ans of both the underlying knowledge about language and communicative language use or skill. Hymes sociolinguistic approach was. 2.together with a unity of thought and continuity in a text. among which we may mention Canale and Swain as their reinterpretation of Hymes model is considered to be one of the most improved and effective versions of the notion of communicative competence. Finally. However. 14/ 25 . both models have un dergone further reinterpretations and developments when addressing communication oriente d teaching in a classroom setting. The main goal to attain with this competence is first. On revising Hymes and Canale and Swain s models: Wolfson (1989) and Bachman (1990). to be reinterpreted by a language teaching professional. further comments w ill be examined later in the section of the model assessment.3. Besides. then. Wolfson (1989) who worked on cross-cultural consideration s. the notion of communicative competence intended by Hymes wa s further developed and revised by other linguists. As mentioned before.

Two furt her ideas are specially important. language competence. Sociolinguistic interference. such as linguistic routines and sociolinguist interference. Wolfson s model mainly focuses on communicative competence. So far. arises during contacts between cultures with differing systems of communicative competence. or as the interaction of two or more (1972). Thus. Thus. which is related to firstly. Wolfson was working on a survey for learners with different cultural background to understand certain rul es of the interaction process regarding cultural communication patterns. Bachman propose d a tree model of communicative competence for a theoretical framework of communicative languag e ability. but differently arranged. the pragmatic competence . the term communicative competence is misinterpreted by language teachers and curriculum developers as the separation of grammatical competence. strategic competence. Our understanding of the mechanics o f this interference has been developed by work in contrastive rhetoric and cross-cultural communicat ion generally. he no tes. in cluding differently structured linguistic routines. and outlines a model of rules of speaking derived from Hymes with pedagogic purposes. Wolfson points out that grammatical competence is an intrinsic part of communicative competence. in particular. but sta ting that in many cases. Regarding Wolfson s model (1989).Canale and Swain s model also had its developments and contributions. either as acti vities of one person. Secondly. a functional u . on why America ns complimented so frequently. Both approaches are examined in this section. language competence is related to the knowledge of language a learner has. His model presents an is sue of crosscultural miscommunication within the framework of compliments. which includes two major abilities used in communicating through language. Hymes describes some texts as having sequential organisation beyond the sentence. On revising Canale and Swain s reinterpretations. firstly. where we may distinguish three major components of communicative language profic iency. the organizational competence which deals with the control of formal structure of la nguage (grammatical competence) and the knowledge of how to construct discourse (textua l competence). The first component. and psychophysiological mechanisms. it is relevant to recall part of Hymes theory whe n he states that there is more in his term than the concept of communicative competence. we shall refer to Lyle Bachman ( 1990) whose model was similar to Canale and Swain s. such as that of Bachman (1990) among others. but only recently have some of these insights found their way in to the classroo m setting.

According to the Ministry of Education. 2. The second component is the strategic competence which refers to mental capaciti es underlying language use. So far.se of language (illocutionary competence or how to perform speech acts) and secondly. and a psycholinguistic view t o enhance rhetorical effects of utterances. he works within the framework of an interactional view as compensation for communication breakdowns. Therefore.8.3. the knowl edge of appropriateness to context in which language is used (sociolinguistic competence ). pointing out that Canale and Swain s model did not describe the mech anisms by which strategic competence operates. there is a need for learning a foreign language in order to communicate with other European countries. In relation to the third component. and a need for emphasizing the role of a foreign language which gets relevance as a mu ltilingual and 15/ 25 . and secondly. through a productive or receptive mode. planning and execution. since Spain entered the European Communi ty. Present-day approaches: B. he distinguishes three phases in hi s model: assessment.O. a visual or au ditory channel.E. (2002). we shall refer to ps ychophysiological mechanisms as physical means of producing language through first.

and therefore. interest topics and. th e discourse competence (language functions. and conversations). Students. Therefore. Fur thermore. The foreign language learning process will help students improve their education al and professional life from a global perspective as it will help them develop their personality. s ocial integration. to promote their intellectual knowledge. productive (oral and written communication). then. and interactional. in order to develop the above mentioned communication tasks in our pr esent educational system. their native speakers and their culture. morphosyntactic and phonological). foreign language activities are provided within the framework of social interaction. the so ciolinguistic competence (social conventions. speech acts. a communicative competence theory includes the following subcompetences. Firstly. Thirdly. and registers among ot hers). Fourthly. recepti ve (oral and written comprehension within verbal and non-verbal codes). Secondly. thus. Thus.O. It means to have access to other cult ures and customs as well as to foster interpersonal relationships which help individuals develop a d ue respect towards other countries. This sociocultural fra mework allows learners to better understand their own language. So far. 2002). the learning of a foreign l anguage is . and claims for a progressive development of communicative competence in a specific language. are intended to be able to carry out several communication tasks with specific communicative goals within specific contexts. getting a proficie ncy level in a f oreign language implies educational and professional reasons which justify the presence of foreign langu ages in the curricula at different educational levels. communicative intentions.E. students will make use of this competence in a natural and systematic way in order to achieve the effectiveness of communication through th e different communication skills. their own culture. the linguistic competence (semantic. To sum up.multicultural identity. In order to get thes e goals. The European Council (B. in particular. establishes a common reference framework fo r the teaching of foreign languages. humanistic and technological advances within other areas of knowledge. professional or educational fields. several strategies as well as linguist ic and discursive skills come into force in a giv en context. these aspects will allow learners to be in contact with the current scientific. Within this context. per sonal. and in particular the Spanish Educational Sy stem within the framework of the Educational Reform. the strategic competence will be included as a subcompetence of communicative co mpetence within this educational framework.

The first part will present a brief background to the notion of communicative competence in order to link this term to Canale and Swain s assessme nt model on communicative competence components.intended to broaden the students s intellectual knowledge as well as to broaden th eir knowledge on other ways of life and social organization different to their own. Besides. the second sectio n will summarize the main related areas of study which take part in the communicative competence model. 16/ 25 . Savignon. Furthermore. and Tarone among others. a model assessment based on Canale and Swain s model on communicative competence will be depicted in order to mention the four main competences currently applied to educational systems. to broaden their professional interests and consolidate social values to promote the development of international communication. Widdowson. This section is intended to provide an account of the analysis of communicative competence components according to one of the most relevant figures in this field. 3. In order to do so. AN ANALYSIS OF COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE COMPONENTS. Finally. Canale and Swain. Dell Hym es. the aim is to get information on international issues. this sec tion will be divided into two main issues.

During the past 25 years. Thus. It therefore refers to having c ontrol over the purely linguistic aspects of the language code itself. Here the notion of Communicative Comp etence is divided up into four subcomponents which have been mentioned before. and to handle linguistic semantics. into th e area of pragmatics which deals with the use of language in everyday communicative situat ions. regarding verbal and non-verbal codes. thus. This type of knowledge requires an understandin g of the social context in which language is used: the roles of the participants. and the function of the interaction (Savignon 1983). Thus. This corresponds to Hymes grammatical aspect and includes knowledge of the lexicon. the informatio n they share. The most important study on developing the notion of Communicative Competence fr om Dell Hymes work has been done by Canale and Swain (1980).1. to use language through spelling and pronunciation. Instea d communicative competence takes us one step further than purely grammatical competence. 3. it involves rules of formulations and con straints for students to match sound and meaning. syntax. Sociolinguistic competence. regarding sociocultural rules of use.1. such as Canale and Swain (1980) defined this competence in terms of sociocultural rules of use. Hymes was convinced that Chomsky s (1965) notion of competence defined as a speake r-hearer s underlying mental representation of grammatical rules was far too narrow. phonology and semantics. This heading subsumes all knowledge of lexical items and of rules of morphology.1.2. gramm atical. and strategic competence are glossed below. 3.3. Other relevant figures in this fiel d.1. Much of this ascendancy is due to the sociolinguist Dell Hymes (1967) who in a series of articles developed the notion of communicative c ompetence. Communicative Competence is therefore concerned not only with what is grammatica l but also what is appropriate in a given social situation. On the analysis of communicative components: a model assessment. this competence is linked . Grammatical competence. Sociolinguistic competence refers to the knowledge which the learner has to acqu ire of the sociocultural rules of language. syntax. communicative language teaching has been the dominant approach to the teaching of foreign and second languages. discourse. and rules of discourse. to form words and sentences using vocabular y. sociolinguistic. sentencegrammar semantics and phonology (Canale and Swain 1980). There is also a useful disc ussion of this in Swain (1980) which is especially useful for those approaching communicative comp etence from a second language acquisition point of view.

communicative functions . Thus. we refer to the extent to which a given meaning is represented in both verbal and non-verbal form that is proper in a given sociolinguistic context. this competence is concerned with the extent to which particular communicative functions and ideas are judged to be proper in a given situation. it is defined in terms of the mastery of how t o combine grammatical forms and meanings (1980). attit udes. When we deal with appropriateness of form .1. propositions and ideas. as for instance. Discourse competence. complaining and inviting. In relation to meaning appropriateness. This is in many ways connected to the large body of research which has been accu mulated over the last 25 years in the field of discourse analysis. 3. Regarding the rules of discourse. Discourse analysis is primaril y concerned with the 17/ 25 . and norms or conventions of interaction.3.to the notion of the extent to which utterances are produced and understood appropriately in differen t sociolinguistic contexts depending on contextual factors such as status of participants. purpose s of the interaction. commanding.

comm unicative functions. avoidance. such as prono uns. strategic co mpetence is useful in various circumstances as for instance. Widdowson (1978) proposed a distinction between the concepts of us e and usage. repetition.1. where usage refers to the manifestation of the knowledge of a language system an d use means the realization of the language system as meaningful communicative behavior. and attitudes. thus. Cohesion deals with how utterances are linked structurally and facilitates interpretation of a text by means of cohesion devices. For them. coherence refers to the relatioships among the different meanings in a text. This approach has been supported by other researchers. the unity of a text is achiev ed through cohesion in form and coherence in meaning. synonyms. circumlocution. This competence addresses directly to the mastery of how to combine grammatical forms and meanings to achieve a unified spoken or written text in different genres (Canale and Swain 1980). hesistation. the early stages of second language learn ing where communicative competence can be present with just strategic and socio-linguistic competence. One of its main figures. an a rgumentative essay. Thus. Finally we come to the fourth area of Communicative Competence.This is quite a complex area but in a simplified way we can describe it as the type of knowledge which we need to sustain communication with someone.ways in which individual sentences connect together to form a communicative mess age. 3. a scientific paper. gues sing as well as shifts in register and style. Savignon (1983) notes that one can communicate non-verbally in the absence of gr ammatical or discourse competence provided there is a cooperative interlocutor. and oral and written narrative among others. strategic competence is the verbal and nonverbal communication strategies that m ay be called into action to compensate for breakdowns in communication due to performance variable s or due to insufficient competence. In the words of Canale (1983). According to Canale and Swain (1980). she points out the necessity and the sufficiency for the inclusion of strategic competence as a com ponent of . such as Savignon and Taro ne.4. Strategic competence. By genre is meant the type of text to be unified. conjunctions and parallel structures to relate individual utterances a nd to indicate how a group of utterances is to be understood as a text. This may be achieved by paraphrase. ellipsis. Yet. where these meanings may be literal meanings. Besides.

we will offer a brief account of the 18/ 25 .communicative competence at all levels as it demonstrates that regardless of exp erience and level of proficiency one never knows all a language. The four components of communicative competence are linked to some studies and t heories which do not fit into one component of Communicative Competence and overlap several co mponents. As will be seen later. sociolinguistic and strategic competence. Tarone includes a requierement for the use of strategic competence by which the speaker has to be aware that the linguistic structure needed to convey his meaning is not available to h im or to the hearer. 3. This also illustrates the negotiatio n of meaning involved in the use of strategic competence as noted in Tarone (1981).2. Related areas of study. a speech act theory or th e field of pragmatic transfer cannot be categorized as a part of only one competence. Thus. a speech act theory overlaps discourse. Therefore. strategic competence is essential in conversation and we arg ue for the necessity and sufficiency of this competence. Another criterion on strategic competence proposed by Tarone (1981) for the spea ker to recognize a meta-linguistic problem is the use of the strategies to help getting the meaning across. Thus. research areas such as interactional competence.

3. Early researchers as Zellig Harris in the US in the 1950s. it refers to a talk. through speechact theory. conversational maxims. written texts.four main research areas which are related to communicative competence and that cannot be framed within only one competence of those mentioned above. the term discourse is related to the analysis of connected speech and writing. Their research included the exa mination of forms of talk such as storytelling. conversation. L. The term discourse traces back to Latin discursus which means a conversation. referred to as field (purpose of communication). then. greeting. Alongside the conversation analysts. Halliday related grammar at the clause and sentence level to situat ional constraints. 3. conversation.1. Parallel studies were taking place in America by re levant figures in this field. In the 1960s. institutionalized forms of talk. In the 1970s. research in the United Kingdom was influenced by the functional ap proach to language of M. His syst emic linguistics emphasizes the social functions of language and the thematic and informational s tructure of speech and writing. These overlap with British work in pragmatics. Discourse analysis. Searle. R. dialogue. sermon. Discourse analysts studied. were interested in the dist ribution of elements in extended texts and the relationship between a text and its social situation. A. S uch work has generated a variety of descriptions of discourse organization as well as studies of social constraints on politeness and face-preserving phenomena.2. William L abov's studies of oral narrative have contributed to a more general knowledge of narrative structure. and mode (channels of communication). J. and H. in the sociolinguistic tradition. This term was used in the 1960s by philos ophers of language such as J. and pragmatics (the study of meaning in context) in gener al. Austi n. A speech act theory.2. the American linguistic anthropologist Dell Hymes studied speech in its social setti ng as a form of addres). tenor (relationships among part icipants). and their relationship to the contexts in which they are used. Halliday. and communicative events in gener al. L. in turn influenced by the Prague School. The work of British linguistic philosophers such as J. P. or treatise whereas in lingu istics. in How to Do . and verbal duels in different cultural a nd social settings. Austin.2. such as John Gumperz and Dell Hymes. Grice was influential in the study of language as social action. In general. lecture. it is related to a unit or piece of connected speech or writing that is longer than a conventional sentence In 1960s. K.

There are a wide range of kinds of speech act. secondly. illocutiona ry and perlocutory acts. performative utterances on speakers and hearers th at result through or as a result of speech. recognizes five types. requesting. Firstly. whereby spe akers alter states of affairs by performing such speech acts as I now pronounce you man and wife. where speakers try to get hearers to do something by comma nding. an d reporting. 19/ 25 .Things with Words (1962). and thirdly. expressives. where speakers are committed in varyi ng degrees to the truth of the propositions they have uttered. and undertaking. who in his work Speech Acts in 1979. to refer to acts performed by utterances which conveye d information. Among the most relevant surveys o n speech act theories. representative speech act. by means of swearing. directives. Within a speech act theory. giving orders and making promises. Fourthly. believing. They mean respectively. Thirdly. we shall mention John R. acts that occur in speech. F ifth. respons es which hearers called perlocutionary acts. which commit speakers in varying degrees to cou rses of action by means of promising. we may dist inguish a conventional semantic theory by studying the effects of locutionary. declarations. where speakers express attitudes. Secondly. or urging. such as congratulating and apologizing. commissives. vowing. Thus. Searle.

3. speech acts have to meet certain felicity conditions. One of those approaches i s interactional competence. a marriage ceremony can only be performed by someone with the authority to do so. it's cold in here . Without overstressi ng the constraints on participants.2. They all share d the view of interactional competence as the main tenet of communicative competence. involving among many others. over specific professional communities. Thus. Long and Porter (1985). within specific communicative events. compare Shut the door. in order to be successful. In order to make effective discourse productions. . in fact all components of communicative events. please and Hey. there seems to be a multiplicity of analytical research investigating real rather than idealised language behavior. serve to increasingly restrict the range of available choices. organisational context. kinesics and proxemics in oral interaction. This area of study points out that inability of or insensitivity to foreign lang uage discourse may lead to impede communication more than grammatical inaccuracy. lear ners need to approach their speeches from a conscious sociolinguistic perspective. For instance. Speech acts ma y be direct or indirect. a s the grammatical competence may mislead learners into thinking that certain rules of use may alwa ys be conveyed by using conventional forms. in order t o get considerable cultural information about communicative settings and roles. over social sub-g roups. This area of study is related to the discourse and sociolinguistic competence. approaches all of which impact on the work carried out in language classrooms. conve ntional forms of messages. For instanc e. and preceding communications. and Pica a nd Doughty (1985) worked on the dynamics of spoken interaction and kinesics. and even wit hin specific stages or acts of an event. Linguists such as Schmidt (1983). Interactional competence. both of which are directives. The analysis of communicat ive events must include due consideration of rules for interaction and norms of interpretation w hich allow application of the techniques and insights developed by conversation and interac tion analysis. We also expect to find regular correspondences concerning paralinguistics. It is clear that such rules operate at several levels of generality.According to Austin (1962). Communicative behavior is not limited to the creation of texts . With the weaking of co nfidence in the Chomskyan paradigm. it is clear that space-time loci. and with the consent of the parties agreeing to the marriage. we may specify rules for interaction operating globally over wide cultural systems. 3.

Firstly.4. 3. Thus. Rather. a pragmat ic failure which involves the inability to understand what is meant by what is said. Main researches on the field of cross-cultural rethorical considerations. th e pragmalinguistic failure which is caused by mistaken beliefs about pragmatic force of utterance. th is kind of rules relate to more than the social acceptability of the forms of communication. linguistic or otherw ise. Cross-cultural considerations. this type of awareness will lead to a discussion of the differences between the cultural 20/ 25 . According to this model. Secondly. or in an elaborately polite manner. Finally. Another instance is brought about by Wolfson (1981) in developing sociocultural awarenes s. Holmes and Brown (1987) address three types of failure.2. point out that it is not the responsibility of the la nguage teacher qua linguist to enforce foreign language standards of behavior. the sociopragmatic failure which is given by different beliefs about rights and ment ionables. However. tactfully. such a s Holmes and Brown (1987) and Wolfson (1981).and also to norms relating to la yout and graphic design in writing. What we want to prevent them bein g unintentionally rude or subservient. it is the teacher s job to equip students to express themselves in exactly the ways they cho ose to do sorudely.

and mainly. or devices we use to store. 4. and hypermedia contexts for foreign language and cultu re acquisition. improved motivation. process. and communicate information. From a practical perspective in education. More recently. providing experiences for contact wit h language in context may prove difficult for foreign language teachers. most of them linear in nature and lacking in interactivity may not necessarily . This section first examines the use of video in the foreign language domain and then. Although traditionally. a new sensitivity to cultural communication patterns. Constrained by lack o f sufficient access to the target culture. and the potential to transfo rm a passive attitude to authentic texts into an active engagement in developing the effectiveness of communication practices in a classroom setting. technological developments have altered th e type of media foreing language students encounter. With the emergence of video. These materials. explores multimedia and hypermedia contexts for the acquisition of communicative competen ce. In the 1950's and 1960's. The literature on cross-cultural communication breakdown is vast. Thes e include more realistic learning activities. Multimedia and hypermedia contexts. new types of achievable obje ctives. Theref ore. when le arners from a different cultural background do not understand certain behavior rules from the foreign language target culture. 4.and social values of a first language learner and the foreign language community . researche rs have begun investigating multimedia.1. foreign language teachers who used the Audio Lingual Method departed from traditional textbooks and introduced audi otaped dialogues to the learning situation. foreign language student s had access to more contextualized language use and greater opportunity for comprehensible inpu t that facilitates second language acquisition (Krashen and Terrell 1983). He goes further on studying cross-cultural miscommunication in the field of compliments. and different cultural values and priorities. we will broadly overview the implications of a communicative approa ch into language teaching. different judgement of power and soc ial distance between different cultures. taboos. as it is relat ed to a number of aspects such as size of imposition. In the second part. foreign language teachers have used media. teachers often rely on textbooks and classroom materials in teaching language. PRESENT-DAY DIRECTIONS REGARDING COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE. important pedagogic advantages may be expected from further developing this approach.

students r eceive massive doses of comprehensible input. in the form of video.provide the required environment for the acquisition of communicative competence . thus paralinguistic and extralinguistic behavior that accompany speech. proponents of video for use in the foreign la nguage classroom suggest that this medium can inc rease the amount of comprehensible input access ible in the foreign language classroom. Furthermore. Although a lack of empirical evidence exists. the meaning of specific words and ut terances becomes clear to the learner. and that video can provide target language speech or texts that include challenging yet understandable portions. It is suggested that through the medium of video. Hypermedia and multimedia en vironments 21/ 25 . Furthermore. they may not necessarily provide all aspects of discourse activity. when the target la nguage is presented in context.

they all call for the contextualization of language (Cummings 1983).2. Recent developments in foreign language education have indicated a t rend towards the field of intercultural communication. where the Ministry of Education proposes s everal projects within the framework of the European Community. there is an emphasis on significance over form. for learners to trav el to the target culture up to two weeks. Second. In essence. in foreign language classrooms where the effectiveness of communication is to be acquired. This requires to create classrooms conditions which match those in real life and fost er acquisition.may also provide a more appropriate context for students to experience the targe t culture (Warschauer 1996). which utilize audio-visual formats can provide many of the contextual cues that tradit ional textbook formats can not (Cummings. we have to recreate as much as possible the whole cultural environment in the classroom. for learners to use multimedia resources in a classroom setting where learners are expected to learn to interpret and produce meaning wi th members of the target culture. for learners to acquire a foreign la nguage in the target culture for three. the practicality o f implementing ethnographic approaches to foreign language and culture learning is questionable . six or twelve months. and secondly. Otherwise. Some research has reported successful and meaningful cultural learning through t he use of ethnographic methods (Robinson-Stuart & Nocon 1996). the linear nature of textbooks affords students a rather restricted experience of the content and does not allow for navigational freedom or interactivity that modern technological tools such as CD ROM and hypertext provide learners. motivation and involvement are enhanced. Comenius projects. These projects consist of real s tudents exchanges. Present-day approaches deal with a communicative competence model in which first . Recent technological multimedia tools. Implications into language teaching. Contra ry to multimedia formats. and secondly. encouring learning. 1994). feeling themselves really in the language. linear and non-interactive. This method relies on a notion of communicative competence which takes place fir st. traditional textbooks. However. Erasmus projects. The success partly lies in the way the language becomes real to the users. may not p rovide the appropriate context for the acquisition of communicative competence. and Plumier projects. such as first. 4. in multimedia and hypermedia environments which support the acquisition of communic ative competence. Some of this motivational force is br ought about by intervening in authentic communicative events.

In order to access another culture and u nderstand its members practices and perspectives concerning these practices. such as textbooks do not p rovide a proper context for ethnographic investigation. F urthermore. or to a range of individuals representing much of the communicative repertoire of that culture. the main tenet of Foreign Language Learning is for foreign language learners to acquire language within its social context. foreign language learners must exercise both receptive and producti ve skills simultaneously. Thus.. as do true ethnographers. oftentimes. students do not have direct access to members of the target culture. The National Standards reflect these interdependent properties o f communication 22/ 25 . For example. second language l earners must have the opportunity to experience them in context. traditional means of contact with the target culture. As previously noted. In orde r to understand communicative practices. since the nature of languag e demands interlocutors concurrently interpret and produce language in order to create mea ning and effectively communicate. second language learners must see members of the target culture use them in authentic situations and must have access to the ground of meaning attached t o those practices.

emphasizing both the productive and the r eceptive skills. then they will most likely increase opportunities for meaningful input (Krashen & Terrell 1983). By ignoring these aspects of communication in the foreign language classroom. Students are expected to learn to function properly in the target language and c ulture. Limited a ccess to the target culture has forced teachers to rely on textbooks and other classroom materials i n teaching language. we ar e not providing our students essential elements of human interaction. In essence. As an exam ple of some standards. then we must address sociolinguistic aspects of language and provide students opportunities to access the meaning associated with language pr actices. including many aspects of discourse activity. Yet. as students increase their ability to produce in the target language. for spoken language must b e presented in the full context of communication. They also often fail to represent the linguistic repertoire of speech communities as they typically depi ct a rather monolithic speech community. both interpreting and producing meaning with members of the target culture.necessary for successful interactions. we shall mention some of them. traditional resources have proven inadequate. 5. textbooks generally provide students prescriptive phrases with which to communicate without providing insights as to contextual influences on these utterances. and standard number two by means of which students demonstrate an understanding of t he relationship between the practices and perspectives of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied. However. neglecting to portray the heterogeneous nature of the target c ultures' speakers. such as paralinguistic and extralinguistic behavior. CONCLUSION. Essentially. Hypermedia and multimedia environments may provide a more appropriate setting for students to experience the target language in its cultur . and these materials may not necessarily furnish a sufficiently rich environment for the acquisition of communicative competence. providing experiences for contact with language in context has been problematic. such as standard number one where stud ents are expected to understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics. A review of the literature in this survey revealed that although recent developm ents in foreign language education have indicated a trend towards approaching the acquisition of a second language in terms of communicative competence. if the goal of foreign language teaching is to develop communicativ e competence among foreign language students. These are just some instances among many others.

Without an understanding of native viewpoints. and Bachman (1990) in an attempt to mention the most re presentative figures in this field. language teachers have attempted to overcome this obstacle with the use of realia. Hyme s (1972). among which we may mention Savignon (1972. 1983). Canale and Swain (1980). Furthermore. and therefore the ma in aim is for students to be equipped linguistically and culturally in order to communicate su ccessfully in a pluralistic society and abroad.al context. However. 23/ 25 . second language and cult ure learners may be incapable of accessing and interpreting the meaning of communication in the t arget language as intended by members of that culture. For over twenty years. many researchers have concentrated on the development of the notion of communicative competence. For generations. The theme of communicative competence emerges upon the ba sis that language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. the use of these materials doe s not necessarily result in an interpretation of the intent of the message that matches those memb ers of the target culture. it is said that foreign language te achers must focus on the sociolinguistic and cultural aspects of language for students to be familiar with and knowledgeable of the target language and culture or cultures. or authentic materials in the classroom.

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