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Communicative competence: from theory to practice


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Communicative approach seems to appeal every language teacher nowadays. "Though teachers who are relatively new to the profession may not be familiar with many of the issues raised by communicative teaching methodology" Richards (2006, p1). This setting, in some cases, applies not only to novice teachers in the Colombian context. Besides, the problem is not only being familiar with this theory, but also how it can be translated to practice in the foreign language classroom.

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Communicative competence: from theory to practice

  1. 1. COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE From Theory To Practice José L. López Caraballo Sergio A. Meza Padilla Tuluá, Valle October 13th, 2012¡Formamos profesionales bilingües con Responsabilidad Social!
  2. 2. Communicative CompetenceAbility to use the language correctly and appropriately toaccomplish communication goals. The desired outcome ofthe language learning process is the ability to communicatecompetently, not the ability to use the language exactly as anative speaker does. (English Varieties)The term was first coined by D. Hymes (1972) in his workOn Communicative Competence.
  3. 3. Bachman & Palmer’s Model
  4. 4. Grammatical Knowledge The mastery of the linguistic code (verbal or non-verbal) which includes:• Knowledge of lexical , morphological, syntactic, semantic, phonetic, phonological and orthographic rules.• GC enables recognition of grammatically correct sentences as well as comprehension of their propositional content.• It also enables the speaker to use knowledge and skills needed for understanding and expressing the literal meaning of utterances.
  5. 5. Organizational KnowledgeGrammatical Competence
  6. 6. What do Will and Tom look like? E.g.: Will is taller than Tom. Will has curly hair and Tom’s hair is straight Lexis: tall, curly, hair (choice of words with appropriate signification) Morphology: tall-er (affixing the inflectional morpheme (-er) Syntax: putting the words in the proper order, to compose the sentences Phonology: when produced using the phonological rules of English, the resulting utterance is a linguistically accurate representation of the information in the picture
  7. 7. Book Exercise • Vocabulary: Ss have to match and practice their last vocabulary knowledge (schemata) with the new words by asking and answering questions, and using possessive nouns, and information questions so they will be able to mention not only their intimate family group but also other family members.
  8. 8. Knowledge Of Morphological Rules • Ss have to recognize and apply the correct rules of conjugation for the simple present tense, so it lets them use the verbs in a meaningful sentence if they start talking about their daily routines.
  9. 9. Knowledge Of Syntactic Rules• The students unscramble the questions to form correct statements.
  10. 10. Knowledge Of Phonetic AndPhonological Rules • The students pronounce naturally emphasizing on phonetics and phonology rules
  11. 11. Morphology, Orthography: beginnings and endings – matchingparts of sentences.• Spelling bee champion with the new words learned in the vocabulary• Create semi controlled but meaningful dialogues as a model. Then pair them up. ( at this stage, accuracy is the goal, not fluency) T:Where’s your mother now? S: She’s at home. T: Really? What’s she doing? S: Um, I think she’s making lunch. T: Does she make lunch everyday? S: No, she sometimes buys lunch at a restaurant. T : So, she buys food for everybody, huh?. What does she usually buy? S: She buys chicken.
  12. 12. Ideas To Teach Syntax• Tell me: describe PERSONAL objects or pictures orally for others to guess. The child must give sentence clues (e.g. It is black. It is very long.).• Write a short paragraph (or short sentences) on the board. Include several syntactical mistakes in the paragraph. Have students proofread the paragraph independently or with partners. When everyone has completed the exercise, have volunteers come up to the board and make corrections.• Use students as if they were words, for example: Migue: I, Pedro: am Vicky: a Sonia: doctor unscramble Ss and another one locate them in the correct sentence order. Each one holding a card with the word.
  13. 13. Phonetics And Phonology Segmental And Suprasegmental Features• Segmental: vowel and consonant inventory, and in the way these components combine to form words and utterances.• Suprasegmental: it transcends the segmental level and deals with: – Word stress, sentence stress – Rhythm – Intonation
  14. 14. • Phonetics Ideas:• Rhyming memory: Use pictures of objects that rhyme, e.g., “bat” “cat” to create rhyming memory games to use in free time and center activities.(warm-up/fillers).• Rhyming Patterns: have Ss discover the pattern made by rhyming words, using colored squares to indicate sounds in rhyming CVC words.• Example: cat = red, blue, green• bat = black, blue, green• mat = yellow, blue, green• “We change the color when we hear the sound change. It stays the same when the sound stays the same. Do you see a pattern in the colored squares?”
  15. 15. Textual CompetenceMastery of rules that determine ways in which forms and meanings arecombined to achieve a meaningful unity of spoken or written texts.Cohesion: it helps to link individual sentences and utterances to a structuralwhole, by the use of cohesion devices (pronouns, conjunctions, synonyms,parallel structures etc.)Coherence: it enables the organization of meaning, establishing a logicalrelationship between groups of utterances, and sentences.Rhetoric: it pertains to the overall conceptual structure of a text, and is relatedto the effect of the text on the language user. (it includes common methods ofdevelopment such as narration, description, comparison, classification, andprocess analysis).
  16. 16. Textual Competence Cohesion And Coherence
  17. 17. Textual Competence Cohesion And Coherence
  18. 18. Textual Competence Cohesion And Coherence Four general types of communicative activities are normally described: those related to production, reception, interaction and mediation. WRITTEN PRODUCTION ORAL PRODUCTION • completing forms and questionnaires,reading a written text aloud. • writing articles,• speaking from a written text or • producing posters,visual aids, • writing reports,• acting out a rehearsed role, • making notes,• speaking spontaneously or • taking down a message,• singing • writing creatively, • writing personal or business letters. Council of Europe
  19. 19. Textual Competence Cohesion And Coherence Four general types of communicative activities are normally described: those related to production, reception, interaction and mediation. AURAL RECEPTION VISUAL RECEPTION•listening to public announcements, •reading for general orientation,• listening to media, • reading for information,• listening as a member of a live • reading and following instructions,audience, • reading for pleasure• listening to overheardconversations. AUDIO VISUAL RECEPTION • following a text as it is read aloud, Council of Europe • watching TV, video or a film with subtitles, • using new technologies.
  20. 20. Functional KnowledgeLanguage Functions
  21. 21. IdeationalImaginative Macro- Manipulative functions Heuristic
  22. 22. Ideational FunctionLori doesn’t remembersome words and she usesquestions to show sheneeds helpJin Ho uses his knowledgeto help her Manipulative FunctionRegulatory FunctionLori doesn’t want him tolook at the other guy now,so she uses an imperativeto say it.
  23. 23. Manipulative Function Interactional FunctionThis is the first time they meet eachother and they exchange greetings .They ask questions to each other tokeep the conversation going.Also, they answer the questions in afriendly way.
  24. 24. Manipulative Function Instrumental FunctionBen requested some things in theconversation but in a direct way. He got what we wanted.
  25. 25. Manipulative Function Heuristic FunctionMing – wei is trying to learn aboutthings around him by asking questions.
  26. 26. Imaginative FunctionMatt created a homorous environment telling Emily something that had happened to him.
  27. 27. Sociolinguistic CompetenceKnowledge of rules and conventions which underlie the appropriatecomprehension and language use in different sociolinguistic and socio-cultural contexts. Dialects and English varieties, register and idiomaticexpressions.
  28. 28. Sociolinguistic Competence DialectsAfrican-American English (Ebonics)
  29. 29. Sociolinguistic Competence Register
  30. 30. Sociolinguistic Competence Idiomatic Expressions Ive got a great stereo Nice shot! High five, dude!system back at my crib. Holy cow! Did you see that!?
  31. 31. • Watch and analyze the idiomatic expression in movies, TV shows, magazines, songs.• Interact with native people• Role play real life situations
  32. 32. Strategic Competence‘ Verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that may be called into action to compensate for breakdowns in communication due to performance variables or to insufficient competence’. (Canale & Swain, 1980) Paraphrase and circumlocution, Repetition and reluctance, Avoidance of words and structures or themes, Guessing, Changes of register and style, Modifications of messages etc.
  33. 33. STRATEGIC COMPETENCE strategy function What´s the word for…? Get help from the listener. Providing an unknown Type: cooperative word
  34. 34. STRATEGIC COMPETENCE strategy Function-Wow!, Really? London? Type: repeating words, Showing interest Backchanneling
  35. 35. STRATEGIC COMPETENCE Strategy Function What do you do after work? Asking questions in two Do you go straight home? ways Correcting what you want to ask or say, Type: self correction, usually accompanied with paraphrasing I MEAN
  36. 36. Bibliography• Brown, H. D. (2007). Principles of language learning and teaching. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.• Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and learning in the language classroom. Oxford: Oxford University press.• Pinker, S. (1994). The Language Instinct. New York: Harper Collins• Richards, J. Communicative language teaching today. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.• Savignon, S. (1983). Communicative competence: theory and classroom practice. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.• Stern, H. H. (1983). Fundamental concepts of language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University press.
  37. 37. THANKSJosé Luis López Caraballo Alberto Meza Padilla