Linguistic competence

From Teflpedia

Linguistic competence, also known as language performance, refers to a person’s subconscious knowledge of the rules governing speech in their first language.[1] The term is also used in TEFL referring to students' competence in the target language.

According to Canale and Swain (1980), there are four underlying components of language that define linguistic competence:

  • strategic competence – the aspect which all experts agree on as being the most important. According to Brown (1994), it is the way in which students "manipulate" the language in order to achieve their aims, and Berns (1990) describes it as the ability to compensate for imperfect knowledge of the grammatical and sociological rules, etc.;
  • competence in speech – means the ability to apply the formal aspects of a language coherently in order to keep the communication comprehensible;
  • sociolinguistic competence – is also an important part of language learning, because formal knowledge of a language does not prepare the student for using it effectively and fluently – it is also necessary to know what the likely outcome will be in social and cultural terms.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The New Oxford Dictionary of English 1998 ISBN 0-19-861263-X