development of communicative competence

Development of Communicative Competence

Definition of Communicative Competence

Fiske (1990, p.2) explained, “Communication is social interaction through messages.” He implies that communication is more than just transmitting a message from sender to receiver; it is also about producing and exchanging or rendering meaning. It is supported by De Vito (1986, p.61), who states, “Communication is the process or act of transmitting a message from the sender to receiver through a channel and with the inference of noise.”

The fundamental principles of communication are divided into two categories: written and spoken communication. Written communication can be letters, messages, e-mails, chats, etc. In contrast, spoken communication occurs in face-to-face situations such as speeches, debates, teaching and learning processes, lectures, etc. The exchange and production of the message occur in these two communications.

Model of Communicative Competence

Chomsky (1957, 1965) first proposed the term Communicative Competence, which focuses on linguistic competence. Furthermore, when it comes to the interpretation of communicative competence, we will be dealing with theories developed by several linguists, including Hymes (1972, 1983), Canale and Swain’s Model (1980), Canale (1983), and Celce-Murcia (1995, 2007).

Hymes’ Model of Communicative Competence

According to Hymes (1972), communicative competence is divided into four categories: knowledge of what is possible, feasible, appropriate, and done. In short, according to Hymes’ model of communicative competence, communication entails not only the concept of grammaticality but also the concept of appropriateness.

Canale and Swain’s Model of Communicative Competence

Canale and Swain (1980) present four components of communicative competence: grammatical competence, sociolinguistic competence, discourse competence, and strategic competence.

  1. Grammatical competence is knowledge of the language code and includes knowledge of lexical items and rules of syntax, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc. In addition, this competence displays the physical features of the language.
  2. Sociolinguistic competence is the mastery of the sociocultural code of language use (appropriate application of vocabulary, register, politeness, and style in a given situation).
  3. Discourse competence is the ability to combine language structures into different types of cohesive texts (e.g., political speech and poetry).
  4. Strategic competence. It is defined as verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that may be called into action to compensate for breakdowns in communication due to insufficient competence (1980: 30).

Canale’s Model of Communicative Competence

There is no significant difference in the model of communicative competence made in the previous year by Canale and Swain. Without modifying the previous model, Canale (1983) extends sociocultural competence to include sociocultural and discourse competence.

Celce-Murcia’s Model of Communicative Competence

The newest model is from Celce-Murcia (1995, 2007), representing the communicative competence model as a pyramid enclosing a circle and surrounded by another.

The following figure is Celce-Muria’s et al. (1995) Model of Communicative Competence.

Figure of Celce-Muria’s et al. (1995) Model of Communicative Competence.

In short, based on the proposed model of communicative competence by Celce-Murcia et al. (1995), we understand that communication involves not only the concept of grammaticality but also communication strategies and actional intent.

Among previously mentioned communicative competence models, Celce-Murcia’s model (2007) is the complete one because Celce-Murcia attempt to give a more central role to formulaic language (as opposed to language as a system) and the paralinguistic aspects of face-to-face oral communication.

The following figure is Celce-Murcia’s (2007) Model of Communicative Competence.

Figure of Revised Schematic Representation of Communicative Competence from Celce-Muria (2007)

The circle within the pyramid is discourse competence, the three points of the triangle are sociocultural competence, linguistic competence, and actional competence, and the circle surrounding the pyramid is strategic competence.

From those elaboration above, we know that some scholars have propose communicative competence models such as Chomsky (1957, 1965), Hymes (1972, 1983), Canale and Swain’s Model (1980), and Celce-Murcia (1995, 2007).

References & Recommended Reading

  • Canale, M. (1983). Communicative competence to communicative language pedagogy.‎ In Richards, J. & Schmidt, R.(ed.) Language and Communication. New York, Editorial Longman.
  • Canale, M., & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied linguistics1(1), 1-47.
  • Celce-Murcia, M., Dörnyei, Z., & Thurrell, S. (1995). Communicative competence: A pedagogically motivated model with content specifications. Issues in Applied linguistics6(2), 5-35.
  • Celce-Murcia, M. (2007). Rethinking the role of communicative competence in language teaching. In Intercultural language use and language learning (pp. 41-57). Springer, Dordrecht.
  • Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax Cambridge. Multilingual Matters: MIT Press.
  • DeVito, J. A. (1986). The communication handbook: A dictionary. Harpercollins.
  • Fiske, J. (1990). Introduction to Communication Studies, 2nd ed. Routledge. London.
  • Hymes, D. H., Competence, O. C., & Hymes, D. (1972). Sociolinguistics/ed. by JB Pride. J. Holmes. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 269-293.
Tenry Colle
Tenry Colle

Hi! My name is A. Tenry Lawangen Aspat Colle. I am a motivated and resourceful English educator. In addition, as the owner of @rymari.translation17 has shaped me to be a punctual and dependable translator of Indonesian to English and vice versa.

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