31 October 2010


The main purpose we teach first or second language is to help children to be competent and perform better in business and social interactions through their communicative skills.
Competence is defined by Greene and Coulson (1995:18) in Mhundwa (1998:3) as people's knowledge of a language ,the knowledge that enables them to produce and understand utterance in that language.
Chomsky (1966:4) in Mhundwa (1998:4) describes competence as,"... the speaker or hearer knowledge of his language and performance is the actual use of language."
Mhundwa (1998)says performance to be actual production of comprehension of utterance whether in speech or writing .
Bolinger (1985)refers competence to the general rules of the grammar governing the language ,for example rules such as:
(A)Adding 's' after a verb which comes after a singular subject.
(B)Adding 's' when talking of many things.
The sentence are not learnt by memorisation and immitations as is reflected by the ability of a speaker to construct an infinity number of sentences and also the ability to express idea in several ways using the same language. The length of sentence vary from very short to too long. Therefore the sentences are generated from the speaker's underline competence which has many forms:
(1)Linguistic competence , refers to the underline rules of a language .
(2)Communicative competence which is the ability to use the system of a language effectively and appropriately by involving the two components which are the ability to transmit meaning through talking and writing. And the ability to interprete through reading and listening.Thus convey meaning by speaking and writing and interpretation by listening and reading.
It also involves pragmatics which is the ability to use language for various functions ,that's to use different registers for language as well as knowing where it is socially appropriate.
Consail and Swine(1990) categorise communicative competence in four dimensions which are:
(A)Grammatical competence.
(B)Socio linguistic competence which refers to understand of social content and context in which language is used.
(C)Discourse competence which is the interpretation of individual message elements in terms of their inter connectedness and how meaning is represented in relationship to the entire discourse.
(D)Strategic competence which relates to the strategies communicatiors employ to initiate terminate maintain repair and redirect communication.
Hence communicative competence is functional competence which are functional purportive and designed to bring some effects and some change which however is subtle or in observable.
Meanwhile functional approach sees communicative as a way of behaving and making other behave .A person who possess communicative competence use language to fulfill Halliday's seven functions of language:
(1)Instrumental function which is the ability to manipulate the environment and cause certain things to happen.
(2)Regulatory function as the ability to deal with or the control of events.
(3)Representational function comprised the ability to convey facts and knowledge.
(4)Interactional function is meant to ensure social maintenance .
(5)Personal function as the ability to express feelings emotions and personality.
(6)Heuristic function relates to the ability to acquire knowledge and learn from environment.
(7)Imagnative function refers to ability to create imaginary system and ideas for instance during Art lessons.
The teacher can implicate these competence in pupils ' perfomance by encourage them to use language consistantly .Give them free explorative and creative work. The teacher should encourage pupils to read extensively ,that's promoting reading culture.
A teacher who always communicate in a proper language,who comments positively for perculiar utterances ,who teach and test and test and teach is both reflective and dynamic.
Where possiblethe teacher should immerse second language learning while they are compiled with the native speakers.
The improvements in professional performance as a teacher needs wide reading, research and consultation,give comprehensive comments,communicate consistantly in the target language ,fully grasped the content to be taught and to study carefully the children's written work.
Further Reading
Mhundwa ,P.H.(1998) Communication Grammatical Strategies for Teaching English as a Second Language : An Applied Linguistic Approach.

Bolinger, D (1985) Aspects of Language

Richards and Rodgers(1986) Approaches and Methods.

Tompkins and Hoskisson (1986) Language Arts ,content Teaching Strategies.

1 comment:

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