Download Contexts of Competence: Social and Cultural Considerations by Margie Berns PDF

By Margie Berns

The creation of communicative competence because the aim of moment and for­ eign language instructing has resulted in acceptance of the function of context in language studying and use. As communicative competence is outlined by way of the social and cultural contexts within which it really is used, no unmarried communicative competence can function the aim and version for all newcomers. This popularity has had an influence on software layout and fabrics improvement. One major swap is that the alternative of a educating strategy is not any longer the first challenge. in its place, step one for this system clothier is changing into accustomed to the social and cultural positive aspects of the context of the language being taught. This contains a attention of the makes use of audio system make of the language, their purposes for utilizing it, and their attitudes towards it. Contexts of Competence: Social and Cultural concerns in Commu­ nicative Language instructing explores the connection among context and com­ petence from a theoretical and functional standpoint. Its viewers is utilized linguists regularly and language instructing practitioners particularly. the general target of its 5 chapters is to supply a framework for attention of varied contexts of language studying and use and to lead the implementation and improvement of versions of communicative language instructing which are conscious of the context-specific wishes of learners.

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Extra resources for Contexts of Competence: Social and Cultural Considerations in Communicative Language Teaching

Sample text

I know a thing or two, all the same. Lubinda has told me how much you did to protect me. You are a wonderful father of the village, aren't you! " he roared, "give the Chief some of that kacasu I have left ... " "I have come about the visit of the Bwana Mkubwa," said (the Chief). (Mulaisho 1971 :96-97) As the anecdote and literary excerpt demonstrate, the acts speakers engage in are not constant across cultural boundaries. As Widdowson warns: Communicative functions are culture-specific in the same way a~ linguistic forms are language-specific....

Communicative Competence, Intelligibility, and Model 41 ography International" and thank you much indeed for your esteemed cooperation in sending to us the same" (J 988:28). For a non-Indic, western reader this sentence violates Grice's (1975) Maxim of Quantity: it is more informative than necessary, is not direct in presenting its point, has considerable stylistic ornamentation, and does not emphasize the information content. As a consequence, it may have an unintended effect. The reader may ask why the writer was not more succinct in expressing thanks for response to the initial correspondence.

To be able to answer this question the hearer/reader needs to be familiar with the social and cultural background of the creator of the text, for example, the nonns and standards for behavior that detennine what may be said, how it may be said, or whether something may be said at all. In other words, the hearer/reader needs to be familiar with the speaker's communicative competence. The relevance of interpretability can be observed in native-speaker reactions to texts in English written by nonnative speakers as rambling, incoherent, or replete with irrelevant material (Clyne 1981).

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