ERIC Number: ED210938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Speech Act Theory and Foreign Language Learning.
Coombs, Virginia M.
This paper discusses how an understanding of speech acts contributes to the communicative competence in foreign language learning. Reviewing John Searle's five categories of speech acts (1976), the directive is discussed in terms of its manifestations in various foreign languages. Examples of directives in English, German, French, and Spanish are contrasted. Teaching communicative competence presupposes for some the notion of grammatical competence. Both may be taught if teachers are sensitive to those areas of language use which require a knowledge of specific linguistic forms and an understanding of the situation appropriate for these forms. Language teachers should provide language exercises which actively require the students to consider both the grammatical forms and the contextual information necessary to produce a correct response. It may be advantageous to postpone such an integrating exercise until the individual grammatical concepts have been presented separately. Speech act theory provides insight into the function utterances have in a given language. While the theory is not language specific, lexical items and grammatical structures are. (Author/JK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Speech Acts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (Denver, CO, November 23-26, 1981).