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ERIC Number: ED090794
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Talking with My Son: An Example of Communicative Competence.
Savignon, Sandra J.
A conversation with the author's 7-year-old son who is just beginning to learn French serves to illustrate the concept of communicative competence and its implications for second-language teaching and testing. Communicative competence is defined as the ability to engage in spontaneous, interpersonal transactions, in contrast to linguistic competence, which is achieved mainly through habit formation. The various errors the young informant makes and possible reasons for them are noted, together with the semantic richness of his French as contrasted with its structural simplicity and the wide range of his comprehension as compared to the level of production. The following conclusions are drawn: (1) Teachers should provide for semantic richness in early stages by giving the student the words he needs, rather than stressing the importance of learning structure first. (2) Grammatical errors should be expected and viewed as the natural consequences of learning. (3) Listening experiences must be stressed. (4) Everything done in the classroom must be done in a meaningful context that involves the feelings and concerns of the students. The author further emphasizes that classroom tests must measure progress toward an ability to successfully engage in spontaneous, creative conversation, not context-devoid points of pronunciation and grammar. (Author/PM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1974)