ERIC Number: ED221026
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Grammar in a Communicative Approach to Second Language Teaching and Testing.
Swain, Merrill; Canale, Michael
A review of literature on communicative competence reveals many meanings of the concept and of the way it should be used in second and foreign language instruction. In the literature there are two views: that communicative competence includes grammatical competence, and that it does not; or at least the ability to communicate one's meaning is secondary to the appropriateness or grammaticalness of the utterance. The latter view has three bases, all related to first language learning. These bases are: (1) children focus more on being understood than on speaking grammatically, (2) full grammatical competence will come at a later stage, and (3) language learning is more effective when it involves real communicative acts. An examination of theoretical arguments and limited empirical evidence regarding transposing these three bases to second language learning suggests the need for a framework specific to second language learning. This framework would include grammatical, sociolinguistic, and strategic competence. The latter includes strategies of two main types, those related primarily to grammatical competence, and those related to sociolinguistic competence. While there is little research to support the view, it is proposed that a functional approach is better than one with a grammatical base. (AMH)
Descriptors: Communicative Competence (Languages), Grammar, Language Tests, Language Usage, Nonverbal Communication, Second Language Instruction, Secondary Education, Sociolinguistics, Speech Communication, Teaching Methods, Testing
Not available separately; see FL 013 112.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Issues of Language Assessment: Foundations and Research. Proceedings of the Annual Language Assessment Institute (1st, Evanston, Illinois, June 17-20, 1981).