ERIC Number: ED324920
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Humor Competence: The Fifth Component.
Vega, Gladys M.
The production and understanding of humor calls for a specific competence. It appears that second language learners fail to develop this competence even when they reach native-like proficiency levels. A review of the literature suggests that the notion of humor competence in second language learning has not been examined. Humor competence can be considered the fifth component of the theoretical framework for communicative competence. It involves knowledge of the semantic mechanisms of humor, grammar, discourse rules, communication strategies, social norms of language use, and world knowledge. As with the other four competencies (grammatical, sociolinguistic, strategic, and discourse), humor competence contains elements that are transferred from the first language and vary from learner to learner. Capacity, the ability to actualize knowledge, also varies from competence to competence within an individual, but the capacities for each competence are interrelated and interact with each other as do the competencies. Because capacity involves psychological factors such as personality and intelligence, learners achieve different levels of proficiency and overall communicative competence. Individual humorous responses and output vary widely. Additional research on humor competence in this context is needed. (MSE)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (24th, San Francisco, CA, March 6-10, 1990).