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CLT and Communicative Competence

The aim of CLT is to achieve communicative competence. There are four communicative competences, they are:
a.      Grammatical competence
Grammar competence is about understanding the rules of a language. Grammar competence is also called linguistic competence. The students are taught about the rules of the target language. For instance; students are taught past tense, present tense, verb agreement, syntax etc.
b.     Socio-linguistics competence
Sociolinguistic competence is the ability to interpret the social meaning of the choice of linguistic varieties and to use language with the appropriate social meaning for the communication situation. When greeting someone in a very formal situation an American might say, Hello, how are you? or Nice to see you again, but if he were meeting a friend in an informal situation it would be much more appropriate to say Hi, or Hey, whatcha been doing?
c.      Discourse competence
Discourse competence is used to refer to two related, but distinct abilities. Textual discourse competence refers to the ability to understand and construct monologues or written texts of different genres, such as narratives, procedural texts, expository texts, persuasive (hortatory) texts, descriptions and others. These discourse genres have different characteristics, but in each genre there are some elements that help make the text coherent and other elements which are used to make important points distinctive or prominent.
Learning a language involves learning how to relate these different types of discourse in such a way that hearers or readers can understand what is going on and see what is important. Likewise it involves being able to relate information in a way that is coherent to the readers and hearers. Say for example: when we are making an offer in a restaurant (chimpago/cahaya jambu), we say that we are chicken or the worker that call us as chicken, but we never scold him because we understand the context each other.
d.     Strategic competence
Strategic competence is regarded as an important part of all communicative language use by Bachman (1990, p. 100). And Farch and Kasper (1983, p. 31) also argue that communication strategies represent “a highly significant aspect of IL communication” and should “be incorporated into foreign language teaching objectives as an integral part of communication competence”. Bachman includes three components in strategic competence: assessment, planning, and execution. These types of competence strategic competence could be utilized to compensate for the deficiencies in other competencies. Therefore, strategic competence is considered as a general ability for the individual to make the most effective use of available abilities to carry out verbal or non-verbal tasks (Bachman, 1990, p. 106).
Studies (Bongaerts & Poulisse, 1989; Kellerman et al., 1990) show that when a L2 speaker wants to solve his/her lexical problem and maintain his/her communicative intent, two main referential strategies are adopted.
They are conceptual and linguistic. They use a conceptual strategy to possess the referents known to relate to perceptual features or other properties. When they adopt a linguistic strategy, they will relate the referent to a real-world entity with which they are familiar to communicate about unconventional abstract shapes (Bongaerts & Poulisse 1989, p. 257). Thus, in CLT classroom teachers need to teach students to be adept at making full use of what s/he knows to perform a function using language willingly and flexibly.
Bachman (1990, p. 105) suggests some practices in test tasks. For instance, doing reading comprehension, the test taker should learn to recognize the information outside the discourse to answer questions requiring inference. In oral tests, when the test taker is required to distinguish two similar pictures as quickly as possible, s/he needs to adopt the strategy of ignoring the propositional content and communicating the nonverbal visual code to present the distinct features. What’s more, an examinee would adopt different strategies to meet the different criteria in the test scoring. From the examples above, it is easy to find out strategic competence is not a branch of communicative competence, but rather a wise ability to modify the communicative goal while making up for the limited L2 competence.

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