The Heart of Communicative Competence

  1. Introduction

Nowadays, we know that the language has an important role in evolving the intellectual, social and emotional system, then the key to success in this life. We do believe that without language we can not do anything in this world. The language is not only as consideration, but it can explain about us, the other people, the meaning and study. By looking the function of language, a language curriculum has to prepare the learner to reach the competence. Then by reaching the competence which can make the learner to express their ideas and feelings, and understanding about the nuance meaning. The language is hoped to be able to make learners know them selves, their culture and the other culture. Then by language, the learners can participate in their society, communicating with the other people.

To get the language competence above, we have to start from theoretical rational and practiced based on all of the decisions to make standard competency formulation, basic competency, and the indicators.

In English curriculum, there is theoretical based supporting it. Then, it is adopted as thinking planning in taking a decision in some formulation. Based on the thinking planning, it consists of the model language competence, model language, grade of level is hoped which is gotten and the difference between oral language essence and written language.

In this paper, we only focused on the competency model in English Curriculum. As we know that there are some model competences which relate with part of language by looking at language competence from some perspectives. In English curriculum, model language competence used the model which is motivated by considerations of language pedagogy which have developed since Canal and Swain model and for now it uses the model competence by Celce Murcia, et al (1995).

Model competence by Celce Murcia emphasizes that language is communication. In English curriculum, Celce Murcia’s competence prepares the learners to communicate by using language in their society as user language. They learn a language not only for getting knowledge, but the importance thing that they can use the language to communicate with the other people or in their environment. This model can be called the communicative competence.

To prepare a competence based curriculum, one needs to refer to a model of competence that defines what kind of competence learners have to develop so that every step taken in planning a language education program can be geared around certain axes leading to desire targets. Some authors have made efforts to define the kind of competence one needs to acquire in order to be able to communicate in a language and Hymes (1972), coined the term communicative competence to represent the competences needed for communication. He defined it as the knowledge of both rules of grammar and rules of language use appropriate to a given context.

Based on those competences, in this paper we will explain more about discourse competence because the model defines communicative competence as discourse competence and communicating is creating a discourse or creating a text in context and the text.

2. Discussion

In the area of language learning, there exist several models of communicative competence, but so far Celce-Murcia at al.’s model (1995) is the one developed for the purpose of language pedagogy informed. The previous models especially the ones by Canale and Swain (1980). Celce-Murcia et al.’s pedagogically motivated model includes five components: (1) discourse competence, (2) linguistic competence, (3) actional competence, (4) sociocultural competence, and (5) strategic competence.

In analyzing, these competences start with the core, that is to say discourse competence, which concerns the selection and sequencing of sentences to achieve a unified spoken or written text. In model discourse competence is placed at the heart of the communicative competence construct where “the lexico-grammatical building blocks, the actional and shape the discourse” (Celce-Murcia a al. 1995:9).  Then, the linguistic competence entails the basic elements of communication, such as sentence pattern, morphological inflections, phonological and orthographic systems as well as lexical resources. The Sociocultural Competence refers to the speaker’s knowledge of how to express appropriate messages within the social and the cultural context of communication in which they are produced. In this competence the learners are hoped to be able to use the language in different context and culture. They can differ when the language in different situation. Whereas, the actional competence involves the understanding of the speaker’s communicative intent by performing and interpreting speech act sets. Finally these four components are influenced by the last one that is the strategic competence which is concerned with the knowledge of communication strategies and how to use them. Strategic competence is a competence that allows a speaker compensates deficiencies in the process of communication.

Based on the explanation above, the model communicative competence has main competence which will be gotten by language education that is discourse competence. In this case the model communicative competence defined as the discourse competence because they are same by focusing on the communication. It means that when the people communicate by oral or written language, they involve in discourse. It is caused the meaning which they get and create always concern with culture context, situation covered. By participating in conversation, reading, and writing automatically activate the discourse competence which use a set of strategic to realize the valued contained language elements, grammar, pragmatic cues in interpreting and expressing meaning. (McCarthy dan Carter 2001:88).

The discourse competence is like a communication between two people or more in certain situation. Although everyday and every time the people communicate with the other, but rarely the people know about how communicate effectively in daily life. Before explaining more about it, we have to know that the discourse competence consists of two words those are discourse and competence. Firstly, discourse is a communication situation which is influenced by topic communication, the interpersonal relation between the people who communicate each other, and the last the line communication used one context or model language though that is oral, written, formal, or non formal. While competence is a concept of curriculum which emphasizes in developing the ability to competent in assignments by certain formation standard. Then, the competences are laid in the curriculum especially for English curriculum. As we know that the curriculum is interpreted to mean all of the organized activities, and experience which pupils have under direction of the school, where in the classroom or not (Romine 1954). Based on the definition we can say that competences are the ability which has standard, whereas communicative competence has a definition that is the abilities consisting of skill, knowledge, and attitude which are appropriate in manage the massage verbal or non verbal based on certain standards.

Those five competences have a relation each other. In discourse competence, it is an ability to use English language to communicate with the other. The learners are able to communicate by using this language. However, the discourse competence is only getting by the learners, if the learners get the supporting competence such as linguistic competence, actional competence, sociocultural competence and strategic competence like what the Celce Murcia have explained above. It can be used as guidance in language learning. As we know that the language is thought with the integrative for getting the discourse competence. As the result all of the model competences relate each other to get the communicative competence.

3. Conclusion

In conclusion, the competency model in English curriculum based on by Celce Murcia et al. focused on the communication. The model competence by Celce Murcia consists of five competences and the main competence is discourse competence. The discourse competence is an ability to use language oral or written to communicate with the other. However, the four competences become the strong basic in creating the discourse competence. All of them have relation and supported each other.  Then the main goal of the discourse competence is optimize the ability to express own self by declarative knowledge in real communication context to create the appropriate meaning with its communication context. As the result, any meaning which is obtained and created in communications always related to cultural context and situation context namely use language as according to situation that and culture covered.

  1. References

Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses 21 (2008): 157-170 (Teaching Intercultural Communicative Competence through the Four Skills )

Curriculum SMA/MA by DIKNAS