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Corporación Universitaria del Caribe “CECAR”

Bachelor in Education in Teaching English as a Foreign


Language Program
English Linguistics
First Assignment

Objective: To have a clear understanding


of the terms Competence & Performance
based on different authors and the relation
to L2

Resource: “Competence and performance


in learning and teaching: theories and
practices” by David Newby

“Competence and performance in learning and teaching: theories and practices”


examines the different ways in which both competence and performance have
been defined by linguists and how these different interpretations have influenced
foreign language learning and teaching. Read the article carefully and develop
the answers in this workshop.

1. Chomsky’s states the “distinction between competence (the speaker-


hearer's knowledge of his language) and performance (the actual use of
language in concrete situations)” He further states that “Observed use of
language cannot constitute the actual subject matter of linguistics. (1Pt.)

a. Based on Chomsky definition about competence and performance,


describe how this competence could be clear evident in an L2
classroom. (You can give examples.)

Rta// While there is a moment in one of his articles, "there is a critical


period" during which it is easier for us to learn the language. This period
of greater cerebral plasticity during which we are in the language until birth
to pre-adolescence. It is here where we as teachers must take advantage
of this in the classroom and that is the stage where children absorb as
sponges everything that is taught

b. Give reasons why performance cannot constitute matter of linguistics


but competence can? Cite at least an author
c.
Rta// According to him, the acquisition of competence for use can be
formulated in the same terms as the acquisition of grammar. Hymes
proposes that communicative competence should be understood as a set

Author: Martha Lucía Bonilla


Revised and adapted by: Rubén Mauricio Muñoz
of skills and knowledge that allow speakers of a linguistic community to be
understood. In other words, it is our ability to interpret and appropriately
use the social meaning of linguistic varieties, from any circumstance, in
relation to the functions and varieties of the language and cultural
assumptions in the communication situation.

1. “We have to account for the fact that a normal child acquires knowledge
of sentences, not only as grammatical, but also as appropriate. He or
she acquires competence as to when to speak, when not, and as to what
to talk about with whom, when, where, in what manner (Hymes).” What
does this sentence mean? And how the idea does not necessarily show
Chomsky’s idea about competence and performance?(1Pt.)

Rta// This sentence means that according to Hymes it is to let the child
learn by himself in the course of his life, that the way and place and his
social environment will learn the grammatical concepts, whereas Chomsky
is to take advantage of the stage where the child is like a sponge and can
absorb knowledge

2. Halliday states “Can mean is a ‘realization of can do” this corresponds


to the second criticism of Chomsky’s view of competence and
performance and also concern the functional dimension of a language.
Describe the second criticism and the functional dimension.(1Pt)

Rta// according to Bühler, it is possible to interpret the language and the


signs that are composed of an instrument (the organ of Aristotle), which
is functionally linked to the different activities of the subjects and the
telephone. That aspect of reality is what refers to the signs.

3. Is language a unit of linguistic analysis? Explain and cite author(s). (1Pt)

Rta// Benveniste discusses the arbitrariness of the sign proposed by


Saussure (who maintains that the sign is arbitrary because it has no
"connection with reality"). Benveniste says that in this way we can enter
the extra-linguistic reality that has no participation

4. What does Chomsky say opposite to the affirmations on the left? (1Pt)

Rta// Chomsky have to, although governments, Latin Americans like


those of Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, the overall balance is not
encouraging. In addition, violence as one of the main factors of
regression. To make matters worse, corruption has been enormous. In
Brazil, for example, it is easier than hands outside the box. He carried
out several significant steps, but he also joined the most corrupt elite. "

Author: Martha Lucía Bonilla


Revised and adapted by: Rubén Mauricio Muñoz
Langacker, Heine , Tomasello and Chomsky
Jackendoff
 language is not an autonomous
cognitive faculty
 grammar is conceptualization
 knowledge of language
emerges from language use

5. What are the schematic constructs? (1Pt)

6. In 1980 Canale and Swain provided a description of competence based


on four categories. What are those categories? Explain. (1Pt)

7. After reading all the competences described in the CEFR what do you
think CEFR perception about competence and performance? Is it more
related to social or individual? Is it more linguistic? Or not? (1Pt)

8. Write your own conclusions about competence and performance and


how these two terms affect the SLA? (2Pts.)

Author: Martha Lucía Bonilla


Revised and adapted by: Rubén Mauricio Muñoz