Functional Grammar and Communicative Competence

Topics: Linguistics, Communication, Communicative competence Pages: 3 (1065 words) Published: November 10, 2013
 Write to be understood, speak to be heard and read to grow -Lawrence Clarke Powell. Each day, communication is used to build and break society; as humans we use every means to exploit this need to talk; whether it be spoken, written or simply through gestural signals. Communication therefore is the process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behavior (Webster, 1983). In order to convey a message effectively, the receiver must be able to understand and interpret the exact information the sender is trying to transmit. In order for one to do so, one must be competent in the language used to convey the message. Functional grammar is an unconsciously learnt ability to manipulate the grammar of a language to suit the occasion; taking in ones social, cognitive and pragmatics, relating to the structure of the language. (Walter de Gruyter). Communicative competence is a subset of functional grammar and its approach in teaching will allow students to learn grammar through meaningful communication. Communicative competence is a speaker's internalized knowledge, both of the grammar rules of a language and the rules for appropriate uses in social contexts (Dictionary.com). This takes in the four competence areas, which gives a language learner in progress, the ability to communicate competently, and not use the language exactly as a native speaker does. These are: linguistic competence, Socio-cultural competence, discourse competence and strategic competence. Linguistic competence is the understanding and knowledge of how to use the grammar, syntax and vocabulary of a language. What words to use when writing, rules governing sentence structure, the punctuations and spellings etc. linguistic competence asks : what words do I use? How do I put them in phrases and sentences? Theorist Noam Chomsky's theory believes that children were born with the innate ability to acquire language. In the Jamaican classroom...

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