Communicative Competence, Intelligibility, and Model
First language development in a child does not take place in a social and cultural vacuum. This is also true for second and foreign language development. One crucial difference between first language development and second and foreign language development, however, is the options available in the classroom setting. These options are the pedagogical choices made concerning which model, whose intelligibility, and which communicative competence should be the learners’ goal. The answers to these questions vary with the learners’ purposes and with the speech community of which they want to become members. Thus, the questions are interrelated. The choice of a model depends on the identification of the communicative competence learners are to develop and the degree of mutual intelligibility with other speakers they are to achieve. An appreciation of the interdependence of these three notions and its consequences for pedagogy begins with a look at the issues and concerns, theoretical as well as applied, each represents.
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