International Journal of Applied Linguistics

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 10 Issue 1 (June 2000), Pages 3-158

On competence, proficiency, and communicative language ability (pages 85-96)

Despite all the many appearances of the terms‘competence’and‘proficiency’in journals, conferences, and dissertations every year, there is still no clear consensus about what the exact meaning conveyed by these words is. Neither is there agreement on the particular adjectives that should be attached to the term‘competence, since the possibilities range from linguistic and communicative to pragmatic, sociolinguistic, discourse, strategic or transitional. After discussing the many different uses of the terms ‘competence’, ‘proficiency’and ‘communicative language ability’in linguistic and applied linguistic literature, the conclusion is that ‘competence’should be accepted in its Chomskyan formulation, whereas ‘communicative language ability’ought to be applied to speakers’ability to use a language and be further divided into two components, namely language proficiency and communicative proficiency.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>