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The Development Of Learners' Communicative Strategic Competence Of Oral English In EFL Classroom

Posted on:2008-06-04Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:C G ChenFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360212988305Subject:English Language and Literature
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The purpose of learning a foreign language is to use it for communication, then how to improve students'communicative competence (CC) becomes one of the fundamental tasks for foreign language teaching. Strategic competence (SC), as one of subcomponents of CC, should be one of the aims of foreign language teaching. Canale & Swain (1980,cited in Brown, 2002: 228) regard the ability of using communication strategies as strategic competence—verbal and non-verbal strategies that may be called into action to compensate for breakdowns in communication due to performance variables or insufficient competence. Communication strategies occupy a special place in an understanding of oral communication because they are used to cope with imperfect knowledge, to handle breakdowns in communication, and to keep communication channels open.Therefore the purpose of this thesis is to explore how CS training might be helpful to the development of students'strategic competence. Concretely speaking, we want to know whether students'strategic competence is improved or not after CS training by observing their change of CS awareness, the quality and quantity of using CSs.What prompted this study was our observation that students were not skilled at employing CSs to cope with problems encountered in oral communication. We believed that one way to foster students'ability to handle these problems was to teach the use of CSs. Then CS training was carried out to teach students how to use CSs in oral communication. Meanwhile, various means were employed to collect data in order to explain the practical changes in class.After one term's teaching program, a change in students'attitude towards communication strategies was documented. They were aware that it was a normal phenomenon to encounter obstacles in communication, but communication strategies could be employed to cope with these obstacles. So they became more confident and willing to participate in oral communication. What's more, students developed a more tolerant attitude towards errors, with most students accepting the need to take risks in communication even at the expense of accuracy.The post-training results also showed changes in the quantity of CS strategy use. After CS training, L2-based strategies, cooperation strategies, stalling strategies and'going off the point'which had greater communicative potential were more often used while L1-based strategies and reduction strategies (topic avoidance and message abandonment) which were thought to be less effective were used less frequently. A comparison of the frequency of CS use before and after CS training provided evidence that the change could indeed be attributed to the training.With regard to the quality of CS strategy use, it was found that students became more adept at employing communication strategies to cope with difficulties in oral communication after CS training. They would not give up the message rashly in communicative exchanges, but try alternative strategies, for example, first paraphrasing the intended meaning, and then signaling to the interlocutors for help if the first trial failed until the communicative goal was reached.In brief, the results showed that it was feasible to develop students'strategic competence through CS training.
Keywords/Search Tags:Strategic competence, CS training, CS awareness, Quantity, Quality
PDF Full Text Request
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