Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

1

LANGUAGE AS COMMUNICATION: ORAL AND


WRITTEN LANGUAGE. FACTORS DEFINING A
COMMUNICATIVE SITUATION: ADDRESSER,
ADDRESSEE, FUNCTIONALITY AND CONTEXT.

1. INTRODUCTION
2. LANGUAGE

AS

COMMUNICATION:

ORAL

AND

WRITTEN

LANGUAGE.
2.1.Definition of communication
2.2.Similarities between oral and written language.
2.3.Differences between oral and written language.
2.4.Non-verbal communication.
3. FACTORS

DEFINING

COMMUNICATIVE

SITUATION:

ADDRESSER, ADDRESSEE, FUNCTIONALITY AND CONTEXT.


3.1.Components of a communicative situation.
3.2.Functionality and context.
4. TEACHING

COMMUNICATION:

ACTION-BASED SYLLABI.
5. CONCLUSION.

FROM

FUNCTIONAL

TO

1. INTRODUCTION.
According to Crown Decree 1513/2006 the main aim of the Foreign Language
area is to develop students communicative competence both orally and written.
In order for our students to achieve complete communicative competence we
must help them develop the four basic skills and teach them how to use them
appropriately in different communicative situations.
But, what do we understand for communicative competence? More important
what do we understand for communication? In this topic we are going to give
answer to those questions. We will deal with the concept of communication in
depth and we will present some strategies in order to help our students face it
in different contexts.

2. LANGUAGE AS COMMUNICATION: ORAL AND WRITTEN LANGUAGE.


2.1.

Definition of communication.

Canale gives the following definition of communication: the exchange


and negotiation of information between at least two individuals,
through verbal and non-verbal symbols, oral and written/visual modes,
and comprehension and production processes.
In this definition of communication there are three fundamental notions:
1) The exchange of information implies a will to communicate and an
information gap.
2) The use of a shared code implies share knowledge of reality and of
the symbols used to represent it.
3) The existence of comprehension and production processes
requires the command of complex cognitive skills to codify and decode
the message.
2.2.

Similarities between oral and written language.

Both oral and written comprehension and production are difficult cognitive
processes which are divided into three different stages. Here we analyse them:
Stages in the linguistic comprehension process (oral and written)
1) Perception: the focus is on the sounds (oral) and in graphemes
(written) in order to get meanings.
2) Analysis: the sense of the text is reconstructed.
3) Use: information is drawn up, and new schemes are created which
incorporate new information with previous structures.
Stages in the process of oral and written production (oral and
written)
1) Construction: we select meanings for a communicative intention.

2) Transformation: grammar rules are applied in order to transform


the intentions into a formal message.
3) Performance: the message is physically expressed.
2.3.

Differences between oral and written language.

Madrid and McLaren highlight seven different characteristics between oral


and written language:

Permanence: the oral language vanishes after being uttered, whereas


the written is permanent.

Processing time: in written language the receiver has more time to


process and decode the information.

Distance: the context in which the text is written is different from that in
which is read.

Orthography: in written language there are punctuation marks, which


are more difficult to interpret than suprasegmental features from oral
language: rhythm, intonation, stress, volume, voice, etc, which help the
comprehension.

Complexity: written language tends to have longer and more complex


sentences.

Vocabulary: written language usually presents a more varied and formal


lexical register.

Formality: the level of formality in written language is higher.

2.4.

Non-verbal communication.

There is a great variety of means we can use in order to express ourselves


through non-verbal communication. For example by means of body language
such as facial expression, gestures, body movements, actions, postures, through
touch, etc. Thus, the introduction of non-verbal elements is a natural
phenomenon in communication.
From a didactic point of view the use of non-verbal elements as an answer to
a message grants the listeners comprehension of the messages at first stages
of the language learning process.
In this sense we could mention Total Physical Response method developed
by the American psychiatrist James Asher. In his method, based on the
coordination between language and movements, is suggested that the foreign
language learning should be similar to the first language acquisition. This means
that the child first listens and then responds non-verbally, that is, through
gestures or actions. This way we eliminate anxiety and the language learning
process takes places in a natural way.

3. FACTORS DEFINING A COMMUNICATIVE SITUATION: ADDRESSER,


ADDRESSEE, FUNCTIONALITY AND CONTEXT.
3

In any communicative situation, either oral or written form, linguistic or nonlinguistic, planned or spontaneous, there are a series of elements that make
communication possible.
3.1.

Components of a communicative situation.

Roman Jacobson proposed a comprehensive theory of communication


which involved different elements in the process of communication. These
elements are:
- Addresser: the person who originates the message.
- Addressee: the person to whom the message is addressed.
- Channel: the medium through which the message travels.
- Message: the content.
- Code: language or dialect.
- Context: social or physical circumstances of communication.
In all simple communication acts there are four clearly defined phases:
1) Codification: the addresser turns the message into a group of linguistic
signs according to the language he/she shares with the addressee.
2) Emission: it can be oral or written and it is the phase in which the
message is transmitted through the channel.
3) Reception: the message is received.
4) Decoding: is the last phase and consists on the interpretation of the
message.
3.2.

Functionality and context.

Jacobson also made a classification of the different functions of


communication into six different functions: emotive, conative, phatic,
referential, poetic and metalingual.
Instead of explain the classification made by Jacobson we would like to focus
on the research made by Jan Van Ek in 1976 called The Threshold Level of
Modern Language Learning at School in which he also establishes six
different functions of for the purpose of teaching foreign language.
1) Importing and seeking factual information.
2) Expressing and finding out intellectual attitudes.
3) Expressing and finding out emotional attitudes.
4) Expressing and finding out moral attitudes.
5) Getting things done.
6) Socializing.
The main aim is for students to be able to carry out different basic
communicative functions at a linguistic level. These functions are:

Socializing: forms of opening and closing conversations, apologizing,


thanking, etc. For example: Hello, my name is, How are you?
Goodbye Nice to meet you.. See you soon, I am sorry, Thank
you

Information: it allows speakers to ask for and give information, express


opinions, agreements, disagreements, describe people, etc. For example,
Whats your name?, How old are you?, I am, I agree/dont agree
with you

Expression of attitudes: we refer to intellectual attitudes such as the


degree of certainty or uncertainty about something, asking or expressing
ability or inability, moral attitudesFor example, I dont know, I dont
care, Id love to, I cant do that, Well done, etc.

4.

COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE AND DIFFERENT TYPES OF


COMMUNICATION.

Crown Decree 1513/2006 states: The axis of the Foreign Language


area is formed by procedures aimed at reaching an effective oral and
written communicative competence.
But what is communicative competence?
According to Chomsky (1968) communicative competence is the knowledge
of abstracts rules that govern language and knowing how, when, where and who
to use them with.
On the other hand, in the Common European Framework of References
for Languages (later seen as CEFRL) the knowledge of communicative
competence consists on the skills and characteristics that allow a person to do
something in a language.
According to the CEFRL, communicative competence includes linguistic,
sociocultural and pragmatic competence.
- Linguistic competence: includes lexical, phonological, syntactical
knowledge and skills and other dimensions of language as a system.
- Socio-linguistic competence: refers to the sociocultural conditions of a
language use.
- Pragmatic competence: refers to the use of linguistic resources and
different types of texts in an appropriate way.
How can we develop these competences? Madrid and McLaren propose
some communicative activities we can use in order to develop the different
competences:
- Dialogues and role-plays; children have to act in different daily life
situations.
- Games are powerful tools for creating coherence and setting a context.
- Information gaps to obtain unknown information from other people.
5

- Problem solving: in which the students have to face problems and find a
solution.
- Texts transformation: stories are the best way to promote creation and/or
transformation of oral and written texts.
- New technologies are motivating resources for children.

5.

CONCLUSION.

Having develop the topic of communication and bearing in mind all that has
been stated in the we can conclude that communication, both verbal and nonverbal one, plays a central role in our daily teaching practice.
If we want our students to be able to communicate in the foreign language
we will have to provide them with the right tools, teach them the necessary
skills and give them a reason to communicate.
Finally, in order to facilitated learning and reduce anxiety in our students we
should create a relaxing and stress-free environment in our classroom.