Article published in:Language Teaching and Learning in Australia
Edited by Chris Mann and Richard B. Baldauf, Jr. †
[Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. Series S 9] 1992
► pp. 83–100
Communicative competence in an ESL task
A dilemma in a torres Strait Island class
This ethnographic study is of an eleven-minute segment of an English as a Second Language lesson in a Year 8 class in Torres Strait. It focuses on a tandem activity where students are asked to get information from each other in ‘proper English sentences.’ Though the aim is laudable, the task is structured more to get the information than to practise the process of talking. Furthermore, it is not situated in a social setting despite student attempts to context it socially. The students have difficulty understanding the complex language used to introduce the task, but ultimately engage in it for a substantial time, practising communicating with each other and with the teacher. However, the neophyte teacher’s goal of grammatical competence plays down the importance of sociolinguistic competence.
Published online: 01 January 1992
Cited by 3 other publications
Tangen, Donna & Ruth Fielding-Barnsley
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