The communicative approach in language teaching starts from a theory of language as communication
The Goal of Language Teaching
To develop what Hymes (1972) referred to as “Communicative Competence.
Canale and Swain (1980) divide communicative competence into four dimensions:
(1) grammatical competence,
(2) Sociolinguistic competence
(3) Discourse competence, and
(4 strategic competence
• Grammatical competence refers to what Chomsky call linguistic competence. It is the domain of grammatical and lexical capacity.
• Sociolinguistic competence refers to an understanding of the social context in which communication takes place, including role relationship, the shared information of the participants, and the communicative purpose for their interaction.
• Discourse competence refers to the interpretation of individual massage elements in terms of their interconnectedness and of how meaning is represented in relationship to entire discourse or text.
• Strategic competence refers to the coping strategies that communicators employ to initiate, terminate, maintain, repair, and redirect communication.
At the level of language theory, communicative language teaching
The characteristics of communicative view:
• Language is a system for the expression of meaning.
• The primary function of language is for interaction and communication
• The structure of language reflects its functional and communicative uses
• The primary units of language are not merely its grammatical and structural features, but categories of functional and communicative meaning as exemplified in discourse.