Importance Of Communicative Competence In English As A Foreign Language

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The oral expression ability is one the most important skills in the acquisition of a foreign language because through speaking, thoughts and knowledge are transmitted. According to Bailey and Savage (1994), “speaking in a second or foreign language has been often viewed as the most demanding of the four skills”. For decades, foreign language learners have struggled to communicate their ideas; however, nowadays students count on with a wide variety of virtual tools to develop such a skill. To begin with, it is important to clarify what is understood as communicative competence and what is understood as the speaking skill itself. Canale and Swain (1980) sated regarding the communicative competence, that there are three types of knowledge: “knowledge of underlying grammatical principles, knowledge of how to use language in a social context in order to fulfill communicative functions and knowledge of how to combine utterances and communicative functions with respect to discourse principles”. Thornbury and Slade (2006) define speaking, as “a social and multisensory speech event” which means that speaking does not only involves verbalization but other aspects such as body language and interaction with other people. In the Colombian context of learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL), instructors regularly ask themselves why the majority of undergraduate students are unable to speak English confidently, especially when communicating in real situations with international

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