In this chapter, I introduce the study by explaining the context of the study, the statement of the problem and its aim. It is followed by a brief overview of the related key methodologies, explanation of the site of the study and an outline of the overall plan. Also at the end of the chapter, the defenition of the key terms are provided.
Context of the study
A touch of the history of the sociocultural approach and its types goes here.
We know, as opposed to what was traditionally believed, that second language is not acquired by just learning the elements of the language system. Memorizing long lists of vocabulary items or producing short simple sentences do not help the learners learn a second language effectively. Even the students who are good in grammar, are unable to understand spoken language outside the classroom. Obviously this causes frustration and discouragement on the part of the students. In such cases, something which is lacking in the educational system, is the concept of communicative competence. English Language assignment 代写
Different types of CC introduced by different people goes here.
Communicative competence coined by Dell Hymes refers to an overall ability to convey and interpret oncoming messages and to negotiate meanings interpersonally within specific contexts (Brown, 2000). When communicative competence is developed in a language, conveying and receiving messages of different types becomes easy for individuals. They can use language to take part in social interactions and to establish relationships with others.
As mentioned by Yule (1985) communicative competence is the ability to use the L2 accurately, appropriately, and flexibly, and it can be defined in terms of three components. The first component is “grammatical competence” which is related to the accurate use of words and structures in the second language. Concentration on grammatical competence only, will not provide the learner with the ability to interpret or produce language appropriately (p.197), however, this is done through the “sociolinguistic competence”. Sociolinguistic competence is the second component of the communicative competences and as exemplified by Yule (1985), enables the learner to know when to say Can I have some water? versus Give me some water! according to the social context. The third component is called “strategic competence”. This is the ability to organize a message effectively and make use of strategies to overcome any difficulties in communication. As mentioned by Yule (1985), in L2 use learners will inevitably experience moments when there is a gap between communicative intent and their ability to express that intent. Some learners may just stop talking (bad idea), others will try to express themselves via a communicative strategy (good idea) (p.197). In essence, strategic competence is the ability to overcome potential communication problems in interaction.
As previously noted, accuracy of language alone does not suffice for a meaningful communication. Speakers of a language have to have more than grammatical competence in order to be able to communicate effectively and according to Broersma (2001) improving sociolinguistic competence needs to be a part of the language learning process from the beginning. Many language schools and language institutions focus only on the components of language such as grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, and very little attention is paid to making students aware of the socially appropriate rules of communication. Therefore, developing the sociolinguistics competence is important in L2 acquisition because it deals with the appropriateness of language. If one makes a mistake in this type of competence, people will simply think that they are ignorant, rude, etc. So according to Broersma (2001) language learners should make a focused effort to learn the speech acts they need in order to function in the target language. Speech acts are the things people do with language such as apologize, invite, accept and refuse invitations, compliment, sympathize and complain.
A touch of the importance of teaching speech acts in classroom goes here.
Up to now these speech acts have been developed through F2F interaction in classrooms but according to the literature developing the students’ sociolinguistic competence through SCMC can be more fruitful since according to Lane (1994) this environment: has the capability to store, process and transmit messages so that students can refer to them later on; it supports open discussion and exploration and enhances the sharing of multiple ideas and viewpoints simultaneously with a large group of people, it establishes a safe environment with less risk to communicators (people feel less inhibited about communicating their ideas/opinions/feelings about certain issues); it fosters more participation and contribution from people who would otherwise feel intimidated (introverts); fosters independent learning (learn/communicate at your own pace). Therefore, the atmosphere of SCMC seems to have the potentiality for sociolinguistics competence development.
It’s a good idea to develop the third component, strategic competence, in the early stages of the students’ language learning careers since the linguistic tools needed for this competence are fairly basic and knowing the skills of dealing with communication breakdown increases the learners’ confidence and helps the L2 acquisition. This competence is developed best when learners are provided with opportunities to use the target language in meaningful situations. Active use of language is the main point of the learning process, and since learners learn by doing, they must practice generating sentences by themselves. However according to Chang (2007) since in most cases students are in a disadvantageous environment, such as teacher-centered instruction, large class size and grammar-oriented examination, etc., language teachers do not have many chances to develop learners’ communicative competence and so learners cannot deal with real-time interaction with an interlocutor or others (Clennel, 1999, as cited in Chang, 2007). In order to solve this problem, Chang (2007) suggests that synchronous text-based computer-mediated communication (SCMC) can serve the same function as face-to-face interaction (F2F) and moreover, it is more flexible in time and space, less stressful and anxious, and lower in cost so that learners are willing to use it. Harasim (1990) indicates that learners can reflect about themselves more using SCMC than engaging in F2F conversations. Therefore, it seems that SCMC can trigger learners to employ as many language learning strategies as they can.