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To Know More about the Communicative Competence

As we all know, the purpose of learning a certain language is to put it into practical use. Nowadays, more and more foreigners come to learn Chinese in China, thus communicating with Chinese people. Therefore, the key point for teachers is to train students’ communicative competence. But before that, they should know more ideals about the communicative competence both in linguistic filed and the language teaching field.

Those foreign learners who study in China may be told that the term “communicative competence” was firstly put forward by the famous linguist Hymes, which is relatively defined with the “linguistic competence” that came up with by Chomsky. However, Hymes thinks that the range of Chomsky’s “linguistic competence” is too limited because it is only related to the abstract grammar.

The communicative competence should consist of four aspects, namely, possibility, feasibility, appropriateness and performance. From the view of what Hymes knows about the communicative ability, his definition includes that of what Chomsky said. But the differences that students who learn Mandarin in China know are that the former is made up of two parts, the language knowledge and the skills and techniques of using language knowledge. But Chomsky concerns more about the ability to use language.

After the concept of the communicative competence was put forward, a lot of linguists started to state their ideas about it. Among so many linguists, the most influential two should be Canale and Swain, with which some foreigners who study Chinese may be familiar. Both of them all hold the opinion that the communicative competence has four essential parts, namely, the grammatical competence, the sociolinguistic competence, the strategic competence and the discourse competence.

Among the four necessary elements, the grammatical competence includes not only the language knowledge, but also the knowledge about the language rules. From the ideas about the communicative competence, the grammatical competence has a stronger practical significance. When foreigners learn in Chinese language school, teachers would tell them that Canale and Swain think the communicative competence includes both language ability and the capability of using language.

All above are some basic and main ideas about the communicative competence. In order to gain more knowledge about it, we will discuss the ideas in language teaching field to those who learn Mandarin Chinese in China. Knowing more about the communicative competence is beneficial for teachers to teach students with the proper methods, at the same time, help students to learn a certain language effectively.

The fundamental nature of the language lies in the language communication. And the communication itself is a process of language application. Besides, it is a dynamic process and we should teach and learn language in a dynamic process. When foreign learners study Mandarin Chinese in China, they may have realized that the way of learning and teaching language in communication and application has been widely valued and approved in the Chinese teaching field.

Since the years in the 1980s, all kinds of outlines in college English teaching have been emphasizing the purpose of English teaching is to train students’ ability to communicate with people in foreign language. Some westerners may have heard about the famous professor Li Xiaoju when they study in Mandarin learning courses. In the teaching process, she summarizes the communicative competence into three aspects, namely, knowledge, skill and competence.

According to her, “knowledge” is the language knowledge which includes three kinds of knowledge. They are the knowledge of the language form and function as well as the discourse knowledge. The “skill” is made up of language skills such as listening, speaking, reading and writing. And the “competence” is the capability to use language. In accordance with professor Li’s ideas, one point students should realize when they learn to speak Chinese is that only when one possesses “knowledge”, “skill” and “competence” can he really reach the better communicative competence.

Therefore, the field of teaching Chinese as a foreign language is absorbing the theories about the communicative competence as well as combining the characteristics of the subjects to apply more effective methods to teaching Chinese language. When learning Mandarin Chinese, students may be told that five elements are important to the communicative competence like language elements, pragmatic principles, relevant cultural knowledge, language skills and language communication skills.

After introducing so much information about the theories of the communicative competence, we know that the communication capability is so important. In addition, we should do more to gain better communication competence.

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Faith | UK

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I have 2 teachers, and I do 4 hours a day. So I have got Dong Laoshi and Jin Laoshi. Both of them are very good. They made the experience very nice to me. They are willing to help you whenever, so if you ever have a question here, the teachers are always there to help you whether it is visas, whether it is getting around the city. Everyone wants to talk to you.

Ramji | USA

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

The best part of the school is the patience the instructors had and the time to focus on the fundamentals like pronunciation. I think it is very easy to skip over those and go to vocabulary. But by learning the pronunciation, I feel like it helped me gain a better understanding of the language.

Martine testimonial for keats chinese school

Martine | France

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I really enjoy this place because we have private lessons. I took the 6-hour program, 4 hours in the morning, 2 in the afternoon. Even though it is quite a lot, the teaching is complimentary. This is very helpful because I could review what I did before and learn new things. My 2 teachers are fantastic. We live in the school, so it is convenient. It is interesting to me to meet people from all over the world.

Josh testimonial for keats chinese school

Josh | USA

Small Group Chinese Class

I really had a wonderful experience at the school. The teachers are very very friendly. In my class, we practice speaking, listening, reading and writing. We play games and other fun activities. We have trips around town. The staff at Keats is phenomenal. My teacher is one the best teachers I have ever had in my educational experience. She comes in with smile every day.

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Sylvia | USA

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

One thing I really liked was that I was able to work with my teacher to make an individual plan of study. Another really nice thing is that you live at the school, you feel completely safe.  You always have a group of people who are willing to do things with you on the weekends or in the evenings. They are serving you all the 3 meals a day, the food was excellent.

Hitanshu testimonial for keats chinese school

Hitanshu | UK

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

It doesn’t matter what level of Chinese you have, or even you can start from the zero level. Your teacher will prepare the lessons according to your requirements. The advantage of living in the school is that you will have your tutoring, you will have your private accommodation with your own bathroom and all the meals provided. I highly recommend everybody to actually take the whole package because you get to meet other students.

Kim | UK

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I’ve had an amazing time at Keats. I am amazed of how much I’ve learned over the last 3 weeks and I will be really sad to go. We are already planning on next trip of coming back because we had such fantastic time here. They really tailor the course to you and your individual needs.

Stew testimonial for keats chinese school

Stew | UK

Small Group Chinese Class

The place is very cool. I am with a great group of people in my class, so coming to classes is very enjoyable. It is fun, we have a lot discussions, games, activities. Our teachers are also very good, very supportive. Learning Chinese is intimidating at the start because you have so many questions. But I would advise coming to Keats because the atmosphere for learning is great. It is very relax. I would recommend the school.

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