The problem of ethnocentric bias in speech actstudies: Implications for language teaching

Cecile Le Roux


Most language teaching specialists today hold the view that the aim of second language teaching should be to facilitate learners' acquisition of so-called "communicative competence". Leaving aside the many questions concerning the meaning and use of this term that are being hotly debated in the literature, I will use the term "communicative competence" to refer to the system(s) of knowledge that underlie the ability to use a language both accurately, that is, in a grammatically correct way, and appropriately in different social and situational contexts.1 It is with the latter aspect of communicative competence in particular, viz. the knowledge underlying the ability to use a language appropriately in context, that this paper will be concerned. Let us call this aspect of communicative competence "pragmatic competence".2

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ISSN 2223-9936 (online); ISSN 1027-3417 (print)

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