Summary and comparison of five communicative competence models

Gilja Byun

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    On the basis of communicative competence models suggested by Canale & Swain (1980), Canale (1983), Bachman (1990), Bachman and Palmer (1996) and Chapell, Grabe and Berns (1997), this paper deals with not only their summaries and comparisons but also their influence on second language teaching and testing. As the result of analyzing the main changes of the models in a chronological order, the following theoretical points are emphasized: 1) language use ability as well as language knowledge, 2) the integrative or holistic model through interactions among components in contrast to the discrete model, 3) the hierarchical and multi-level model instead of the linear model, 4) appropriate language use in a certain context by introducing sociolinguistic competence, 5) function in language use by presenting pragmatic competence, 6) cognitive skills by introducing and elaborating strategic competence, 7) affective factors and personal characteristics in performance. In accordance with these theoretical changes of the models, second language teaching and testing methods should be innovated. Language testing should include language performance as well as language ability and it should be an integrative test reflecting four skills. Likewise, teaching methods should be developed so that learners can use their strategic, functional, sociolinguistic and background competence, but not the previous memorization method in de-contextualized situations. This paper will help to design language testing and teaching methods more effectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)119-132
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of linguistic studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • second language teaching method
    • language testing
    • language use ability
    • integrative model
    • hierarchical model


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