On EIL Competence

ABSTRACT:

This article critically examines the theoretical framework of communicative competence as developed by Canale (1983) from the perspective of English as an International Language with the claim that the traditional notion of communicative competence reflecting the native English speakers’ linguistic, sociolinguistic, discourse and strategic norms is not appropriate as a pedagogic model for English as an international language pedagogy. It examines both the recent studies towards reconceptualization of competence in relation to English as an international language and outlines the components of a new theoretical framework of EIL competence which is based on the features of post modern globalization as outlined by Canagarajah (2006). Such a theoretical framework is considered to be formed of linguistic, pragmatic, discourse, strategic and intercultural components which comprise both native speaker standard English norms and emerging English norms in diverse contexts (and hence it recognizes the international variability in English), cross-cultural awareness and negotiation strategies to cope with the variability in English. Ultimately it is suggested that teachers should delevop EIL competence in learners to enable them to be effective communicators in international contexts.

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