Linguistic competence - WikipediaLinguistic performance is the ability to produce and comprehend sentences in a language. Since the publication of Noam Chomsky's Aspects of the Theory of Syntax in , most linguists have made a distinction between linguistic competence , a speaker's tacit knowledge of the structure of a language, and linguistic performance , which is what a speaker actually does with this knowledge. The nature and characteristics of a particular instance of linguistic performance and its product s are, in reality, determined by a combination of factors:. Each of the factors mentioned in 6 is a variable in linguistic performance and, as such, may influence the nature and characteristics of a particular instance of linguistic performance and its product s. Mouton, Share Flipboard Email.
Competence and performance in language teaching (Part 2)
Pragmatics of Natural Languages pp Cite as. Competence is one of the central conccpts in the theorizing of the transformational school. The term has been introduced by Chomsky, who uses it mainly to characterize those issues that are the proper concern of grammar, while relegating other issues concerning speech behaviour to performance. The competence-performance distinction has become part of the stock-in-trade of transformationalists, and is employed by them extensively in handling phenomena that are occasionally cited by their critics as militating against their theories. These phenomena, so the transformationalists reply, do not concern competence — i. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
Linguistic competence is the system of linguistic knowledge possessed by native speakers of a language. It is distinguished from linguistic performance , which is the way a language system is used in communication. Noam Chomsky introduced this concept in his elaboration of generative grammar ,  where it has been widely adopted and competence is the only level of language that is studied. According to Chomsky, competence is the ideal language system that enables speakers to produce and understand an infinite number [nb 1] of sentences in their language, and to distinguish grammatical sentences from ungrammatical sentences. This is unaffected by "grammatically irrelevant conditions" such as speech errors. Many other linguists — functionalists , cognitive linguists , psycholinguists , sociolinguists and others — have rejected this distinction, critiquing it as a concept that considers empirical work irrelevant, leaving out many important aspects of language use.
How do we know that students have learned a language? We can assess students using formative and summative assessments but how do we know that students will actually be able to use their language in real-life, authentic situations? In short, how do we know that our students are competent in the target language? However, how do we know that this performance is an accurate measure of what students actually know? In this section we will examine these questions further by looking at competence versus performance.