Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

Communication Competence Related Skills in the Context of Student Performance and Teaching in EFL Classroom

Goran Bubaš, University of Zagreb (Croatia)

Andreja Kovačić, University of Zagreb (Croatia)


Communication skills related to general communication competence are frequently placed in the context of foreign language (L2) acquisition and learning English as a foreign language (EFL). For instance, self-disclosure was investigated in relation to writing and discussion assignments in an online course (Serag, 2011), (un)willingness to communicate was explored in association with the frequency of communication in an L2 environment (Liu & Jackson, 2008; Yashima et al., 2004), interaction management was researched in the context of CALL (Peterson, 2006), and listening skills were analyzed in the mobile language learning environment (Nah et al., 2008). In this paper an overview of topics associated with communication skills that appear in the literature on second language learning is presented, as well as a model of students’ communication competence in an L2 and EFL learning contexts that was adapted from Spitzberg’s (2006) computer-mediated communication competence model and his intercultural competence model (2009). A number of potential uses and benefits of communication skills instruction integrated in EFL teaching and learning is briefly outlined and explained. Assessment instruments for measuring communication skills of L2 and EFL learners are described and their potential uses for measuring learners’ skill level, as well as for L2 and EFL instruction, are elaborated. To conclude, communication skills can be used both for the assessment of learners’ individual differences and as a subject of L2/EFL instruction. They are an important tool for delivering and displaying L2 and EFL competence in a practical real-world environment and can be used to facilitate both learning and enactment of L2 linguistic competence.

Keywords: EFL, L2, computer-assisted language learning, communication skills, communication competence, intercultural communication competence.

[1] Serag, A. (2011). Self-disclosure in EFL writing by computers. In A. Stewart (Ed.), JALT2010 Conference Proceedings. Tokyo: JALT.
[2] Yashima, T., Zenuk‐Nishide, & L., Shimizu, K. (2004). The Influence of Attitudes and Affect on Willingness to Communicate and Second Language Communication. Language Learning, 54(1), 119–152.
[3] Liu, M., & Jackson, J. (2008). An exploration of Chinese EFL learners' unwillingness to communicate and foreign language anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 92(1), 71–86.
[4] Peterson, M. (2006) Learner interaction management in an avatar and chat-based virtual world, Computer Assisted Language Learning, 19(1), 79–103.
[5] Nah, K., White, P., & Sussex, R. (2008). The potential of using a mobile phone to access the Internet for learning EFL listening skills within a Korean context. ReCALL, 20(3), 331–347.
[6] Spitzberg, B. H. (2006). Preliminary development of a model and measure of computer-mediated communication (CMC) competence. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(2), 629–666.
[7] Spitzberg, B., & Chagnon, G. (2009). Conceptualizing intercultural competence. In: D. K. Deardoff (Ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence (pp. 2–52). Thousand Oaks, CA.: SAGE Publications.

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