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Next, I will discuss some problems in the development of strategic competence in the classroom, and finally I will describe a possible approach to strategy training through an examination of sample activities and materials.Any person who is not a mother-tongue speaker or a true bilingual must necessarily rely on some incomplete and imperfect competence - this corresponds to the present stage in his or her interlanguage system (Fig. Each of us, and each of our students, could be placed somewhere along a line between the two extremes of an ideal zero competence and an ideal native speaker competence.

However, achievement strategies become much more interesting when they are based on the learners actual interlanguage, that is, when learners try to use their present knowledge and skills and stretch them, so to say, to their limits.

It is this active use of ones limited resources that I think we should be particularly concerned with.

The first area of strategies has to do with generalization and approximation: if you dont know a word, you can fall back on general words, like thing or stuff; you can use superordinates, like flower instead of daffodil; you can use synonyms and antonyms, like not deep to mean shallow.

Of course, generalizing implies a disregard for restrictions on word meaning and word usage, and can therefore be dangerous: this is a problem we shall soon get back to.

If we are still in the process of learning a language, we are moving along this line, we are gradually approaching a native speaker competence by successive approximations. Because I think that in practice there is no absolute zero competence you can at least rely on some form of non-verbal communication and, more importantly, there is no absolute native speaker competence just think of how often, in L1 communication, we cannot find the words to say something and have to adjust our message, or to ask our interlocutor to help us, or to use synonyms or general words to make ourselves understood.

Last modified 20-Mar-2019 23:16