Tag Archives: competence regarding a foreign language

Production or interaction or both?

Production or interaction or both?

Besides the reading comprehension, one of the skills concerning the writing has always been the text production. But today, you talk more and more about the so-called “written interaction”; a development which is also reflected by the current official language test. The existence of this written interaction is connected with the emergence of the “interaction” as fifth competence regarding a foreign language. In this way, we can distinguish between written texts which are essays and those which are intended for the written communication, as for example chat conversations or postcards.

In the traditional language teaching, this competence was only seen as a proof that the student has understood the grammatical contents or rather that he is able to translate. That is the grammar translation method. At that time, the people assumed that the ability to write only depends on the fact that the student knows the grammatical rules and structures. Of course, these contents are also important for the writing process, but we rather assume – and it could often be shown that this is true – that still other aspects are important for the text production, which are not only grammatical, but also textual.

But which are these elements we have to pay attention to? They are surely not numerous, but very important. We take the view that the text has to be understandable and appropriate to the context of the communication. It has to be coherent regarding its structure and that can be achieved by linking the ideas with so-called connectors in a way that makes sense. If you want to write a text, you have to take care that you will emphasize various contents and subordinate others. But that are only some examples. All of these aspects have a place in the category I have mentioned.

Today, we all know that already for a long time, the oral has not been enough anymore in our globalized world to occupy certain positions or offices. A large number of the necessary communications either take place by correspondence or by the Internet; but the former is becoming more and more rare. The communication with the help of the Internet forces to write e-mails and to have chat conversations. That is the reason why it is that important to train this ability, if you learn a foreign language. The messages and chat conversations, which we write and have respectively in the second language, must not fail in their goal because they are very important for our image, which we want to convey to the other person.

This change of rhythm in the world we live in is responsible for the fact that everything is becoming more and more globalized, computerized and faster. This speed forces also us to write many messages in a very short time in order to interact in writing and for example to write reports or something like that. The world of the Internet has become a part of our everyday communication and in many cases, it renders unnecessary to talk to each other face-to-face. The difference between the face-to-face conversations

and the chat conversations is the certainty that we will not be interrupted when we are talking; because that is not possible in written medias.

We will still talk about these questions in future. You can distinguish very clearly between that what one has seen for a long time as written expression and the new concept of the written interaction. The latter is much closer to the communication and the necessities which the new era involves.