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  • 5.

    System of learning activities. The purpose of SCC and SLC courses is not just presenting the relevant information on competencies but also providing students the opportunity to practice these competencies through a system of learning activities. In our opinion, the most efficient way of helping students to master SCC and SLC components is affording them ample opportunity to practice that which will prepare them to demonstrate these competencies in real-life communication.

    • 1.

      Specific characteristics of the target audience As we mentioned earlier the major goal of the project is to develop instructional materials

that can help superior-level foreign language students to achieve a distinguished level of foreign

language proficiency. ILR S-3 foreign language speakers who are aiming for the ILR S-4 are our

primary target audience3. ILR S-4 foreign language students are closest to native speakers and are

often referred to as having a “near-native level of proficiency.” In order to be able to reach this level

of language proficiency it is necessary to have a clear understanding of what differentiates native

speakers from non-native speakers. In this research, we define the specific nature of native speaker

communicative competence by the correlation between the ideational and the mechanical planes of

their speech4.

This correlation refers to the level of attention paid by a speaker to meaning and form in the

process of communication. The native speaker communicates without much thought given to

linguistic form. S/he focuses on the what not the how of communication. In contrast, beginning

foreign language students are usually preoccupied mainly with how to express what they want to


Detailed descriptions of ILR S-3 and S-4 levels of foreign language proficiency in speaking, reading,

writing, and listening can be found on the ILR website hwwp://www.govtilr.org.

4 Developing Professional-Level Language Proficiency (Cambridge University Press, 2002). Boris Shekhtman, Dina Kupchanka, COMMUNICATIVE FOCUS: Teaching Foreign Language on the Basis of the Native Speaker's Communicative Focus, MSI Press, 2007


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