say. They are focuses on selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary. In the native speaker’s
communication, there is complete coincidence between the ideational and mechanical planes.
Moreover, the mechanical plane is hidden: one perceives only meaning. This happens for one
reason: the mechanical part is absolutely automatically controlled. The total concentration of the
native speaker is on what he or she is saying simultaneously with an almost complete absence of
attention to how he or she is saying it (except under special circumstances when he or she
deliberately wants to control some aspect of language). We can say that, in the case of a native
speaker, meaning and form overlap, that they do not exist separately, that there is harmony between
the what (meaning) and the how (form, language).
Everything changes, however, when a non-native speaker begins to speak. One immediately
sees the difference between what (meaning) and how (mechanics). The non-native speaker
constantly encounters situations where she or he cannot express a clear, simple thought either
because she or he doesn’t know how to express it due to a lack of linguistic knowledge or the lack of
automaticity of this knowledge. The nonnative speaker, then, performs dual activity in real time:
increasing the cognitive load by keeping track of the idea s/he wants to express and generating
foreign sounds, grammar and words in correct sequences. In other words, conversational interaction
for the nonnative speaker is communication mediated by language, i.e. formularized intercourse,
since for the nonnative speaker what to say and how to say it are two distinct and equally important
aspects of interaction. The difference in the language performance of native and non-native speakers
thus lies in the focus they have on either the meaning or the form of communication.
The ILR S-3 level of proficiency is the first level which is characterized by significant control
of standard grammatical and lexical aspects of linguistic form and in this respect they are almost equal