COMPETENCY-BASED LANGUAGE TEACHING
For many years, English students were taught about the language in self, but not taught how to use the language in neighborhood properly. Even at the present day, the products of education still make disappointments; in the way of the students use English. Most of the students are capable in preserving their memories about the learning materials given by the teacher, but they don’t really understand how to use it. They still have difficulties to use English. Whereas they need it related with environment and society for they will be work and live with.
The 21st century is the era of Knowledge Economy where sciences are modals that create competitive advantage, innovative capabilities and effective solutions. Because of the globalization era and the increase of industrial world, English speaker workers are more demanded. But nowadays, the output from educational world is still having no competencies.
Docking in Richards & Rodgers (2001: 145) points out the relationship between competencies and job performance:
“A qualification or a job can be described as a collection of units of competency, each of which is composed on a number of elements of competency. A unit of competency might be a task, a role, a function, or a learning module. These will change over time, and will vary from context to context. An element of competency can be defined as any attribute of an individual that contributes to the successful performance of a task, job, function, or activity in an academic setting and/or work setting. This includes specific knowledge, thinking processes, attitudes, and perceptual and physical skills. Nothing is excluded that can be shown to contribute to performance. An element of competency has meaning independent of context and time. It is the building block for competency specifications for education, training, assessment, qualifications, tasks, and jobs.”
Because of that, we need a suitable method for English Language Teaching to relate both of the worlds mentioned above, that is Competency-Based Language Teaching.
From the explanation above, we would like to answer the question about:
a. What is meant by CBLT?
b. What are the approaches of CBLT?
c. What are the implementations of CBLT?
d. What are the competencies involved in CBLT?
e. Who are the targets of learners?
II. Competency-Based Language Teaching
CBLT is an application of the principles of Competency-based Education (CBE) to language teaching. CBE is an educational movement that focuses on outcomes or outputs of learning in the development of language programs. It emerged in The United States in the 1970s and refers to an educational movement that educates defining educational goals in terms of precise measurable descriptions of the knowledge, skills, and behaviors students should possess at the end of a course of study. CBE addresses what the learners are expected to do with the language, however they learned to do it.
III. The Approaches in CBLT
There are several principals in CBLT:
1. Language is a vehicle for the expression of functional meaning (functional view)
2. Language is a vehicle for the realization of interpersonal relation and for the performance of social transactions between individuals. Language is a tool for the creation and maintenance of social relations. (interactional view)
3. CBLT is built around the notion of communicative competence and seeks to develop functional communication skills in learners.
4. CBLT shares with behaviorist views of learning, the notion that language form can be inferred from language function; that is, certain life encounters call for certain kinds of language.
IV. The Implementation of CBLT
Auerbach in Richards and Rodgers (2001:145) provides a useful review of factors involved in the implementation of CBE programs in ESL, and indentifies eight key features:
1. A focus on successful functioning in society
2. A focus on life skills
3. Task -or performance- centered orientation
4. Modularized instructions
5. Outcomes that are made explicit a priory
6. Continuous and ongoing assessment
7. Demonstrated mastery of performance objectives
8. Individualized, student-centered instruction
V. The Competencies Involved in CBLT
CBLT is built around the notion of communicative competence:
1. Grammatical competence
It refers to linguistic competence and the domain of grammatical and lexical capacity.
2. Sociolinguistic competence
It refers to an understanding of the social context in which communication takes place, including role relationship, the shared information of the participants, and the communicative purpose for their interaction.
3. Discourse competence
It refers to the interpretation of individual message elements in terms of their interconnectedness and of how meaning is represented in relationship to the entire discourse or text.
4. Strategic competence
It refers to the coping strategies that the communicators employ to initiate, terminate, maintain, repair, and redirect communication
VI. The Target of Learner
Basically, CBLT can be used in all levels of students. In Indonesia, there are academic competencies that must be achieved by students, known as Standar Kompetensi. Stated in Peraturan Menteri No. 23/2006, “Standar Kompetensi adalah ukuran kompetensi minimal yang harus dicapai peserta didik setelah mengikuti suatu proses pembelajaran pada satuan pendidikan tertentu.”
But CBLT is used best for the learners who want to work and live in English-used atmosphere, for example working in English speaking Company.
The goal of CBLT is to enable students to become autonomous individuals capable of coping with the demands of the world. Not only the quality of assessment will improve, but the quality of teaching and student learning will be enhanced by the clear specification. Rather than teaching language in isolation, CBLT teaches language as a function of communication about concrete tasks. Students are taught just those language forms/skills required by the situation in which they will function. What counts is what students can do as a result of instruction. The emphasis is on overt behaviors rather than on knowledge or the ability to talk about language and skills.
Richard, Jack C. Rodgers, Theodore S. Approach and Method in Language Teaching Second edition. Cambridge University Press. 1986.