The Illocutionary Competence in Teaching Conversation

Abstract

Expressing acceptable language functions and interpreting the illocutionarypower of utterances or discourse is essential for EFL students as they should be able to use language effectively in different contexts. Bachman (1990) states that there are four kinds of language function: ideational, heuristic, manipulative, and imaginative. The current study sets up to investigate the illocutionary competence of EFL university students in teaching conversation. A diagnostic test has been constructed, and six units from the conversation textbook ‘Interchange’ have been chosen to test the EFL first year university students’ illocutionary competence. The results show that the first year students in the department of English were weak in their illocutionary competence. The results, it can be concluded that the use of ‘Interchange’ as textbook for teaching conversation did not participate in improving the students' ability to practice the four kinds of language functions.