A Review of Interactional Competence Assessment in the Saudi EFL Context

  •  Najla Abdulrahman AlQahtani    


Interactional competence (IC) lies at the heart of the communicative skills an EFL learner is supposed to master. This paper investigates the meanings, assessment methods, and implications of IC in a second/foreign language setting and particularly in the Saudi context. The first part charts a theoretical background to the study of language from the early debate of the notions of competence and performance, through the evolution of communicative competence and the emergence of the term interactional competence. The second part of the paper outlines how IC has been described in the literature from multiple perspectives; interactional patterns, resources and strategies, IC authenticity, raters’ interpretations of IC and finally how the term was used in the Saudi context. However, it was aimed through this paper to draw an advantageous picture that provides a comprehensive understanding to how the term interactional competence has been taken up in the field of second/foreign language assessment. Needless to say, IC assessment is still an under-researched field in Saudi Arabia, and needs further efforts from the teachers, researchers and policy makers to provide thorough insights into assessing and employing interactional skills in the Saudi EFL classrooms.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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