Communicative competence


The communication right is paramount to maintain a social life correctly interacting with others. To achieve this goal, it is important to have a series of skills that can help convey ideas correctly, either orally or in writing . This is where what is known as communicative competence comes to play an extremely important role .


What is communicative competence?

Communicative competence is the group of positive skills that make it possible to maintain adequate communication through the use of social and cultural communication sign systems when we speak with another person.

  • Characteristics of communicative competence
  • Elements
  • Dimensions
  • Types of communicative competence
  • Importance
  • Examples of communicative competence

Characteristics of communicative competence

Among the main characteristics that can be observed in a communicative competence we mention the following:

  • It is a term that refers to the communication capacity of a person or a group.
  • It ranges from understanding the language to the skills that exist to be able to use it.
  • Deliver contextually appropriate messages .
  • Oral and written expression is mastered .
  • It is based on a series of values ​​such as respect and sincerity.
  • It implies a feeling of trustworthiness .
  • It is logical .
  • You need the command of language or language as well as the ability to express ideas and at the same time understand them.
  • It uses technology , innovation and advances in terms of communication.
  • It helps enrich the culture and opens the doors of new knowledge.
  • Has social commitment .
  • Develops the analytical and critical vision of people.


Among the elements that can be found within the communicative competence the following are mentioned:

  • Linguistics : this is the area that is related to the acquisition of language through a group of signs in a place where individuals can interact in order to develop the ability to think.
  • Paralinguistics : all those elements that go hand in hand with linguistics.
  • Textual : this element refers to the ability of people to understand what they read in a text.
  • Kinesic : the focus on the body and its movements.
  • Proxemics : these are the distances that exist between people at the time of communication.
  • Chronic : it refers to the way of expressing the words so that they are said in a fair way.


There are three fundamental dimensions that are used in communicative competence. These are the following:

Sociocultural dimension

It refers to the context of the information and the roles played by those who participate in the process. It includes a series of important aspects that are implicit in the communication process, such as feelings, mood, social groups , intentions and ideologies.

Communicative dimension

It defines language as a group or system of signs that are part of social communication and that also implies the use of a series of sociolinguistic , discursive and very strategic knowledge .

Cognitive dimension

In this case, some functions considered essential within language are revealed, such as the construction of verbal thoughts and intellectual language .

Types of communicative competence

There are several types of communication skills which are:

Linguistic competence

This type of competition is considered the most important in the area of ​​communication. It deals with the acquisition and the way in which the language develops in order to be able to master it later. It is what makes it possible to think properly and express ideas through words.

Paralinguistic competence

It is made up of a series of elements that help to complement the language . In it we can find all the linguistic and oral resources such as the proper intonation of words.

Sociolinguistic competence

This field depends on the culture and the society since the place where it is used and the moment are important, in other words, it depends on the context to be able to communicate. Sociolinguistic competence also has some extremely important elements such as kinetic competence or non-verbal communication and proxemic competence that distance management implies.

Discursive competence

In this case, it refers to the logical and orderly sequence that is made of the ideas or arguments for a given discourse.

Pragmatic competence

It includes all those skills that can be used with the aim of being able to persuade a person to thus be able to influence the thoughts, opinions or ideas of others.

Strategic competence

It is the capacity of an individual to be able to correct the errors that can appear while saying a certain speech making that there is a better communication.

Textual competence

In this case, it refers to the level of comprehension and production of texts using cognitive, communicative and technical competence at the same time.


This type of communication is very important because it is the means by which we can increase participation , encourage initiatives and stimulate creativity of people. It is also seen as a type of tool for changes, mainly in the field of companies because it allows an adequate dissemination of information. It is a relevant aspect to also have good communication with other people within society , either to write or to communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings.

In the school and collegiate environment, communicative competence also plays a very important role since these places are responsible for implementing the appropriate techniques to be able, later, to write , write and communicate ideas accurately.

Examples of communicative competence

Some examples of communicative competence are the following:

  • A group of students who listen to what the teacher explains to them in order to later write a summary using the information that has been given to them.
  • When one person tries to vent to another, the best thing to do is talk to them and ask direct questions about their thinking or the way they feel.
  • A person who is upset by a comment that another said, in this case, communicative competence is demonstrated by expressing the thoughts in the best way to prevent the problem from becoming even bigger.
  • When indirect are used, it is best to use communicative competence to ask, directly, what is wanted.

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