Having a technical knowledge of a foreign language is not enough. The learner may be able to read the target language and understand others or even converse on a limited basis with a fluent speaker. But technical knowledge does not mean that all necessary thoughts, ideas, concepts, emotions, and meaning, are truly exchanged. The non-native learner is not fully communicating.
Communication is the expression, interpretation, and negotiation of meaning, and not simply oral expression. In order to effectively communicate, learners should become competent in four areas:
1. Linguistic – a working knowledge of syntax, pronunciation, and vocabulary
2. Appropriate social use of language — including social context, role relationships, shared knowledge and purpose of the exchange
3. Discourse -understanding an individual message and how its meaning is represented in relation to the whole discourse
4. Strategic – how to start, end, maintain, and repair a dialogue