Does competence equal performance?

A recent question from one of my SLA students regarding competence and performance: I am still confused about you mentioning that competence equals performance. In general, we can see that even native speakers make mistakes while they are speaking. If so, can we say that his competence is still equal to the performance? Also,it is said that competence is measured by the test. Does the test result represent the competence 100%?

Native speakers do make mistakes, but do they make the same mistakes repeatedly? Imagine that you listen to a native speaker talk and that person uses correct subject/verb agreement 100 times. Then you hear that person make a mistake with subject/verb agreement. After observing the performance, what can you determine about that native speaker’s competence?

While I’m happy that you’re considering the issues, please remember your main focus: to come up with an analogy that shows that competence generates performance and use your visual to help the class understand the relationship between competence and performance.

Filed Under: Language issues

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