The distinctive characteristics of the competency-based curriculum are as follows:
-it is organized around a set of learning tasks/ activities that are: (i) based on language knowledge, skills, strategies and abilities that learners have to demonstrate; and (ii) directed towards the likeliest uses learners will have to make of English in their future studies and professions;
-it adheres to a modular approach as regards competencies development and auxiliary and terminal performances;
-it is learner-centered;
-it is task-based;
-it assesses learner behavior/ performance in relation to the competencies focused upon;
-it capitalises on the performances the learners should expect to attain, not just content to be covered;
-it outlines entering behavior; that is, the present status of the learners' competencies in reference to what the curriculum expects them to attain (terminal performance).
- Language acquisition is fostered by engaging in real tasks ;
- All Iearners can learn and experience success in a foreign language;
-Learners learn in different ways; (this implies accepting different learning styles) ;
-Learners acquire proficiency at different rates;
-Learners are involved in interdisciplinary connections when learning English
- Language tasks/activities must focus on content, not form;
-Learners express themselves freely in low-anxiety situations;
- Language learning is a problem-solving activity;
- In order to acquire language, learners need a rich acquisition environment in which they receive 'comprehensible input' in low-anxiety situations.
Therefore, this methodology translates into :
- Listening/speaking/reading and writing tasks/ activities whereby the learners demonstrate the ability to apply competencies (language knowledge skills, strategies and abilities) in a variety of modes and within a wide range of contexts;
- realistic learning experiences based on solving problems. (This maximizes effective learning).
Within this methodology, the teacher's roles are :
- to manage the classroom event;
- to monitor language output / competencies development;
- to create the conditions that are conducive to the development of active communication competencies;
- to provide the learners with effective learning opportunities;
- to use appropriate approaches; that is, approaches that are responsive to the specificity of the teaching/learning context;
- to provide immediate feedback;
- to put into practice principles of good language teaching /testing.
Learner's roles are :
- to learn cooperatively;
- to be more self-directed and responsible of his/her own learning; that is to plan, monitor and evaluate his/her learning;
-to be on the outlook for effective skills/strategies.
- to be actively involved in the process of language learning.The roles to be played by the teacher and learners can be complementary and interdependent as is the case in such activities as projects.