Competence for Foreign Language Learning and Teaching. Introduction

Ariadna Strugielska, Katarzyna Piątkowska



Competence is one of the fashionable terms which permeate public and academic discourses of the 21st century. Accompanied by a plethora of meanings, competence has, rather expectedly, become an inflated notion (Weinert & Helmke, 1998; Virkus, 2009). While we intuitively know what competence, competency or a competent person mean, precise definitions are hard to obtain. To paraphrase Felstead et al. (2002), considering the enormous interest in competence – its structure, development and distribution – there is surprisingly little consensus on what competence actually refers to. This status quo is not helped by context-dependence of competence, i.e. its conceptual reliance on a particular domain within which the term is applied.

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